John 11:25-27 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, (26) and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?" (27) She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world."
The common belief of Judaism in this period was that the dead would be raised bodily at the end; indeed, Pharisees considered those who denied this doctrine (specifically Sadducees) to be damned for doing so.
The time and consolation of an important religious teacher who had come a long distance would be especially meaningful, though local students and teachers of the law joined in funeral processions when it was possible for them to do so. Greek and Roman philosophers emphasized sobriety and remaining calm and untroubled by bereavement; Jesus prefers the traditional Jewish form of expressing grief.
Jesus tells Martha, "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?"
Martha answers, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world."
Jesus is telling Martha that He can raise the dead miraculously, right now. And asks Martha if she believed this. Martha assured Jesus that she believed He was the Son of God, the Messiah. She didn't mention whether she believed specifically whether Jesus could do the miraculous for her brother.
As I contemptlated this, I begin to think of reasons that she stopped just short of saying, "Yes Lord, I believe You can miraculously raise the dead, particularly my brother!"
Maybe the problem seemed too big. Maybe she couldn't get past the offense of Jesus not coming sooner. Or maybe it was because she had never seen the dead raised before. Whatever the case may have been, we know she believed in Jesus, she just wasn't sure that He could do what He said He could do.
Too often we are like that. We believe Jesus for salvation, forgivness for our sins, but stop just short of believing that He can work the miraculous in our life. Maybe you are addicted to drugs, alcohol, pornography, or gambling...do you believe Jesus can miraculously deliver you?
What about the disease in your body? Do you believe He can heal you? Fear? Worry? Depression? Broken family? Finances?
Jesus is truly the same yesterday, today and forever. He is still in the miracle working business. Do you believe? "Yes Lord I believe, help me in my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24)
"Lord, I am trying to believe, I really am. But there are times the situation seems so great, that I can't help but struggle with unbelief. Like the father of Mark 9:24 I declare 'Lord I believe, but help my unbelief!' I know the struggle. I have often been in the midst of it. I understand Martha stopping just short of complete belief in Your ability to perform the supernatural. I want to believe...I really do, but at times I struggle with unbelief. I thank You that You are still working on me! I believe Lord! Help my unbelief today. In Jesus' name, amen!"