Q. Re: John 11:17-44. Since the narrative doesn’t state that Jesus asked Martha to find Mary for Him, did Martha simply lie to her sister Mary in this instance, or do you find evidence anywhere that Jesus did ask for Mary’s presence? If Martha lied to Mary, what was her reason or excuse?
A. You’re making an unsupported assumption. There’s no evidence that Martha treated Mary deceitfully. She could have gone out to meet the Lord alone to question Him about letting Lazarus die without causing strife between her and Mary.
This private conversation gave her the chance to confess her belief that Jesus is the Messiah. As soon as that was settled, she went to tell Mary the Lord had arrived. That gave Mary her chance to question the Lord’s purpose in delaying.
It soon became clear to all why the Lord had delayed. Giving Lazarus four days in the tomb made it clear to all that he was well and truly dead.
When Jesus called Lazarus out of the tomb in front of many witnesses it was a demonstration of His power over life and death.