“Jesus was our friend. My brother, Lazarus, and my sister, Mary, and I had heard about the great prophet who was working miracles all around Galilee and Judea. We were skeptical at first but then we had an opportunity to hear him and see him with the crowds, and we were convinced. We believed he was the Messiah. My home was large and I was honored when he and his close friends accepted our invitation to stay with us when they were near Bethany.”
Martha looked up as she rubbed her neck and sighed before she continued. “The truth is I was so honored one of the early times they came that I actually dishonored our Lord. Hospitality is very important in our culture and I have always tried to be a good hostess. I like to have things just right…maybe I also tend to overdo it. I got stressed out, but I realize now it was my pride.”
“I was fixing the meal, and a meal for over twenty people is a pretty big production. I was overwhelmed, and all I could think about was how it would look if I didn’t fix a wonderful meal for our guests. On top of all this, my sister was nowhere to be found! I was doing all the work by myself and I became angry because she should have been there to help me. She is usually right beside me– my right hand, but when I really needed her I couldn’t find her.”
“I went to find her and I couldn’t believe it! There she was, sitting at Jesus’ feet with our guests, listening to him teach! Wouldn’t I have liked to sit there as if I had nothing in the world to do, and listen to the Teacher? How would people be fed? How would the work be done? I was furious!”
“I wasn’t even thinking. I burst into the room and complained to Jesus. I asked him to tell Mary to come help me.” Martha covered her face with her hands as she said, “I am so embarrassed, still. How could I have been so rude and disrespectful as to pull Jesus into a spat with my sister?”
“But then Jesus’ reaction to me made me realize what I was doing. ‘Martha, Martha’, he said, ‘you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.’ Jesus looked at me with such kindness; he was gentle when he should have chastised me.”
“From that moment on I believed that Jesus was who he said he was. But later he proved it to me. Our brother, Lazarus died and Jesus came to us after he had already been buried. Our friendship meant so much to Jesus that he raised our brother from the dead. Now I know that blessing to us was a forerunner of Jesus’ blessing to the whole world. The grave could not hold Jesus, but Jesus came back to life because He is the Savior of us all.
Luke 10:38—42; John 11:1—44