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1-8/Wk2/Ch2: Martha, the Broken Hearted 
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Post 1-8/Wk2/Ch2: Martha, the Broken Hearted
Please Post Reply any thoughts on this chapter, what you liked or disliked about it, the Truths that resonated with your Spirit - OR - answer the chapter questions for group discussion below:

1. Have you ever stood beside someone you love in a hospital and wondered where God was when you needed him? Describe that time.

2. Martha was a friend to Jesus, but deep down she didn't fully commit her heart to trusting him. How does distrust affect a friendship?

3. Jesus showed an unwavering friendship towards Martha and Mary. How do you feel when a friend sits with you and cries with you during hard times?



Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:46 am
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Post Re: 1-8/Wk2/Ch2: Martha, the Broken Hearted
In this chapter Lazarus was described as being only 16 when he came down with the illness that led to his death.He devoted his life at a young age to helping the sick in Bethany. Throughout the chapter both his sisters, Martha and Mary, knew that their friend Jesus could heal Lazarus, but would Jesus get there in time? Of course He purposefully didn't get there in time and the rest is Biblical history, but what kept coming to my mind is something I've observed over the last 20 years or so. Many people, especially if they are actively serving the Lord in some capacity, believe the Lord will supernaturally heal them or their loved ones of a physical ailment. Some even go so far as to travel abroad to visit a shrine to claim their healing. I have never seen any one of these people actually get supernaturally physically healed. I believe the Lord is more interested in our spiritual healing than physical healing. Even though I haven't seen one myself, I'm sure supernatural physical healings still do happen in this world, but at the risk of the one healed thinking they earned it, or deserved it, or was more special to God than anyone else because of it. I've seen the Holy Spirit work powerfully through a physical ailment. There was a sweet older lady at my church who, at some point in her life, had 4 strokes and 3 heart attacks. She was paralyzed on one side of her body and as a result could only walk in baby steps, but she attended morning Mass every day and hobbled the long way to the very first pew nearest the altar, every day. Her example sent a powerful message to those of us who would stay home from church because of the sniffles. In 2 Cor 12:9 the Lord said to Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." Amen.



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Harry Marks
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:38 pm
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Post Re: 1-8/Wk2/Ch2: Martha, the Broken Hearted
It is a very special gift when you have a friend or friends who are unwavering and are there for you during the hard times. Our Lord loved Lazarus so much that he wept. He knew how important real friendship is. I know that when I allow myself to be vulnerable and real with a trusted...and that is the key word...friend I feel the loving consolation of the Lord.



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Harry Marks, Jan_wow
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:02 pm
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Post Re: 1-8/Wk2/Ch2: Martha, the Broken Hearted
I once went through a time when two friends were clashing wills. I felt I needed to reassure both that I trusted them, but in each case I had to clarify that my trust did not extend to taking sides against the other.

Jesus is easier to trust completely!



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Annedool, Jan_wow
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:51 am
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Post Re: 1-8/Wk2/Ch2: Martha, the Broken Hearted
Annedool wrote:
It is a very special gift when you have a friend or friends who are unwavering and are there for you during the hard times. Our Lord loved Lazarus so much that he wept. He knew how important real friendship is. I know that when I allow myself to be vulnerable and real with a trusted...and that is the key word...friend I feel the loving consolation of the Lord.


Romans 12:15 - Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

I love that our Lord experienced the same emotions we do during His time here on earth. That's why I have more of a personal relationship with the Jesus person of the Trinity, than with God or the Holy Spirit, because Jesus understands from personal experience, and He relays His loving consolation, borne of His earthly experience, through us to others.



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Annedool, Harry Marks
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:32 pm
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Post Re: 1-8/Wk2/Ch2: Martha, the Broken Hearted
Harry Marks wrote:
I once went through a time when two friends were clashing wills. I felt I needed to reassure both that I trusted them, but in each case I had to clarify that my trust did not extend to taking sides against the other.

Jesus is easier to trust completely!



Yes, Jesus is a lot easier to trust completely. When I was a child, I was very hurt by friends excluding me and talking about me behind my back, so from high school until I was about 49, I made sure to make friends with people who would never know each other unless I introduced them - which I never did. Now that I look back on it, I don't know how I pulled it off, but I was very successful at it. Then I heard a sermon about how getting involved with people is risky and messy, but that's what we are all called to do, and God works through that messiness to bring about His purposes here on earth. I felt like the Lord was speaking to my heart directly through that sermon, telling me "It's time for you to take some risks with people." I gradually joined groups at church and made friends with people that knew each other. I was uncomfortable to say the least, but persevered, trying not to share too much information about myself in order to lessen the risk of being talked about or rejected. Then the Lord led me to be a mentor in a women's spiritual mentoring ministry at the church I attended when I was 50. I was terrified because I knew I must pour out my heart and soul to the mentees assigned to me, and if I kept selfishly protecting myself from hurt, that I would limit the Lord's work through me. At that time in my life I came upon this scripture and it completely changed my life:

