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John36 – it can be done

So, having come, Jesus found him already having had four days in the tomb. (John 11: 17)
Who was the “him” who’d “had four days in the tomb"? It was a man named Lazarus whose two sisters, Martha and Mary, lived with him in Bethany a couple of miles from the centre of Jerusalem around AD 30. 

John’s eye-witness first century biography of Jesus reported that Jesus, hearing of Lazarus’ terminal illness, had delayed for two days before setting out on his two-day journey to Bethany. 

In fact Bethany was near Jerusalem, around fifteen stadia. In fact, many from the Judeans had come towards Martha and Mary in order that they may console themselves concerning the brother. So Martha, when she heard that Jesus is coming, met him; in fact, Mary was sitting down in the house. 

The two sisters differ, one active towards Jesus, the other passive.

So Martha said towards Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother had not died. Even right now I discern that those things whatsoever you may ask God, God will give you.

Nevertheless, both sisters (see below) open with the same words to Jesus. “Lord, if you were here, my brother had not died.” Martha discerns something.

Jesus states to her, “Your brother will rise up.” Martha states to him, “I have discerned that he will rise up in the resurrection in the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I myself am the resurrection and the life. The one believing into me, even if he may die, will live, and everyone living and believing into me will never die into eternity.”

What Martha discerned did not include knowing that it can be done.

Jesus’ words to Martha are so important that they were read by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the funeral a few days ago  of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. 

“You do believe this?” She states to him, “Yes, Lord, I myself have believed that you yourself are the Christ, the Son of God, who comes into the world.” 

Tell me, does Martha believe it can be done? Can the Son of God do it?

And, having said these things, she came away and secretly called her sister Mary, saying, “The Teacher is present and he calls you.” In fact, that one, when she heard, rose up quickly and came towards him. In fact, Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had gone to meet him. So the Judeans, those being with her in the house and consoling her, having seen Mary—that she quickly rose up and came out—followed her, assuming that she is going away into the tomb in order that she may weep there. 

Now Mary responds to Jesus’ personal call to her, through Martha, in their great sorrow.  

So Mary, when she came where Jesus was, having seen him, fell towards his feet, stating to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother had not died.” 

Does Mary believe it can be done? Does she know who Jesus really is?

So Jesus, when he saw her weeping and the Judeans having come to her weeping, seriously challenged himself in the spirit and disturbed himself. And he said, “Where have you set him down?” They state to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. 

Why was he “seriously challenged”. Why “disturbed in himself”? Why weep?

‘Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the slanderous one— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.’ (From a circular letter to Hebrew Christians c. AD 60)
So the Judeans were stating, “Look how he befriended him!” In fact some from them said, “Was not this one, the opener of the eyes of the blind, able to do that - and this one may not have died?” 

What was he “able to do” so that we “may never die into eternity”? Did he?

Sinner Syvret

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