Have you ever been caught saying one thing and doing another? That third cup of coffee you know is not good for you, but you go ahead and drink it. That person you know is not good for you, but one date couldn’t hurt. And every parent knows children are masters at calling you out when you say one thing and do another.
To speak is one thing, to act is another. Our actions reveal what we really believe, more so than mere words. Our sister, Martha, puts this on display as she continues to interact with Jesus.
Before the resurrection of Lazarus, Jesus said to Martha that her brother would rise again. She said, “Yeah, I know that he will rise again in the last day” (John 11:23–24, paraphrase). Jesus responded with, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25–26). Martha responded with, “Yes, Lord” (John 11:27).
Later in the story, when Jesus went to the tomb of Lazarus and asked the stone be moved to uncover the opening, Martha exclaimed, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days” (John 11:39). Jesus responded with, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40).
Martha said she believed Jesus, and Jesus said, “Watch me do what you say you believe.” She got to live what she believed, and Jesus was faithful to do what he said. How often does Jesus say to us, “Do you believe?”
Jesus invites us to live a life that is alive and resurrected. We say we believe it, and now we get to live it. After all, Jesus has brought us from death to life! As he did with Martha, Jesus graciously calls us to grow in faith and to live with hopeful expectation. Do we live as though we truly believe he is making all things new?
This resurrection and life are for all to receive. As Jesus called Martha to live out her faith and to trust him, others saw Jesus at work in Martha’s life. “Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him” (John 11:45). The community watched as Jesus loved this family, growled at death, talked to his Father in heaven, and used his power to bring life from death. And many believed.
When we make way for Jesus to show his love and resurrection power, others notice. As we grow in our belief in Jesus as the resurrection and life, we have the opportunity to continue to throw off our former life of death and live into his resurrection, power, and promises (Galatians 5:1). He has given us life and when we live it, others long to live as well. It is only by his resurrection power that we can do this.