John 2:24 - But Jesus did not commit himself to them, because he knew all men,

I thought, wow, because Jesus knew people's hearts, He was able to love and teach and be vulnerable, and at the same time not connect with their shifting feelings/attitudes towards Him - that's how I interpreted it. I prayed, "Lord, please give me that, I need it to do the work You want me to do, so please, please, please do that work in me!" At that very moment, He did. Ever since that day I take risks by spiritually pouring myself into people the Lord sends, and yes, things can get messy, and yes, people talk about me behind my back and reject me . . . but I am not connected to anyone's feelings or attitudes towards me . . . so the Lord can and has worked in the risks and the messes to bring about His will and purpose for each situation. :)



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Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:33 pm
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Post Re: 1-8/Wk2/Ch2: Martha, the Broken Hearted
Jan_wow wrote:
Then I heard a sermon about how getting involved with people is risky and messy, but that's what we are all called to do, and God works through that messiness to bring about His purposes here on earth. I felt like the Lord was speaking to my heart directly through that sermon, telling me "It's time for you to take some risks with people."

Your story is very helpful to me. I really believe this about God working through the messiness. Thanks!



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Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:42 pm
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Post Re: 1-8/Wk2/Ch2: Martha, the Broken Hearted
This chapter spoke volumes to me. First, Martha was so human in her reactions and actions. So like us to lash out. Her anger, her mistrust, her judgmental actions, whether it was verbal or behavioral. She wanted her brother healed. The betrayal that Jesus did not come immediately. She wanted to Jesus now not later. She wanted His healing for her brother. Her faith was shaken. She had come to the point where she was a stagnant believer, did acts of mercy for others, was always there for others and she, Mary and Lazarus were the go to people to uplift others spiritually. Now, her brother has died. She reacts in spurts of anger and disbelief. She is in mourning. She finds fault with her sister, Jesus and anyone who tries to console her. The arrival of Jesus brings back the suppressed hope that maybe he can do something. But the personal & deep relationship between Jesus and this family is so intense that the love and compassion flows through tears down his face. When He sees Martha, He knows the feelings she has harbored against Him. It hurts him but He knows that this is a premonition of His own death but He will suffer an unimaginable ghastly death.
When Simon gives his dinner for Jesus, something he has wanted to do for quite awhile, the guest arrives. The reaction of Martha and Simon are priceless. This woman is an outcast, a sinner, a woman with a tainted past. Oh my, how quickly we all forget who we are! Simon had been a leper. He of all people knew what it was like to be shunned. Martha, Mary and Lazarus lived in Bethany where people moved to when not accepted in other communities. Now, their judgmental attitude raises its ugly head. The pecking order even with outcasts or better yet with Jesus' followers. Hmm, what happened to love thy neighbor as thy self? I know many of us have experienced this behavior or sadly have inflicted this attitude on others. But now, they are aghast at the magnitude of this "outcast woman" action of washing the feet of Jesus with an expensive oil mixed her tears of sorrow. Drying His feet with her hair, noticing that she is loved by her Jesus, the Redeemer but unwelcomed by many of His followers. How ironic. Simon, is so caught up in wanting this dinner to be perfect for Him that Simon forgets to allow the ebb of love emit through a river of love for all. Not to be condescending to others. Again, to be Christ like and love those who may be different in our eyes. But we are all sinners, we all have our crosses to carry. Why can't we help those around us by helping them with their own crosses. A true friend is there for you. You will come across many "friends" or acquaintances but true friends are few and sometimes there maybe only one who you know you can trust, confide, be accepting, and know they may be giving you advice that you may not want to hear much less contemplate. But in the end, you know. It's all about love.



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Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:08 am
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Post Re: 1-8/Wk2/Ch2: Martha, the Broken Hearted
marian wrote:
She had come to the point where she was a stagnant believer, did acts of mercy for others, was always there for others and she, Mary and Lazarus were the go to people to uplift others spiritually. Now, her brother has died. She reacts in spurts of anger and disbelief. She is in mourning. She finds fault with her sister, Jesus and anyone who tries to console her. The arrival of Jesus brings back the suppressed hope that maybe he can do something. But the personal & deep relationship between Jesus and this family is so intense that the love and compassion flows through tears down his face. When He sees Martha, He knows the feelings she has harbored against Him.


In hardship, grief, suffering, and pain is when the rubber meets the road in our faith. That's when we know how deep our faith really is or is not. God knows all along and He brings it to our attention in His timing.


marian wrote:
When Simon gives his dinner for Jesus, something he has wanted to do for quite awhile, the guest arrives. The reaction of Martha and Simon are priceless. This woman is an outcast, a sinner, a woman with a tainted past. Oh my, how quickly we all forget who we are! Simon had been a leper. He of all people knew what it was like to be shunned.


