Saturday, August 9, 2008

Where's The Smell?

I love the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead in John 11. As you might guess it is not for all the usual reasons. Jesus comes to Bethany and Martha and Mary give him the same greeting, "Lord if you had been here Lazarus would still be alive." Perhaps because of who I am, I always hear Martha and Mary say this with a good amount of blame. It is almost as it were Jesus fault for the death of Lazarus. When Jesus is greeted this way and he sees the crowd weeping and mourning with Mary he responds. Most of the time this is one of those spots where our scriptures usually say, and Jesus was moved with compassion, not here. Here the emotion the NLT assigns to the moment is indignation.

It seems ironic to me that indignation would be Jesus response to the sisters and the crowd. I am sure this is exactly how some of them felt toward Jesus. It had been made clear by Jesus earlier that everything was under control, and God was using this situation to bring glory to Jesus, and therefore Himself. I do not expect Jesus to act in the midst of indignation, his own or others, yet that is what happens. Even once Jesus says everything will be fine, what Martha and Mary were originally looking for, they still do not listen to what Jesus asks them to do. "Roll away the stone" is Jesus request. "But is will smell" is Martha's response. I can sense Jesus getting more and more irritated. The stone is moves and Lazarus walks out at Jesus command, no mention of a smell. Everything was well under control.

I wonder how many times I do not listen and trust, that God has everything under control.

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