I initially wrote this several months ago, yet after a beautiful and encouraging sermon today from the same passage, I felt stirred to tweak this slightly and repost it here. May we all whisper these powerful words tonight: “Come and see….”
“Come and see, Lord” John 11:34
What beautiful, amazing, healing words! Words that I had never really paid attention to, but powerful words intended to teach us a valuable lesson about healing.
Mary and Martha were devastated. Their brother was dead. And although they had sent a message to Jesus days earlier, He hadn’t come. “If only He had come,” they lamented, “Lazarus would still be alive.”
But Jesus hadn’t come right away. Instead, He lingered, knowing full well that Lazarus would die.
When Jesus did arrive, it was to town in mourning. Before He had even fully crossed into the city gates He was met by Martha—a grieving, heartbroken Martha. The moment Martha heard Jesus was nearby she ran to Him. Yet we are told that Mary stayed home.
Can’t you just picture the scene? Martha, desperate to do something, runs to the Teacher. Her grief propels her forward. Needing answers. Needing to be heard. Mary however feels swallowed up by her grief. Unable to move. Paralyzed by sorrow.
Martha runs from the house, maybe even calling out to Mary. She understands Mary’s need to stay home, but she herself must go. She must try and understand.
Martha gets right to the point, “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.”
If you had been here. Can’t you feel the heartbreak in those words?
Jesus why weren’t you here? Jesus why did you allow this to happen?
Yet, even in her grief we see the depths of Martha’s faith. Her very next words were, “But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
Martha seems to hint at knowing that Jesus could raise Lazarus from the dead, yet her words and actions that follow this conversation indicate she didn’t fully understand or trust that He actually could. She’s confused, yet trusting. Convinced, yet desperate.
What does Jesus do? Does He try to explain Himself? Does He get defensive? Does He give her a spiritual platitude?
No, He lovingly points her to truth—to Himself. He reveals who He is (“I AM the resurrection and the life..”)
And then He asks her, “Do you believe this?”
Martha believes though she doesn’t fully understand.
We don’t have to fully understand God’s plan. We just have to trust that He does.
Martha runs back to Mary.
Again, can’t you just picture the scene in your mind.
“Mary, Mary! Jesus is here!” I picture Mary laying on her bed, facing away from the door, just staring at the wall. Remembering. Crying. Feeling empty, yet full of pain. She hears Martha and feels somewhat annoyed at the intrusion. Yet her ears tingle and her feet move of their own accord when Martha again speaks, “He is asking for you.”
Suddenly the weight of grief is lifted by the warmth of Love. Mary’s heart engages before her brain has a chance. She flies out the door. A desperate longing to see Jesus overtakes her.
John tells us that Mary fell at Jesus’ feet when she reached Him. She could not hide her pain from the One who knows her—the One who created her—so why even try? She cries out the same words that Martha did just moments before, “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.”
Jesus looks at Mary. He sees her tear-stained cheeks. He hears her sobs. His own eyes fill with tears and then He asks, “Where have you laid him?”
Jesus knows where they have put Lazarus. He is God after all. He doesn’t need to ask, but He does. Why?
So that Mary (and the others) could invite Jesus into their pain.
Jesus wants us to invite Him into our pain.
“Come and see, Lord.” Mary and the others with her respond.
Come and see our pain.
Come and see our heartbreak.
Come and see our hurt.
Come and see our brokenness.
Come and see our fear.
Come and see…Come and see.
Oh that we would invite Jesus to come and see our hurts! We try to cover up our wounds. We try to numb our pain. We try to disguise our brokenness.
But Jesus stands beside us asking, “Where have you hidden it? Where have you placed it?”
What if we answered with, “Come and see Lord.”
Jesus had lingered those four days so that He could demonstrate God’s awesome power in raising Lazarus from the dead. But He had also lingered so that Mary, Martha, the crowd (and all of us) would learn that the key to healing is in inviting the Healer to come and see.
Jesus performed an amazing miracle that day—He brought a dead man back to life. But He did so much more!
He showed us how to live.
How to invite Him into our pain. Into our tragedies. And into our experiences so that He can speak truth, shine light, bring life, and free us from the shackles of fear and pain.
And once we invite Jesus to “Come and see” then He will do for us as He did for Martha and Mary…He will point us to the source of life. He will point us to Himself.
Real peace, real healing, real joy comes not from a lack of trials and difficulties, but from clinging to Jesus in the midst of them. Real life, real hope, real forgiveness comes from looking to the face of the One who Loves you more than any other, and trusting His good heart.
Let Jesus reveal Himself to you. Search His Word for His face, for His heart, His promises. He is there. He is waiting. He is strong enough.
Right now, right at this very moment, Jesus is waiting for you. Waiting for you to invite Him to “Come and see.” For then He can say, “Now come see Me.”
And that is where true healing will begin.
*photos from freebibleimages.com