"Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask." (John 11:21-22)This is an important statement by Martha because it explains the process of Jesus' miracles. "But now I know" indicates that Martha has been a student of Jesus' teachings, and understands the relationship between Jesus and God. She is clear, in other words, about Jesus' role in relation to God.
Martha knows where Jesus gets his power from
She is clear that Jesus and the Supreme Being and two independent persons. For Jesus to ask God to bring Lazarus' body back to life (bring his spirit-person back into his body) means first, that God is ultimately performing the miracle. And second, it means that Jesus is God's subordinate, since Jesus must ask the Supreme Being to do it. This elucidates Jesus' role as God's loving servant.
Martha has not confused the Supreme Being and Jesus, as so many of today's professional ecclesiastical sectarian teachers have. These teachers are claiming that Jesus is the Supreme Being. This is an abomination of Jesus' teachings and his whole life. It is completely offensive to Jesus, as Jesus stated directly:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Matt. 7:21-23)This statement confirms Martha's statement about Jesus' role and position in relation to God. Jesus is clearly stating that it isn't enough to be extolling and praising Jesus as "Lord, Lord." Even if someone is performing miracles and prophecy in the name of Jesus, Jesus does not accept them. He even says, "I never knew you." and "Away from me, you evildoers!" This illustrates clearly that Jesus is offended by those who worship Jesus as though he were God - essentially ignoring the Supreme Being.
Rather, Jesus says clearly that it is "only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven" who is pleasing to Jesus, and who "will enter the kingdom of heaven."
This is a very clear statement by Jesus, and it is obvious by the exchange between Martha and Jesus concerning Lazarus that Jesus is pleased with Martha's understanding about Jesus' relationship with God.
Jesus did not perform miracles - God did
Understanding that Jesus did not perform miracles, but rather, asked His Beloved, the Supreme Being to perform them is critical:
"I have shown you many great miracles from the Father." (John 10:32)Yet it is also critical to understand why Jesus asked God to perform them, and why God indeed did make them happen. We can see why when we see the immediate result of these miracles:
When he [Jesus] came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen (Luke 19:37)Note that these were Jesus' disciples - his students - who were praising God as a result of the miracles. And they were acting in a way that was pleasing to Jesus. Why? Because they were praising God. And they were not only praising God:
They were praising God in "loud voices."
Loudly praising God means to chant God's Holy Names and glories. Let's compare this to the chanting we often hear in political assemblies. When the crowd of a political assembly begins praising the politician they usually chant his or her name very loudly, possibly with a slogan. The crowd might chant, for example, "Billy for 2012" (fictitious name) or something, all in unison, and very loudly.
Note that Jesus' disciples could have been chanting Jesus' name as he walked through Mount Olives, especially if they believed that Jesus performed all those miracles. But they weren't praising Jesus. As Jesus stated in Matt. 7:21-23, he would not have been pleased with that.
Rather, the disciples were praising the Supreme Being. They were chanting God's Names and glories, and they were doing that loudly because they knew this was pleasing to Jesus.
Learn how the Biblical scriptures confirm the importance of praising God's Holy Names.
Purpose of raising the dead
We can understand from these verses Jesus' message and intention. He was not trying to raise the dead and perform other miracles to prove that he was God, and earn everyone's respect as God.
Rather, his teachings were about Someone Else: Someone Who Jesus loved, and wanted others to love: The Supreme Being.
This is why Martha said: "But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask." She knew the Supreme Being would give Jesus whatever he asked of God because Jesus and God had a personal loving relationship. Jesus loved God and served God out of love.
And God reciprocated that love. This is called a relationship, and Jesus was trying to get each of us to also come to that point where we could exchange such a loving relationship with God.
This is why Jesus' most important instruction was:
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)