每日诗歌: 信心的旅途 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNcYIVlNy4s)
1 Chronicles 26 [Read]
1 Chronicles 27 [Read]
John 11:18-46 [Read]
The death of Lazarus was a tragedy in man’s eye, but it was also the occasion when the Son of God would be glorified (Jn 11:4). The central theme of this episode is the 5th “I am” proclamation by Jesus: “I am the resurrection and the life” (11:25). This sign points to the Son of God as the source of life, and only through him the power of resurrection can be realized.
However, what struck me this time was the conversations Jesus had with the two sisters. The interactions showed two different expressions of personal faith towards the same Lord. Being a rational person, Martha came out first to meet Jesus upon his arrival. “If you had been here, my brother would not have died” (11:21). The text did not indicate a deep emotion behind her statement. She was likely saddened by what happened, but she seemed determined to show her faith before the Lord. “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (11:24). When Jesus pressed her further (11:26), she responded with a perfect answer: “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God” (11:27). But did she truly believe what Jesus said? The text seemed to indicate otherwise (11:40).
Mary came out afterwards and said the same thing to Jesus (11:32). However, her strong emotion was obvious and even Jesus was affected by her (11:33-35). The verb in 11:33 was closer to “indignation” than just being “deeply moved”. Commentators had various interpretations on why Jesus was angry, but it seemed reasonable to me that some of his anger was caused by the despair those crying people showed. Based on Martha’s answer in 11:24, they should know about the last days. If so, why were they still crying like people without hope?
It is easier to talk about faith than to act it out, especially when facing trauma like death. I had the experience of going to 6 funerals in one year, and I am still not sure about the best way of handling death. The rational attitude of Martha seems to fall short on compassion, whereas the extreme despair of Mary shows a need for grasping the truth. I just hope that my faith in the Lord will be deepened with time, so that, when trauma comes, the expression of my faith will be filled with God’s compassion and truth.
Keep on reading,