In Bethany, Jesus met by his dear friend Martha at or near the cemetery where her brother Lazarus was buried. Her confidence in the Lord’s power to heal was not all diminished by Jesus not being there heal her brother before his passing. There is no hint of complaint or bitterness at Jesus not having been there to heal.
Martha said, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (vs. 21). These are the exact same words her sister Mary said a few minutes later when she arrived (vs. 33). They must have discussed this and built each other up in faith during the difficult time of their brother’s illness, death and burial.
Martha’s faith before Lazarus’ death was exactly the same as after it—and she wanted Jesus to know that, saying, “Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You” (vs. 22).
Jesus consoled her with the hope of the resurrection, saying, “Your brother will rise again” (vs. 23). This is that same message of hope that all believers share in times of grief—“Comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:18). Martha confessed her confidence “in the resurrection on the last day” (vs. 24), just as we do. But in this case, there would be more to it than just that.