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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 (11)

I’m wondering where God is leading me in this next season of my life. I developed my strongest connection to God since being saved by being connected to an amazing ministry. A few serious, unexpected things happened recently that led to me finally having to disconnect from the ministry, which hurts because they are like family. I truly feel like a fish outside of water in this situation, but I have faith that he will lead and guide me exactly where I need to be!

I feel like God is leading me into a new career. My heart grieves so badly for each person who is battling or had lost someone to addiction. I want to dive into a career of counseling!

Sometimes I feel weak and hopeless when I think of the uncertainty of the future lives of the ill/sick , especially when it is in the family . I pray God will give me more understanding, faith and strength to get through this week and beyond and give me the ability to be more of help for others in need.

I believe I’m made to tell my story of truth hurting and healing. I have example after example. It’s been an awakening. Particularly in my 20’s coming out of codependency and then again in my first years of marriage. I have so many disappointments, griefs and questions. Will America tear itself apart? How can Christians believe in Jesus and Donald Trump at the same time? Are we all reading the same bible?

I want to help people who are experiencing loss of a loved one. We lost our son to muscular dystrophy 12/1/01. Even though you think you are prepared, it’s still very hard. I never blamed God and our church family was so supportive through the grief. We take comfort in knowing that we will see him again one day. He was saved before he passed.

Oh my is there a disappointment/a grief….my husband doesn’t want to be married. But he doesn’t want to be unmarried. He doesn’t really know what he wants except to run from me and us and our home and family. He refuses to address his pain. And his lack of doing so causes me great pain as I find myself in the situation of being estranged from the man who I love, who I vowed to spend the rest of my life with…for better or worse. So…how do I honor those vows, and that commitment to God and to husband.. what is God telling me? I don’t know…I keep praying for guidance and wisdom. I can’t help but believe that this is the plan that God had for me/for us….that it is building my faith in his love for me…despite the abject loneliness and pain that I feel

God, I thought you were going to open wide a portal for me to know my next step. Why haven’t you opened the door and revealed yourself, like you have always done in my past?

I love the truth that every test can become a testimony. And who of us hasn’t been tested? In ways that are small and enormous, in ways that are seen and unseen, in ways that are short-lived and present-living. For me, my stories include brutiful seasons of rejection, mothering, ministry, grief and enduring love and grace for a hard-to-love family member.
I often tell these test-imonies through my writing, but my very favorite way is in relationship ~ one to one, over a cup of coffee. 🙂 Is it hard to be vulnerable? Yes! But is it freeing, both for me and the one I’m telling? So many yes’s!

Oh Mrs. Jodie I pray for you! Letting God in to know every detail one by one in prayer or writing~explaining your truth & your testimonies is beautiful to me.

The disappointment or questions I have in my life is for myself… where am I going? What am I doing with my life? Where is God taking me? But seeing and trusting God ~ listening to Him will show me the way to my values and love and joy.

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