The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

Lumo Project

Is there a stone in your life so large only Jesus can roll it away? In our story, the stone in Mary and Martha’s life was the death of their brother. It was only Jesus who could roll the stone away.  What is the Lord teaching you through this story? What was the Lord teaching Mary and Martha through this experience?  

The Stone Rolled Shut

Mary and Martha had sent a note to Jesus to come quickly because their brother was seriously ill. Imagine you were Mary and Martha as you wait anxiously for Jesus to come and heal your brother. You all have witnessed Jesus healing others. Surely, Jesus will come and heal a friend. You sent a note to Jesus, will He come in time to save your brother?

As Lazarus takes his last breath, Jesus has still not arrived. Their hopes of Jesus healing their brother seemed to have vanished like steam from a boiling pot. The stone was rolled in place to shut Lazarus’ grave.

Jesus arrives four days after Lazarus died. Now the “if only” attitude begins. Mary and Martha both tell Jesus at separate times, “If you had been here our brother would not have died.”

Earlier in John chapter 11 it gives us insight why the Lord was taking His time going to Lazarus.  John 11:But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.”[1]

Then Jesus gives us more insight from John 11:14So he told them (The disciples) plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.[2]

A “Roll the Stone Away” Miracle

As Jesus arrives, he speaks with both Mary and Martha, who are grieving over the loss of their brother. They both tell Jesus their brother would not have died if he could have been there sooner. They had no idea of the miracle they were about to witness. Lazarus was in the tomb with a large stone in front of it. Jesus calls for the stone to be rolled away.

John 11:39But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.” 40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” 41 So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” 43 Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”

Jesus prayed and then the stone was rolled away, and Lazarus came to life. Jesus had brought back others from death, Jairus’s daughter (Matt. 9:18-26) and the widow’s son (Luke 7:11-17). But after four days in the grave in a hot climate, decay would have begun.

Only Jesus Can Roll our Stones Away

This miracle seemed impossible. But remember nothing is impossible with God. No one had anticipated what Jesus would do because they assumed it was impossible.

In other Scripture, God comments on what He can do. Jeremiah 32:26 Then this message came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 27 “I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?[3]What is going on in your life that is impossible for you, but possible for God?

To hear more about Mary and Martha’s encounter with Jesus, listen here:

[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

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