Finding Comfort in Trials

Finding Comfort in Trials

Meditation on John 11: Part 1

Author: Daniel Amari/Wednesday, February 14, 2024/Categories: Christianity, The Bible, New Testament, John, John 11 series Daniel Amari, Christ, Resurrection, Christian Life, Article, English

Finding Comfort in Trials

Meditation on John 11: Part 1

Daniel Amari

 

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (John 11:1)

This is the first part of a series on John 11. The purpose of writing this series is to meditate on what John 11 has to say about the suffering and trials in Christian life. I am indebted to the various commentaries and audio messages about this topic, as they have ministered to me. I pray that the Lord will use these articles to minister to others.

John 11:1 introduces a significant trial—the illness of Lazarus. John assumes the reader's familiarity with Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha, all devoted followers of Jesus. The mutual love between Jesus and this family is evident. Importantly, Lazarus' illness was not ordinary; it demanded divine intervention due to its severity and danger.

I do not know the specific challenges you are currently facing. It might be an illness, the loss of a loved one, job insecurity, or other challenging circumstances. Christians, at various points, experience trials, and some can be exceptionally difficult and prolonged. These trials have the power to either positively transform us or negatively affect us. The narrative unfolds with Jesus entering the lives of a devoted Christian family grappling with an extremely challenging trial.

The mention of the village being associated with Mary and Martha in John 11:1 is not incidental in the Gospel of John, known for its purposeful and focused narrative. John only includes details directly relevant to the plot and events he describes. Therefore, the fact that the village is connected to Mary and Martha is significant and intentional.

The real question here is the intention of John when mentioning that fact about Martha and Mary. John is introducing the main characters for this chapter: Martha and Mary. It revolves around the lives of Martha and Mary, their plea to Jesus to come and heal Lazarus, the Lord's love for them, and their reciprocal love for Him. The narrative delves into their struggles with Jesus and the fascinating dialogues they share. Evidently, Mary and Martha take center stage as the ones who felt abandoned by the Lord during this difficult time, seeking answers. The chapter unfolds a profound exploration of their relationship with Jesus.

Why is this significant? Often, we associate John chapter 11 with Lazarus: Lazarus died and then he was raised up. The reality is that this narrative is more about Martha and Mary, with the Lord actively ministering to them. Yes, there is a miracle of resurrection, but the central focus is on the personal ministry of Christ to Martha and Mary.

If you are currently facing a trial, consider viewing yourself from the perspective of Mary and Martha. Even if you are the one dealing with illness, you might find yourself asking the same questions and experiencing similar emotions as Martha and Mary did. A trial extends beyond the physical pain of an illness or the financial strain of unemployment; it encompasses a range of feelings, thoughts, and attitudes that only someone who has undergone a trial can truly understand.

To all the Marthas and Marys out there, know this: The Lord has not forgotten nor abandoned you. This chapter is dedicated to you.

 

Copyright 2024 by Daniel Amari. All Rights Reserved.

“Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.”

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Daniel Amari
Daniel Amari

Daniel Amari

Researcher in Islam, Christian Apologist, Author, Speaker

Other posts by Daniel Amari
Contact author Full biography

Full biography

President of the Religion Research Institute, Author, Researcher in Islam, Christian Apologist, Guest, Host and Co-host of scholarly apologetics shows on TV and Social Media. President of the Religion Research Institute, an evangelical scholarly ministry dedicated to comparative religion, Islamic research, and Christian apologetics. Master of arts in New testament with focus on Biblical languages and Textual Criticism.

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