A Prayer for Dishing Out Truth
By Liz Curtis Higgs
‘Yes, Lord,’ she replied, ‘I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.’” John 11:27 (NIV)
Over the centuries, Martha has gotten a bum rap for wanting her sister, Mary of Bethany, to stop sitting at the feet of Jesus and start serving the meal. “Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40, NIV) Martha demanded of their guest of honor.
Jesus was gentle with Martha, but firm. “You are worried and upset about many things” (Luke 10:41, NIV), the Lord told her, discerning the real problem — Martha thought her efforts were of greater significance than Mary’s. Those of us who are talkers and doers often discount others who are listeners and thinkers. The good news is, Martha learned from Mary’s example, and most of all, from their Master Teacher.
The next time Jesus came to Bethany — summoned by both sisters on behalf of their dying brother, Lazarus — Martha leaped to her feet and ran out to greet Him. “‘Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died’” (John 11:21, NIV).
Jesus pushed her faith to the next level in telling her “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25b, NIV) Then He made a mind-boggling, eternity-spanning promise that “whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” (John 11:26a, NIV) Finally, He asked Martha the Big Question, the one we all must answer: “Do you believe this?” (John 11:26b, NIV)
This means all of it: Who He is, and why He came and what that means for us.
Martha’s response was swift and sure, a courageous expression of faith and our key verse today: “‘Yes, Lord,’ she replied, ‘I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world’” (John 11:27).
Go, Martha! When Jesus said, “I am,” she affirmed, “You are.” Her “I believe” confession is remarkable because she stated His title, His divine nature and His calling. Neither Peter nor John made this bold proclamation that day in Bethany. But a woman did. God’s woman.
Martha’s faith was now as solid and unshakable as her sister Mary’s. She who served the food also dished out the truth: “It is for Your coming that the world has waited” (John 11:27, AMPC).
What Martha did is something you and I can do as well: Profess our faith. Proclaim His truth. Promote His kingdom. Jesus expects and deserves nothing less than our total commitment. We don’t all need to be dazzling hostesses or confident cooks, just women who throw open the doors of our hearts and make Him welcome.
Lord, teach us how to be as faith-filled as Martha, and trust Your promises, no matter how impossible they seem. Remind us that with You all things are possible, including Your resurrection and ours. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Editor’s Note: Content taken from the Encouragement for Today devotional, “A Woman Who Dishes Out the Truth,” written by Liz Curtis Higgs. You can read that piece in full here. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Tuesday, 18 February 2020.