“Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days.”
(John 11v39 NIV)
This is so interesting.
They wanted Jesus to do something.
Preferably before Lazarus actually died.
You ask Jesus for a solution.
He gives you one.
You then want a second opinion.
You want to know is there anyone else you could ask.
Who perhaps would give you a better answer.
Martha had said she believed.
Those were her words.
But did she mean them or even really understand the question.
At this point Martha (the ever pragmatic one) resisted what Jesus asked them to do.
It was a simple request.
But her response wasn’t positive but she had done enough.
She had doubts.
But she said she believed.
Her statement superseded her doubt.
She was concerned about the smell.
She didn’t want to smell her brother.
This was getting a little too weird.
Her mind was in a spin.
She didn’t know what to think or believe.
I’m not even sure she knew what was going to happen next.
She wasn’t prepared for what has going to happen next.
She wasn’t expecting Lazarus to be anything but four days dead.
There was so much unbelief and criticism around everywhere.
It was against all this unbelief.
With feelings running high that Jesus faced a tough challenge.
That is the challenge He faces with us.
He is willing.
We must keep doubt and unbelief at bay and say yes Jesus.
When we say yes we give Him permission.