A Nugget from New Life Network
(by Dr. Larry Ollison)
Scripture for the Day (March 3, 2017)
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Man has always underestimated the power of God. Even when Jesus was here on earth and even after He had performed miracle after miracle, His power was still doubted. And when He taught and told of the greatness of His Father, even those who believed and those who followed Him continually underestimated His power.
In the Bible in John 11, we are told about a very unique series of events. Lazarus, Mary, and Martha lived in the town of Bethany about two miles from Jerusalem, and they were close friends of Jesus. Lazarus became very sick and so his sisters, Mary and Martha, sent a message to Jesus. It said, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick” (v.3). It was at this point that Jesus did something that, at the time, seemed to everyone around Him to be totally out of character. When Jesus received this message that Lazarus was extremely sick, He stayed where He was for two days before leaving.
The world assumed that Jesus just shrugged off the message and then waited two days before He departed to the house of Mary and Martha. If this had happened today, people would have called Jesus insensitive. When Jesus arrived at Mary and Martha’s house, He was greeted on the road by Martha, who had heard that He was coming and went out to meet Him. She said “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (v. 20).Then in verse 23, Jesus told Martha, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha’s response was very religious. She said, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at that last day” (v. 24).
It was at this point that Martha drew a line with God. What I mean is that Martha put limits on the power of Jesus. She admitted that Jesus could have healed Lazarus if He had been there, but she believed that the current situation was even beyond the help of Jesus. Later in verse 33, Mary came to where Jesus was and fell at His feet. Then she said the same thing Martha had said. It was almost like a guilt trip. Mary said, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” Then Jesus groaned in the spirit and said, “Where have you laid him?” (v. 34).
Jesus went to the tomb and cried. The people who were there saw Him crying and criticized Him. Even the friends of the family believed Jesus could have kept Lazarus from dying but when He died, they drew the line. They put limits on the power of God.
Look at what Jesus said to them next: “Take away the stone” (v. 35). But that’s not all He said. “And looking up [Jesus] said, ‘Father, I thank you that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.’ Then he raised His voice and said, ‘Lazarus, come forth!'” (John 11:41-43).
Immediately Lazarus came out of the tomb. I’m sure everyone was shocked. Why? Because they had underestimated the power of God. So, the point is, when it seems like all is lost, when it seems like there is nothing that can be done, don’t limit God. Don’t underestimate God’s power to turn things around.
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