Friday, August 09, 2013

That Wouldn't've Been MY Answer

Story: the raising of Lazarus (John 11)
Time: shortly before Holy Week
Characters: Jesus and Martha
Question:  I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live.  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.  Do you believe this?

And the answer from Martha?  

Nothing that looks like a reasonable answer to a direct question.

Yeah, yeah, sure, we're used to hearing the reading, so it may go in one ear and out the other.  But look how odd the answer is.

"People who believe in Me will not die, even though they die.  Do you believe that?"

"You betcha, Jesus.  I believe You're the Messiah."  

Wait -- He was talking about resurrection.  This interchange would make sense: "Do you believe I'm the Messiah?"  "Yes, I do."  And this interchange would also make sense:  "Do you believe that I give/am life for those dead?"  "Yes, You are."

But Martha's answer to the question about death-vs-life was "Yes, You are the Messiah."  

In other words, she knew the Old Testament scriptures to teach that the Messiah would come into the world to overcome death, to be the resurrection, to be life, to give immortality.  

I don't remember anybody teaching me when I was little that that's what the Old Testament was all about.  I don't even remember hearing that the Old Testament was all about Jesus -- much less that it was about the Anointed One who would bring to us eternal life.

But that was a no-brainer for Martha.

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