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Your Honesty is Welcome

I cry to you, O Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”

Psalm 142:5

Watch Session Two: Jesus Enables the Faithful

There are few people we can be truly honest with in our lives. They are the ones with whom we can let down our entire guard, allow our emotions to run their course, and offer our disappointments and doubts. We cannot do it with everyone, but there are a few that are safe, a few that will receive us as we are no matter what.

Two sisters and a brother were those people for Jesus, and Jesus was that for them. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus had a deep friendship with Jesus. It was Mary who fell at Jesus’s feet and anointed his feet with her hair and oil (John 11:2; John 12:1–8). It was Martha whom we can find being completely honest with Jesus when her sister leaves her in the kitchen with all the work (Luke 10:38–42). It was Lazarus who was described as being loved by Jesus (John 11:3, 36). Jesus loved this family, and with this depth of love came the freedom to be themselves, to be honest in their disappointment, to be vulnerable with their tears, and to offer Jesus their whole selves, stopping short of nothing (John 11:5).

unmoved

Knowing Jesus well, the sisters sent Jesus a message, “Lord, the one whom you love is ill” (John 11:3). You would expect Jesus to respond with, “Okay, I’m coming right away.” But he didn’t. He said some cryptic words about his illness not leading to death and being for God’s glory (John 11:4). Then he stayed two days longer where he was. He seemed to be unfazed by the sisters’ news, and then said plainly, “He is dead” (John 11:14). He followed this with another cryptic statement: “I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe” (John 11:15). What was Jesus up to? Did he not see their pain? Did he not feel it either?

honesty welcome

Jesus then began moving toward Bethany, the sisters’ hometown. Martha heard he was coming and went to meet him, being honest about her disappointment and her expectation of Jesus. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21).

Later in the story, Mary came to Jesus and said the exact same thing, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:32).

The community responded with, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?” (John 11:37). Another fair question. And Jesus welcomed it all.

himself

Jesus eventually raised Lazarus from the dead. He had his purposes in waiting as well as his welcome of grief, confusion, and questions. Jesus did not rush to resurrection, and he met Mary, Martha, and the people with his own humanity as well. Yes, he will resurrect, but there is something in the waiting that he has for each person. He has himself. Waiting for resurrection gave Martha, Mary, and the people more of him. And that is what he gives us as well.

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What the Women Saw

Daily Question

As you begin this week and dive deep into this story, is there an area of your life, or a story from your life that Jesus is welcoming you to tell? Is there a disappointment, a grief, or a question you have?

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Comments (41)

Yes. I prayed and had faith as big as a mustard seed and knew God will heal my mum and that will be a miracle. My mum was there for everyone and put everyone before her. She loved God so much. She served in church. She served others before herself but she died. It broke my heart and I lost faith in God, in life, in being good etc.

When a young pastor’s family lost their 18 yr old son to a shooting accident, it was devastating. They have handled it so amazing! They are mourning their loss, but rejoicing his reunion with Jesus. Their lives are forever changed. They have beautiful memories of their son, and amazing visions of him sitting with God. Somehow, good will come of this.

I wanted Jesus to save my aunt from dying from cancer. I prayed and prayed that He would bring her back just as He did Lazarus. I knew I would continue to love and honor God regardless of the outcome but the pain has never gone away…our family was forever changed the day she left us…I wish I knew why it was more important to take her then give us more time with her. I guess it’s time to lay down my grief at Jesus’ feet.

Right now, in this very moment, I am questioning myself on. y career choices, some things are not easy, I know God sees the bigger picture, but it’s lime and lemons for me all this time. I’m choosing to trust in this waiting period and deepen my relationship with Him, It’s all I’ve got.

I have big questions about the formative years of my life. I am reminded that you want me to come to you regardless of how I come. I wonder about the impact on each of my family member’s and why nothing was ever spoken about. Ultimately God I pray if it is your will that those experiences build my knowledge of who you are in the same way that Mary and Martha were spiritually matured through their wait on you, eventually receiving a deeper revelation about who you are.

Many stories and many disappointments, e.g., my daughter’s motor vehicle accident, which left her with a brain injury, and 15 years later her brutal homicide; ex husband’s addiction and the impact this had on our lives. I am not sure what God wants me to do with these areas of my life. If there is any benefit In using these areas of my life, I am here God- take my feet and guide me.

Yes, my son Andrew who struggles with PTSD from serving in the military has been an alcoholic for 10 years after returning from Afghanistan. I have been praying for spiritual and physical healing. I know the spiritual healing needs to come first in order for physical healing. Why it’s taking so long for his healing is beyond me. I get angry all the time at the Lord and cry out to him. I know deep in my heart healing is coming:

I think a disappointment I have is that my best friend is moving over summer. We are so close, and we had so many plans of things to do before she left. But now with the virus I can’t even see her at all. I just wonder why this is happening and if I’ll ever get to actually hang out with her again.

My first real grief I think came when my daughter-in-law Linda found that she could not conceive and each time they tried with in vitro four times, it was very stressful And very sad. It felt like our prayers were hitting a ceiling as they were not but like God wasn’t hearing us. Wanting for so long to be grandparents was overshadowed By the grief we all felt in the loss each time of a possible baby in their lives. And all the time you thinking where are you god, do you hear us are we important to you…

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