Via ASSIST News Service

"Then Jesus said, 'Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?" - John 11:40 (NIV).

In church

PICTURE: Ben White/Unsplash

The social media site, Facebook, was abuzz several weeks ago with users posting and sending private messages about a hacker. I was bombarded with messages. It was irritating. After the third message, I googled the “supposed” scammer’s name and discovered the rumor about this fake account had been circulating for years. It was a hoax.

Although I shared the deception with others, the messages continued. I signed off, hoping to avoid more notices. The messages, fueled by fears of a hacked account, kept circulating for several days before dying down. It’s not the first time someone has tried to deceive the public and it won’t be the last.

As I pondered people’s tendency to believe what they read on social media, I recalled what Jesus told Martha in John 11:40. Lazarus had died. His sisters, Mary and Martha, were grieving and couldn’t understand why their friend, Jesus, had not arrived sooner to save him.

Why had their friend not hurried to Lazarus’ side? They’d heard Jesus speak. They’d entertained Him in their home. They just knew He would rush to help their ill brother. But that wasn’t part of Jesus’ plan.

Raising of Lazarus Jesus delayed His trip to Bethany for two days. When He told His disciples it was time to return, they questioned His decision, citing the possibility of trouble with the Jews. The disciples misunderstood, thinking Lazarus was ill and sleeping it off.

Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him” (John 11:14-15).

Believe. That word speaks volumes. But it wasn’t just for the disciples’ sake. When Jesus arrived, He was confronted by Martha. She said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

Jesus replied, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha didn’t understand. I’m sure we would have reacted likewise. Jesus responded, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Martha did believe Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God. But what Jesus was about to do would provide concrete proof. Before He raised Lazarus from the dead, Jesus spoke about the power and necessity of belief.

He told Martha, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God.”

We can see the glory of God all around us. I’m amazed when I get a glimpse of His work in my life and the lives of others. I’m astounded by the beauty of His creation. It’s all around us in the flight of an eagle, the flutter of a hummingbird’s wings and the sound of Cicadas in mid-summer.

Belief is a choice. What do you believe?