“Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”(John 4.40, HCSB)
Jesus’ response to Martha’s warning about Lazarus’ state of decay. Some thoughts:
Seeing is not enough. – This seems crazy, but we know it is true from the immediate context. Seeing a guy who has died and has been rotting for four days raised up from the dead is not sufficient to “see the glory of God.” Look at the reaction of “some” who WITNESSED Lazarus come walking out of the tomb: John 11:46 – But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done (HCSB). Why did they do that? Because they wanted Jesus busted. They turned him in to the Pharisees. Even though they “saw,” they did not see.
You can see extraordinary things and not “see the glory of God.” Unbelievable, but true.
Believing is seeing. Jesus tells Martha that she will “see” the glory of God when she believes. John uses the concept of believing in Jesus as a marker for coming to true faith and trust in him. Indeed, he uses that very expression to describe the reaction of some who witnessed him raising Lazarus (vs. 45). They “saw the glory of God” because they believed in Jesus.
In the realm of the Kingdom of Heaven—a realm that is very much different from the way we think a kingdom should operate—believing in Jesus is the key to everything, even sight.