Martha receives an A+ for clearly articulating sound doctrine and yet she failed to see that her Lord was currently at work in the world so that He may be glorified (see John 11:4). This is very convicting for me. My faith is so shallow that I expect little from Jesus. It’s Martha-itis: get your doctrine right and hunker down for the Second Coming. Scripture tells us that God continues to be at work in the world building His Church, convicting men of sin, righteousness and coming judgment, and restoring all of creation.
Now I’m not suggesting that we should be shouting “Lazarus come forth!” in local cemeteries. However, as I read the Bible, I get the very strong impression that our Lord is willing to do so much more in and through us than what we’ve come to anticipate. Where are the holiness, delight, sacrificial acts of service, faith, love, joy, peace, etc. that are to be the visible testimony of His bride—“the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints” (Revelation 19:8)? I’m afraid that if Christ were physically present here on earth, let’s say here in Bangor, He would rebuke me as He did His disciples when He said:
“O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:17-20 ESV)