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Take Away the Stone

Ron Bernier

Master Builder Church

There seems to be a disconnect between Martha’s profession of her belief in Jesus as the resurrection and the life and her belief that He could do anything in the immediate. Even though she told Jesus she believed that He was the Christ, the Son of God, who came into the world; she still did not see the present possibility of what Jesus could do. She told Him that if He has come sooner, her brother would not have died, but the fact that Jesus was present now, did not seem to cause her to believe He could do anything in the present.

When Jesus said “Take away the stone”; Martha said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days” (John 11:39). Jesus had to challenge her professed belief by saying, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40). We all know the story, they rolled away the stone and Jesus called forth “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out alive.

This account makes me wonder how many times the Lord might be telling us to roll away the stone, but our unbelief says, “It stinks by now.” In other words, we do not believe that Jesus is going to intervene producing life where there is no life. Sure, we believe in Jesus, but have we also reconciled ourselves to the natural, forgetting the supernatural? Have we resigned to running our course, knowing Jesus will be with us to comfort us, but fail to see Him changing the circumstances?

He is the resurrection and the life now. Not just in some distant future. He still causes graves to be emptied and burdens to be lifted. He makes dry bones live and causes rivers to flow in the desert. May we hear His voice and roll back the stones when He directs us to. For if we believe, we, too, will see the glory of God.

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