July 8, 2016

John 11:17-27

Mary and Martha’s response to the death of their brother was the same kind of pain and hurt as any one of us might experience. Yet, Jesus deals with both of them with compassion and tenderness. He offers no rebuke and expresses no disappointment in them. He listened. He empathized. He calmly assured them both. His compassion and care is a great model for all Christians seeking to comfort. His ministry began with his presence. That’s what we can do for our family, friends, and neighbors who have lost loved ones. No magic words—just our presence shows our love and care.

But we can also learn lessons from Martha. She doesn’t rebuke Jesus. She felt regret and sorrowful acceptance. But she is also an example of a young Christian’s faith enveloped in grief. She is hurting. She feels the loss deeply. Yet, she confesses her faith in Christ despite her disappointment. Jesus’ delay doesn’t diminish her confidence in him.

Two quick lessons here: As comforters, give the gift of your presence and be careful what you say. And, when we suffer loss, maintain your faith and trust in Jesus!