By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: July 29, 2015
July 29, 2015

Gospel JN 11:19-27

Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary
to comfort them about their brother [Lazarus, who had died].
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you.”
Jesus said to her,
“Your brother will rise.”
Martha said to him,
“I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”

Reflection:

In Luke, Chapter 8, we read about Martha as the busy hostess who chides her sister Mary for sitting quietly at Jesus’ feet while she does the household tasks.

Today in John’s gospel, we read that after their brother Lazarus died, “Mary sat at home.”

But the fiery, faith-filled Martha tells Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Martha goes on to witness her tremendous faith in Jesus by saying, “But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”

Martha knew that Jesus could have kept Lazarus from dying. She believed beyond any doubt that Jesus could bring her brother back to life.

We are told in scripture that we should pray with an expectant faith. “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24

To pray with an expectant faith is not to demand of God, but to pray with conviction that if what we ask for is unselfish and in keeping with His will, then God will answer our prayer in His own way and time.

Today’s gospel is an example.

Jesus could have healed Lazarus from afar.

He healed the centurion’s servant from afar. Matthew 8:5-13. He healed the Syrophoenician woman’s daughter from afar. Mark 7:24-30.

Undoubtedly, both Martha and Mary were praying fervently for Jesus to arrive in time to save their brother.

For his own reasons, Jesus did not choose to arrive before Lazarus died or to heal him from afar.

Yet, he answered Martha’s prayer in his own way and raised Lazarus from the dead.

Many times our prayers may seem to fall on deaf ears. But, God hears every prayer and answers it in accordance with what He knows to be best for all concerned.

Pray unselfishly with an expectant faith, and finish every prayer with the words, “If it be in keeping with your will, O’Lord.”


“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Matthew 7:7-8



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