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Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.

Mary and Martha’s Grief

**Suggested reading: The Death of Lazarus – John 11:1-44

“Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died…”
John 11:21

“Mary…fell down at Jesus’ feet saying “Lord. if you had been here, my brother would not have died…”
John 11:32

Today as I read this story, the humanity of both Mary and Martha is so beautiful to me. As they both grieved the death of their brother Lazarus, God had purpose in it. It was about four days after the death of Lazarus that Jesus arrived to the scene, which I’m sure puzzled Mary and Martha.  I imagine that in the the time while they waited for Jesus to arrive, Mary and Martha begged and pleaded with God in their own ways. Their grief was showing and there was no hiding it when Jesus finally arrived.

When Jesus finally came, Mary stayed in her home while Martha went to meet Him on the road with the report. After accusing Jesus in vs. 21, she went on saying, “but even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” She was holding herself up, holding back the tears.  She was making known that her faith was still in God, while ultimately showing her reverence to Him despite her deep pain. Jesus responded to her with affirmation in vs. 23, saying, “your brother will rise again.”

When Mary went to Jesus, she ran, she fell at his feet and wept. Mary did not follow her statement with understanding, like Martha did.  Instead, the sight of Him made her comfortable enough to begin grieving publicly.  She made it clear to Jesus, that she had been wondering where he was, because if He had been with them when they first asked this never would have happened.

Through this story, Martha and Mary show us that grief looks different on everyone. Jesus is showing us that He is present and listening. Not only is he listening, he too is grieving. Upon hearing this news and seeing Mary fall at His feet, He too wept. He mourned with her, even though He knew the end of the story – that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead. “Jesus wept.”  His heart is deeply moved by our sufferings.  We are His people, His followers, His children.

I hope today you are reminded that:
God is not shocked by your humanity.
There is purpose in His timing.
He weeps with you.
He understands your grieving process, even when humans can’t.
He sees you and loves you deeply.

Here for you,
Pastor Leah Ramos