Martha’s faith was pretty remarkable when you think about it.
Even though Jesus had delayed in coming when her brother was sick, and as a result her brother died, her faith in Jesus never wavered.
So many people in her position would have been so disappointed in Jesus that they would have just said, “I’m done with Jesus. He doesn’t really care about me.”
But though she was clearly hurting, and couldn’t understand why Jesus didn’t come earlier (21), she said,
Yet even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you. (22)
You see clearly from the next several verses that she was not at all thinking Jesus would raise Lazarus from the dead. All she was saying was, “I still believe in you Jesus. I still believe you are from God.”
She later affirms,
I believe you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who comes into the world. (27)
Martha clearly had faith. But Jesus wanted her to ramp up her faith. He wanted her to deepen her understanding of just who he was.
So he told her,
I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. (25-26)
Talk about needing to ramp up your understanding of who Jesus is. No mere human could claim this. There is only one source of life, and that’s God.
Frankly, I think Martha’s head was spinning. With a child’s faith, she said, “Yes,” but it’s clear that she did not fully understand Jesus’ words.
And so when Jesus told her to roll away the stone to Lazarus’ tomb, she objected. At that point, Jesus once again challenged her to ramp up her faith in a very practical way: obey him. (39-41)
And when she did, she came to a deeper understanding of who Jesus truly was. That understanding became even more complete when she saw Jesus himself rise from the dead.
Do you really want to know Jesus better? Obey him. Even when you don’t understand what he’s doing or not doing. Even when you don’t understand why he’s telling you what he’s telling you. Obey him.
In what area of your life is Jesus now telling you, “Trust me. Obey me.”