Friday, September 1

Why John 11:5 is one of my favorite verses

Before looking up John 11:5 allow me to give a bit of background on why this verse is so meaningful to me...

It all started out a couple of years ago when I took one of those personality tests. The test was part of German Church Growth researcher, Christian Schwarz's "Los 3 Colores del Ministerio." The purpose of the test is to see which Bible character you most resemble and share ideas of the strengths/weaknesses of your Biblical personality type.

I was secretly hoping to test out as a "Paul" or a "Peter", or "Moses" or maybe "Joshua" or "Joseph." Three guesses as to whom I tested out as?

Did you guess MARTHA? Yes, I tested out as Martha!

Not any of my male Bible heroes, but the busy, responsible, hard-working, wanting to be in control SISTER! of Mary and Lazarus. Martha, the one who in Luke 10 was upset at Mary for not helping serve the house guests. Martha the one who met Jesus after Lazarus died and was obviously the one running all the funeral preparations. That's me.

When I first tested out as Martha, I balked, and blamed the test as faulty, and inaccurate. These tests are always kind of flimsy, anyway. Right? In desperation, I redid the test and the second time very carefully chose my answers to all the questions. Second time? Same result!

Martha isn't exactly who I wish I resembled amongst Biblical personalities, but I have resigned myself to accepting the reality that indeed I am a lot more like Martha than I would like to admit. How I have longed to be like Mary, whom Jesus commended, "...for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

But the truth is much closer to Jesus' words to Martha, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one..."

Yes, I am more like Martha than I care to admit. Those who know me best can attest to this. Always worried, intense or bothered about something. Upset with everyone else because they don't live up to my high expectations. Irritated with my Mary friends (no pun intended!) who are so happy-go-lucky while the world goes to hell... "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do ALL the serving ALONE?" That's how we Marthas' feel.

My consolation? John 11:5a... some of the sweetest words in the N.T.

Now Jesus loved Martha...

Isn't it nice to know Jesus loves us, accepts us just as we are? He even has a special place and love in his heart for all of us Marthas. After all, nothing would ever get done if it weren't for all of us Marthas out there!

Which Bible character do you identify most with? (You have permission from "Martha" to share even if you haven't taken Schwarz's Bible Personality Test!) :-)


Kiki Cherry said...

I love the verse you use here. :)

I wanted to be a strong, courageous, passionate, shepherd-hearted David.

But instead I'm a Barnabas or Abigail.

The cool thing is that God made each of us just the way He wants us, in order to fulfill His plan and purpose. Psalm 139:14

Ken Sorrell said...

If there is such a thing, I would be a cross between Martha and Peter. Heavy on the control and task orientation plus adding a big mouth just to make the package complete.

Another verse that means a lot to me along your John 11:5a is Jonah 3:1a; "Now the Word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time . . ."

Paul Burleson said...


I don't know what it is for sure, but I'm having more of an affinity for the world view I'm reading expressed by you guys in the mission field than I ever imagined possible.

It seems to me there might be a stripping away of some of the cultural baggage that inevitably attaches itself to the brand of christianity we have in America.

Maybe you're wise enough by a simple "new kid on the block" mentality in your particular assignment of ministry to not pick up their cultural baggage. The result seems to me to be a biblical view of things that is as refreshing as anything I'm reading.

I see it [that stripped of cultural baggage] in Step Child, Mr T, you, David Rogers, and a host of others. I also hear it expressed in Kiki and her family although they are stateside. May we all "catch" what you guys are demonstrating.

I'm not sure what I'm saying other than maybe a long way of saying "THANKS.

And by the way, know you were prayed for this week.


GuyMuse said...

Kiki (a.k.a. Barnabas/Abigail),

I can certainly see the Barnabas in you! Our IMB leadership often speaks of each of us needing a Paul, Barnabas, and a Timothy in our lives. All three are important. I'd be interested to hear more about your Abigail side.

Ken (a.k.a. Peter/Martha),

Knowing you this way helps explain why we have so much in common! I don't have as much Peter in me, but love what I read about him in the N.T.

Paul (a.k.a. Paul?).

Thanks so much for the encouraging words. From your comments, it would seem you too have some Barnabas in you! Your faithful praying means so much to us. We never take it for granted, but are always genuinely grateful to the Lord for those who hold us in prayer. Yes, the mission field has a way of "stripping" a lot of the cultural baggage we have with us when we arrive. The longer we are here, the more we see things in a different biblical sense. Sometimes it scares me how different I understand things than the majority of those back Stateside.

abrasseau said...

well, one test I found said I was Gabriel and also said something about me dieing, so I don't know about it.

The other I found said I was like Peter. It said I was family oriented, steady yet willing to change. Then it said I speak before I think. I would never do anything like that. I don't know where it got that from.:)

Ross Garner said...

I am Jacob.

I have spent my life wrestling with God, but looking back I can see that he has been my Shepherd all along the way. He has always been planning to bless me even though I have worried about missing out.

GuyMuse said...


Quite a difference between Gabriel and Peter. Which of the two do you think you most resemble?


Jacob, huh? That's interesting. The One wanting to bless us is the one we most wrestle with!

abrasseau said...

I'd say Peter. His cutting off the soldiers ear, that probably describes me but of course I would like to think I have a little more self-control.

on a side note, i'm having a lot of trouble with blogs here lately. i don't know if it is Mexico or what but it will not let me post while logged into my blogger account. in the same, I'm having to go to an anonymous website to surf a few blogs.