Friends experience life together, walking alongside each other through the good times and the bad; when a family crisis arose, Lazarus died, Jesus was a friend.
Martha, this strong woman, had an opportunity to prove that her friendship with Jesus had changed her. Her words show us that her thinking had been transformed from the lower to the upper story. Neither women are afraid to let Jesus know they recognize His power, “if you’d been here he wouldn’t have died,” but in contrast, let’s examine their responses.
Martha realized Jesus was coming and went to meet Him outside the village and in that conversation she declared words of faith.
But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”
“I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
“Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” John 11:22, 24, 27 ESV
Mary remained in the house.
Notice the words know and believe; Martha’s transformed mind allowed her to move from lower story thinking of Lazarus’ physical death into the upper story thinking of eternal life. Her words are evidence that the perception of her family crisis needed to move from physical to spiritual truth and she’s willing to change. Are you? Is there a family crisis you’re experiencing that needs a bolt of lightening faith? This story can do it.
Jesus responded to Martha’s proclamations by affirming and moving her into resurrection faith. The word believe is used by Jesus three times:
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” John 11:25-27 ESV
Paul tells us in 2 Cor. 4:4 that the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers; they don’t have renewed minds, transformed thinking, or spiritual discernment like Martha. They’re still operating in the lower story. Only by faith and trust in our risen Savior can we begin to walk in the Spirit as Martha shows us.
Paul speaks to this issue in 1 Cor. 2:9-16 where he instructs believers that only by the Spirit of God can we receive revelation and understanding. It’s not our natural thinking, the lower story, but our spiritual perception, the upper story, that transforms us.
The ‘natural person’ is one who is led by his physical eyes, pseukee in Greek, the words ‘psyche’ and ‘psychotic’ are derived from here. In contrast, we are to be led by our spiritual eyes, pneuma or spirit. The word ‘pneumatic’, driven by air, the Holy Spirit, should be our description.
Where are your thoughts today, psychotic or pneumatic? Natural or spiritual thinking? The choice is yours.