What Jesus Did! 'Worship in the Shadows of Confusion and Grief' — John 11:31-32

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Jews who had come were with Mary in the house. They were comforting her. They saw Mary stand and leave quickly. They thought that she was going to the tomb {of Lazarus}. They thought she was going there to cry. So they followed her. Mary went to the place where Jesus was. When she saw Jesus, she bowed at his feet. Mary said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
— John 11:31-32
Illustration of John 11:31-32 — "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."

Key Thought

"Where could I go but to the Lord?" These words to an old hymn speak the truth of Mary's heart. Through her confusion and loss she comes and falls at the feet of Jesus. So often the evil one convinces us that our doubts, fears, confusion, and grief make us unacceptable to the Lord. But where else can we or should we go with these soul-wrenching concerns. If there is anything that the ministry of Jesus should teach us it should be this: we can come honestly to Jesus for truth, mercy, grace, help, forgiveness, cleansing, power, and love. Even if you don't know the "What?" or the "Why?" about the things going on your life, please know there is one waiting for you to share the burden of your heart.

Today's Prayer

Dear heavenly Father, I have some folks that are truly on my heart that need your presence and your blessing. I'm not sure if they can hold on to their faith much longer. Please minister in clear ways to them. I will continue to encourage them to come to you, but please, dear Lord, they need your help today. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus arrived in Bethany. Jesus found that Lazarus had already been dead and in the tomb for four days. Bethany was about two miles from Jerusalem. Many Jews had come to Martha and Mary. They came to comfort them about their brother {Lazarus}. Martha heard that Jesus was coming. She went out to greet Jesus. But Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you anything you ask." Jesus said, "Your brother will rise and be alive again." Martha answered, "I know that he will rise to live again when people are resurrected (raised from death) on the last day." Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection. I am life. The person that believes in me will have life {again} after he dies. And the person that lives and believes in me will never really die. Martha, do you believe this?" Martha answered, "Yes, Lord. I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God. You are the One that was coming to the world." After Martha said these things, she went back to her sister Mary. Martha talked to Mary alone. Martha said, "The Teacher (Jesus) is here. He is asking for you." When Mary heard this, she stood up and went quickly to Jesus. Jesus had not yet come into the village. He was still at the place where Martha met him. The Jews who had come were with Mary in the house. They were comforting her. They saw Mary stand and leave quickly. They thought that she was going to the tomb {of Lazarus}. They thought she was going there to cry. So they followed her. Mary went to the place where Jesus was. When she saw Jesus, she bowed at his feet. Mary said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." Jesus saw that Mary was crying. Jesus saw the Jews that came with her. They were crying too. Jesus felt very upset. He was deeply troubled. Jesus asked, "Where did you put him (Lazarus)?" They said, "Lord, come and see." Jesus cried. And the Jews said, "Look! Jesus loved Lazarus verymuch!" But some of these Jews said, "Jesus healed the eyes of the blind man. Why didn't Jesus help Lazarus and stop him from dying?"

John 11:17-37

Related Scripture Readings

For this reason Jesus had to be made like us his brothers and sisters in every way. Jesus became like people so that he could be their merciful and faithful high priest in service to God. Then Jesus could bring forgiveness for the people's sins. And now Jesus can help those people who are tempted. Jesus is able to help because he himself suffered and was tempted.

Hebrews 2:17-18

We have a great high priest who has gone to live with God in heaven. He is Jesus the Son of God. So let us continue strongly in the faith we have. Jesus, the high priest that we have, is able to understand our weaknesses. When Jesus lived on earth, he was tempted in every way. He was tempted in the same ways that we are tempted, but he never sinned. With Jesus as our high priest we can feel free to come before God's throne where there is grace (forgiveness). There we receive mercy and kindness to help us when we need it.

Hebrews 4:14-16

Then Jesus said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. I praise you because you have hidden these things from the wise and smart people. But you have shown these things to people that are like little children. Yes, Father, you did this because this is what you really wanted to do. "My Father has given me all things. No person knows the Son—only the Father knows the Son. And no person knows the Father—only the Son knows the Father. And the only people that will know about the Father are those people the Son chooses to tell. "Come to me all you people that are tired and have heavy burdens. I will give you rest. Accept my work and learn from me. I am gentle and humble in spirit. And you will find rest for your souls. Yes, the work that I ask you to accept is easy. The burden I give you to carry is not heavy."

Matthew 11:25-30

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.