Our God is fully divine and fully human. Not one or the other, but both. Sort of hard to wrap our heads around at times but scriptures help us. Today’s reading gives us insight into both aspects of Jesus. The book of John up to this point has Jesus performing miracles that have been leading up to this moment. Throughout these first eleven chapters, we have seen one sign after another. Each of these signs has grown in intensity. Each was more striking than the one before.
What is the point of this narrative? It is to show that Jesus is indeed the Christ, the Son of God. He had been teaching in the villages beyond the Jordan when he received the news about his friend Lazarus’s illness. Jesus waited two days before going to where Lazarus lived. Upon arrival, John tells us that Lazarus had been dead for four days. As is the case when anyone dies, many friends and family had been with the family to comfort them. We can picture them all sitting in their house, sad and lamenting but maybe telling stories about their brother and friend. Suddenly, Martha heard that Jesus was coming, and she ran out, going some distance to meet him.
This first interchange with one of the sisters in John 11: 21 – 27 gives us particular insight into Jesus’s divinity. The next one with the other sister gives us insight into his humanity.
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that God will give you whatever you ask”. Jesus said to her, “ your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “ I know he will rise again at the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
“Yes Lord,” she told him, “ I believe you are the Christ, the Son of God who was to come into the world.”
Martha believes! Can she help us to see the same in Jesus?
After this encounter Martha ran back to the house to get Mary. She told her the teacher is here and asking for her. Mary got up to leave quickly and those with her followed to the place where Martha had met Jesus.
When Mary reached that place, she fell at his feet and told him if he had been there her brother would not have died. She really said the exact same thing to him that Martha said, but Jesus’s response was different this time. He shows us his human side. When Jesus saw her weeping John 11:33 tells us “ he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled”. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see Lord”, they replied and then “Jesus wept”. He loved Mary and Martha and their brother and was moved at their distress just as he is when we are troubled.
Our God is fully human and fully divine. Not one or the other, but both. No other religion can make that claim.
Do you believe that Jesus is fully human and fully divine?
How is that a comfort to you?
Do you rest in HIM when you are troubled?
Ok, put down your Bible and go do it!
by Mary Vinson