Frustration.. such a great emotion huh? Frustration is defined as "the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of inability to change or achieve something" .. the inability to change something.. or the prevention of the progress, success, or fulfillment of something.....wow.. both of these definitions hit home in my life right now. Not being able to become a "pastor" when I know that God has called me to speak & teach = FRUSTRATION. The inability to change the minds and hearts of those that are decision-making place is frustrating and its even more frustrating that they serve a person named Jesus too! I heard a pastor from a church in LA speak this weekend and he said " nothing in your life is wasted" what we believe is wasted life , a missed opportunity, a time of being stuck in one place, our goals always seeming so far away, the bad decision we make.. periods that we call wasted, God uses as fertilizers for growth and that includes these times id often we say things like " Jesus. Seriously.. now.. are you there" "Got. Why... come on...." " IS this really happening".. "Jesus...where are you"
Tonight’s talk is Jesus is frustrated(ing). bold I know.. true statement ..yes...
And we aren’t new to this frustration, it has been happening since before the bible was written. The old testament is full of frustration. God to his people and God's people to Him. The new testament as well we will look at two examples one from each perspective .. Jesus's friends frustrated with Jesus and Jesus himself frustration with his friends. It’s reality. It's our reality and that is never wasted on Jesus
One of my favorite stories and one of the clearest examples of frustration we experience with Jesus… when Jesus is frustrating... John.. now I love John because John because John is an insecure probably frustrated man.. why else is his writing would he feel the need to be " the disciple whom Jesus loved..”.. ok anyway... John 11... backstory here is Jesus has a trifecta of besties... Martha, Mary, and their brother Laurus.. these four were tight. Jesus rested at their home, their house was always open to Jesus and he took solitude there. And Lazarus was his dude. No doubt. there is a bond between Lazarus and Jesus. Now Jesus is off doing ministry...what Jesus does and he gets word.. from M&M.. our brother is sick...Jesus.. you have to come, he is dying... Now M&M know that Jesus is the Messiah they have seen his miracles….surely he will come at once to heal their brother.. his dude.... they are all so close after all……
John tells us “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was” (John 11:5–6).The word “so” connecting those two sentences is stunning. The most loving thing Jesus could do at that moment was to let Lazarus die. But it didn’t look or feel like love to Martha. Martha was anticipating Jesus to change the health of Lazarus
Wait; lets pause here... he waited two days where he was.. Jesus didn’t move.. seriously.... now its not like you called an uber and hopped on 95 to CDA.. it took Jesus days to travel back to their house. And he had already done "nothing" for two days.
Finally after days of silence Martha hears the words she has been waiting for and now are too late “Martha, Jesus has come. He’s near the village.”
Martha’s emotions collided. I am sure Martha got all blotchy like how I get when I am upset and then came the reality of grief and disappointment. Lazarus had died four days earlier. She had prayed desperately that Jesus would come in time. God had not answered her prayers. What could Jesus do now?
And yet… if anyone could do something, Jesus could. He had the words of eternal life (John 6:68). Martha hurried out.
When she saw Jesus, she could not restrain her grief and love. She collapsed at his feet and sobbed, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
I and yet in the horrible days of Lazarus’s agonizing illness and in the dark misery of the days following his death, Martha did not know what God was doing. He seemed silent and unresponsive. Jesus didn’t come. It’s likely that she knew word had reached him. She was frustrated, disappointed, and overwhelmed with grief. She knew she did not have the ability to change this situation but she knew that Jesus did.
And yet, Jesus delayed precisely because he loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus. He knew that Lazarus’s death and resurrection would give maximum glory to God and his friends would all experience maximum joy in that glory. and even so... when he arrives in town and all this frustration and emotion is happening the John records the shortest verse in the bible " Jesus wept". It would make all their suffering including Jesus broken heart seem light and momentary.
After Martha has her meltdown, Jesus responds in such kindness... Jesus lays his hands on her head.. (keep your head up) and she responds with frustration gone
“But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”
Jesus gently lifted Martha’s eyes and looked at her with affectionate intensity. “Your brother will rise again.”
He replied, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”The power with which Jesus spoke caused faith to swell in Martha’s soul. .She answered, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.
Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!
The time of delay and the emotions were not wasted. Jesus knew exactly how was going to move for his friend and for the others around. Martha was frustrated with Jesus and it did not scare or stop Jesus from working and delivering for her. And even after Martha says.. I believe that you can do anything.. a couple of minutes later she is like .. wait it smells bad... he is pretty ripe Jesus are sure? Frustration and doubt are never far apart from each other and neither is the patience and power of Jesus
Jesus is not afraid of our frustration matter of fact he is ready to do something through and in it.