Growing Deeper As Jesus’ Disciple

Where do you go when there’s loss?  When dreams die, people die and you’re reeling in pain?

“If only you’d been here Lord…”

Knowing the power of God, believing fully in His ability to intervene, only makes things worse.

When Martha hears Jesus finally comes, she goes to him, engaging with him in disappointment and pain but also hope.  Mary remains seated.

Every other time in the Bible when we see Mary, she is at Jesus’ feet, listening, lamenting, worshipping.

But not this time.

Not until Martha tells her, “The teacher is here and he is calling for you,” does she go to him and fall at his feet.

“Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.”

She weeps.  Jesus weeps.

But in Greek two different words are used.  Mary’s weeping (Klaio) is a loud expression of grief, weeping, wailing, loudly crying, a reaction toward death.  But Jesus sheds a tear (dakruo).  He wasn’t out of control.  In fact the only time we’re ever told he wailed is in Luke 19:41 when he wept over Jerusalem’s rejection of all God did for her.  

What makes Jesus cry?  Unbelief.

It’s not that he doesn’t care.

In fact we’re told because, “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus,” he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.”

He’s calling them into deeper intimacy.  

Will you trust me, even when things don’t go the way you want?  Even when I don’t do what you want?  Even in your pain?

To be a disciple is to be a follower and a learner.

It’s one thing to follow Jesus when he’s going the way you want to go, a whole other to do so when his way is not our way, especially when his way leads to death.

Not long after this, Jesus is the one falling on his face, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

This is the heart of surrender. 

The place where discipleship truly begins.  

“Not as I will, but as you will.” 

For how can you follow someone, let alone learn from them if you don’t go where they go, but instead go your own way?

Mary and Martha assumed they knew what Jesus would do.  When he didn’t, little did they realize he was at work doing something far greater than they could imagine!

And this was only the beginning…

Can it ever be powerful to consider: Where am I?  When the story of my life takes an unexpected turn… when pain and suffering flood in… Do I remain seated?  Or do I run to Jesus?  Am I truly his disciple, willing to follow Him when it’s not at all the way I want to go?  Even when I don’t understand?  

How do you respond when he calls you deeper?  For this is the way of the cross.



Growing Deeper As Jesus’ Disciple

Pause:  Read John 11:1-46.  Write below one verse that stands out to you.


Ponder:  Why did this verse catch your attention?  What comes to mind as you consider this verse in depth?  Write your thoughts below.  If questions arise, be sure to write those down as well as any answers that may come to mind.  Thoughtfully ponder what’s being communicated here.


Prayerfully Seek:  How does this relate to your life?  What do you sense the Lord wants you to do in response to this?  What could it practically look like for you to do this?