The Shortest Verse

20 Mar

Imagine with me. Your brother is dying. His best friend, is the one you believe can save him from death’s clutches, is several days from you. You send word that your brother is near death’s door. Days go by with no word, no phone call, nothing. He finally dies after several days of waiting. You’re heart broken. Why didn’t he come? Thinking to yourself as a hot tear streaks down your cheek.

Four days go by and he finally arrives.

In John’s gospel we will never fully understand the grief Mary and Martha experienced in the death of their brother, Lazarus. They believed Jesus was the Son of God. They believed that if they had enough faith, Jesus would heal their brother before death claimed him. Yet, when Jesus didn’t arrive, and Lazarus died, they were heart broken. Both Martha then Mary confronted Jesus.

Jesus comforts them saying, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha understood that it would happen in the last days. Jesus’ mission was deeper than Martha’s thinking. His goal was to promote the Kingdom of God and his power over death.

33 When Jesus saw her (Mary) weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in the spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.  “Come and see Lord.” they replied.  Jesus wept.

When I look at the above passage most people take Jesus wept because his friend was dead. Doubt rose among the people. They didn’t believe any longer because death had its grip on Lazarus’ body.

How many times do we live in doubt and unbelief? We no longer believe God is going to do something in our lives simply because bad things have happened. The question we must ask is, “What in my heart is keeping me from hearing the voice of the Lord and moving forward in life?” Jesus simply asked, “Where have you laid him?” He wasn’t asking for total faith, he simply asked a question to spark their faith.

Their faith died with Lazarus. They were not looking to Jesus as the resurrection and life.

Their faith had died.

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone.”

Martha complained that the stench was too great to remove the stone. Lazarus had been dead four days after all. It was an excuse and Jesus wasn’t looking for defenses. Jesus only wanted belief and faith. 40 ”Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

God cannot move until we remove the stones of unbelief in our lives. Why? So we can walk in righteousness. God is calling us to become the walking dead to the world. Our thoughts should not be stuck on things of this world; rather our thought should be on the things of our Father.  When Jesus calls, will we answer?

Mary and Martha experienced the life Jesus can offer, so long as one simply believes. We live in a world where people all around us are walking dead to the things of God. Jesus is calling us to be that beacon of light to a world who desperately needs light. This is why the grace of God is so powerful. It pulls us up and out of the miry clay. It cleans us, shapes us and gives us a new perspective on life.

When Jesus called out in a loud voice, Lazarus rose from the grave. Jesus gave a command for his grave clothes to be removed so he can live. Are we going to help those around us by taking off their stinky grave clothes so they too may live their life?

Isn’t this what discipleship is all about? Helping people become like Jesus and in-turn help others become like Jesus? God’s desire is for people to follow after him, but if we continue to live a life of doubt and unbelief God cannot move.

My questions: Will you become a walking dead man for God? Will you remove the stones of doubt keeping your from hearing his voice? Are you going to take off the stinky grave clothes of the world and wholeheartedly follow in righteousness after Jesus?

If you answer yes to each of those questions, not only will you have new life, but also your life with your wife, children and others will exemplify Christ as you teach them to characterize their life after yours.

JB Siam

Jason attended Bethany College of Missions and graduated with a  Bachelor of Divinity degree from ACTS International Bible College. He serves as Media Director of Life Church in Eden Prairie, MN taking care of the graphic art  and video design for the church. He is also serving as the Young Adult Pastor and has a desire to preach the Gospel of  Jesus Christ.
Jason lives in Minneapolis, MN.

2 Responses to “The Shortest Verse”

  1. jbsisam March 20, 2014 at 07:59 #

    Reblogged this on Official Blog of J. B. Sisam and commented:
    Have you ever wondered what Jesus was thinking about when Lazarus died? have you been waiting for God to move in your life, and have wondered why you’ve seen nothing.

    take a look at my newest article on

  2. jbsisam March 20, 2014 at 08:54 #

    For those wondering the book these verse come from – I forgot to place in the article – JOHN 11 (NIV)

    I pray you all are blessed by the article.

    J. B. Sisam

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