|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:17-32 Here was a house where the fear of God was, and on which his blessing rested; yet it was made a house of mourning. Grace will keep sorrow from the heart, but not from the house. When God, by his grace and providence, is coming towards us in ways of mercy and comfort, we should, like Martha, go forth by faith, hope, and prayer, to meet him. When Martha went to meet Jesus, Mary sat still in the house; this temper formerly had been an advantage to her, when it put her at Christ's feet to hear his word; but in the day of affliction, the same temper disposed her to melancholy. It is our wisdom to watch against the temptations, and to make use of the advantages of our natural tempers. When we know not what in particular to ask or expect, let us refer ourselves to God; let him do as seemeth him good. To enlarge Martha's expectations, our Lord declared himself to be the Resurrection and the Life. In every sense he is the Resurrection; the source, the substance, the first-fruits, the cause of it. The redeemed soul lives after death in happiness; and after the resurrection, both body and soul are kept from all evil for ever. When we have read or heard the word of Christ, about the great things of the other world, we should put it to ourselves, Do we believe this truth? The crosses and comforts of this present time would not make such a deep impression upon us as they do, if we believed the things of eternity as we ought. When Christ our Master comes, he calls for us. He comes in his word and ordinances, and calls us to them, calls us by them, calls us to himself. Those who, in a day of peace, set themselves at Christ's feet to be taught by him, may with comfort, in a day of trouble, cast themselves at his feet, to find favour with him.
Verse 22. - And even now I know, that whatsoever thing thou shalt ask of God, God will give it thee. Νῦν οϊδα may be contrasted with ver. 27. In his presence she knows intuitively that nothing is impossible. The αἰτήση is a word of more human quality than that which our Lord customarily used for his own appeals to God. He spoke of ἐρωτᾶν, to seek as an equal; παρακαλεῖν,, to intercede for another; προσεύχεσθαι, to pray; δεῖσθαι, to supplicate. It was appropriate enough that Martha should use the verb αἰτήση. Her word was a burst of excited feeling, and does not dictate to the Master what he should do. Her twofold mention of the name of God with "thou" and "thee," shows that she had not risen to highest light on the Lord's mysterious relation to the Father. She speaks of him and to him as of a strangely gifted human Friend. But she had doubtless heard of the widow of Nain, and of Jairus's daughter, and she made no irrational suggestion. The ὅσα covers much. Jesus loved Lazarus. He was Friend to the whole group, and known to them all.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But I know that even now,.... At this distance of time, though her brother had been in the grave four days:
whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee; whether Martha had such a clear notion of the deity of Christ, as yet, as she afterwards had, is not so certain: however, she was persuaded that he had great interest with God, and that whatever he desired of him was granted to him; and though she does not mention the resurrection of her brother, yet it seems to be what she had in view.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. But I know that even now, &c.—Energetic characters are usually sanguine, the rainbow of hope peering through the drenching cloud.
whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee—that is "even to the restoration of my dead brother to life," for that plainly is her meaning, as the sequel shows.
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