It sounds like there was still a little bit of a 'pharisee' in Simon. He was physically healed but the woman was spiritually healed through the forgiveness of Jesus. He didn't make the connection at first, until the Lord convicted him.


marian wrote:
noticing that she is loved by her Jesus, the Redeemer but unwelcomed by many of His followers. How ironic.


I think many of Jesus' followers were followers in name only until after the Holy Spirit descended upon them. Even today, one can look like a true disciple of Jesus, and act like a true disciple of Jesus, but not be a true disciple of Jesus . . . until the Holy Spirit descends on that person.


marian wrote:
Simon, is so caught up in wanting this dinner to be perfect for Him that Simon forgets to allow the ebb of love emit through a river of love for all. Not to be condescending to others. Again, to be Christ like and love those who may be different in our eyes. But we are all sinners, we all have our crosses to carry. Why can't we help those around us by helping them with their own crosses.


Again, Simon's pharisaic tendencies come through in his desire for perfection, and Jesus, knowing Simon's heart, squashed every last ounce of pharisaical pride in Simon through the woman's act of love and gratitude. This happens a lot in our various ministries for the Lord. We take into Christian ministry the skills that make us successful professionally, whether it be organizational, teamwork, management, goal setting, initiative and drive, creativity, vision, etc., and it inevitably happens in some way, shape, or form, Jesus Christ squashes our pride in that earthly skill or mindset and teaches us His better way.

marian wrote:
A true friend is there for you. You will come across many "friends" or acquaintances but true friends are few and sometimes there maybe only one who you know you can trust, confide, be accepting, and know they may be giving you advice that you may not want to hear much less contemplate. But in the end, you know. It's all about love.


So very true. I believe that Jesus Christ is our only true friend, and through that perfect friendship in Jesus we can navigate, understand and forgive the inadequacies of our less than perfect relationships here on earth.



Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:11 pm
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Post Re: 1-8/Wk2/Ch2: Martha, the Broken Hearted
Jan_wow wrote:
In hardship, grief, suffering, and pain is when the rubber meets the road in our faith. That's when we know how deep our faith really is or is not. God knows all along and He brings it to our attention in His timing.
Repeatedly.
Jan_wow wrote:
We take into Christian ministry the skills that make us successful professionally, whether it be organizational, teamwork, management, goal setting, initiative and drive, creativity, vision, etc., and it inevitably happens in some way, shape, or form, Jesus Christ squashes our pride in that earthly skill or mindset and teaches us His better way.
Someone wise once pointed out to me that the gifts of the Spirit are for the body. Sometimes they align with our skills, but sometimes something very different emerges when we seek to bear fruit for the body of Christ. I suspect that nothing done mainly from pride is blessed by the Spirit (at least that has been the case for my efforts), but as soon as we are focused on the needs of others, the Spirit will use that.



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Post Re: 1-8/Wk2/Ch2: Martha, the Broken Hearted
Jesus is always there for us and we have to keep our faith and believe that he will always make things good for us. He showed us with what he did in bringing Lazarus back to life.



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Post Re: 1-8/Wk2/Ch2: Martha, the Broken Hearted
Harry Marks wrote:
Someone wise once pointed out to me that the gifts of the Spirit are for the body. Sometimes they align with our skills, but sometimes something very different emerges when we seek to bear fruit for the body of Christ. I suspect that nothing done mainly from pride is blessed by the Spirit (at least that has been the case for my efforts), but as soon as we are focused on the needs of others, the Spirit will use that.


Very insightful post, thank you!

The gifts of the Holy Spirit according to Isaiah 11:2 are - wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge and fear of the Lord.

The fruits of the Holy Spirit according to Galations 5:22-23 are - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.


In my experience serving the Lord, He uses the gifts and the fruits of the Spirit within me much more than any skill set acquired here on earth.



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Post Re: 1-8/Wk2/Ch2: Martha, the Broken Hearted
C Boland wrote:
Jesus is always there for us and we have to keep our faith and believe that he will always make things good for us. He showed us with what he did in bringing Lazarus back to life.


Amen Sister!

Romans 8:28
We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.



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Post Re: 1-8/Wk2/Ch2: Martha, the Broken Hearted
LauraK wrote:
I had no idea Lazarus was a young boy. I thought he was an old sick man!!
And the part where Jesus was crying. I did not like that for some reason.
I understand what her point was. That Jesus would cry with us.
I guess I never thought of that.
Xoxo


What especially comforts me about Jesus crying is, as you implied, that He can relate to us when we are sorrowful. Because of His incarnation, He experienced all the emotions we have so we can relate to Him and seek comfort in Him.

I think in the book Lazarus is 16 when dies - but remember the book is fiction. I did some research online and it looks like the general consensus is that Lazarus was around 30 years of age when he died the first time and 60 when he died the second time. That would be the worst thing about being resurrected - you have to die twice. Here's a link to some interesting traditions on the topic:

http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2013/04 ... -rose.html



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