Visio Divina for 4/4/11 – “Raising of Lazarus” – Day 2 (Meditating)


Ruminate on the word you were drawn to in yesterday’s scripture passage (John 7:53-8:11). What does the word or phrase you have chosen mean to you today?


The word that caught my attention today is “believe:” Jesus asks Martha if she believes what he has told her about himself.  Out of curiosity, I did a little research on that word.  One source I consulted stated that this word is found in John’s Gospel 99 times – much more than any of the other Gospels combined.  To believe is to trust, receive, and accept…without evidence.

I pondered what Jesus may have felt when he asked Martha if she believed him.  Jesus has shared with her something that is core to his very identity and being; he has just traveled through hostile territory to get there; and he knows that what he is about to do will seal his fate, as far as the Temple leaders, who want to kill him, are concerned.  Jesus knows his “hour” is fast approaching.  I get the sense here that Jesus literally aches for Martha to believe him: as if that bit of human solidarity and validation is of utmost importance for him at this moment.  It makes sense.  We all long to be believed, received, and accepted, when we risk sharing something intrinsic about ourselves.  Without this kind of validation, we can be left feeling unsettled, uncertain, and hurt – especially within a context of great stress and grief, as this is for Jesus.

Scripture doesn’t tell us what Jesus was feeling at this moment, but later in this passage we know that Jesus wept.  What an exquisitely beautiful, intimate, and very human response!  Jesus, God-incarnate, joins us in our deepest hurts – our “tombs” – and then proceeds to bring us to new life, beyond anything we could’ve imagined possible.  God is only limited by our belief…our faith.

What do you believe about Jesus?

–Amie Schumacher

©Raising of Lazarus, Donald Jackson 2002, The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota.  Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, © 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

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