Luke 10:38 “Now it came to pass, as they went, that He entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received Him into her house.”
She did not just listen as He went by….but she welcomed the Lord into her house as well.
She, Lazarus, and Mary all lived together in Bethany.
Martha was probably the one who ran the house….keeping it, and seeing to their food.
When Jesus came to Bethany; Martha welcomed Him into their home….
….this was a happy occasion, and she went about trying to get everything just right, so that she could enjoy His company.
Lazarus sat with the disciples, and Mary, Martha’s sister, came and sat at Jesus feet to listen to His Word.
Martha was trying to get things done….
It was not that she did not want to hear the Lord….but she had let the desire to serve the Lord weigh her down….
…..so that instead of enjoying the time He was there….she became “cumbered”. (This is a term that means something she is dragging around, a weight.)
Then, she began to wonder why Mary was not helping…..which led her to complain to the Lord….about His actions!
How one thing leads to another!
Luke 10:39-40 “And she had a sister called Mary, which also say at Jesus’ feet, and heard His word.
But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to Him, and said, Lord, dost Thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me.”
How like Martha we are!
She began by wanting fellowship with Jesus….so much so she invited Him to come to her house.
Then, she let “things” build up in her thoughts….
“I should really do something special….He is so great a person.”
“I really need to hurry….He is already speaking to the others.”
“If only Mary would help me….I could be in there too.”
“Why isn’t the Lord saying anything to her,….so I could hear what He is saying, too?”
These are the “imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Our thoughts run away….going from one thing to another….and before you know it….we are accusing the Lord of not caring about us!
Luke 10:41-42 “And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful (full of care) and troubled about many things (and they are just things):
But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
Notice, how Jesus gently corrects this lovely woman: “Martha, Martha”….saying her name twice to get her attention.
She was still focused on things….
….”Look at Me, Martha….Listen to Me, Martha….you are getting all worked up about things….
…but Mary has seen that the important thing about having Me in your house….that is to hear Me….
….this I will not take away from her…..but instead invite you to come and join us.”
Jesus loved Martha. Martha was a true believer.
John 11:5 “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.”
They were true friends and disciples of the Lord.
(In fact the last week of Jesus life was spent going from their house in Bethany, to Jerusalem, during the day, to teach in the Temple….and back to their house at night.)
When Lazarus got sick….Martha and Mary could think of nothing….but taking their concern to Jesus:
John 11:1, 3 “Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
Therefore his sisters sent unto Him (Jesus), saying, Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick.”
Jesus was beyond the Jordan River (where John the Baptist had begun his ministry John 10:40) in Bethabara.
But when Jesus heard of Lazarus’ illness…..He did nothing….yet.
John 11:6 “When He had heard therefore that he was sick, He abode two days still in the same place where He was.”
During these two days, Lazarus dies….then it was time to go, so Jesus says:
John 11:7 “Then after that saith to His disciples, Let us go into Judea again.”
It was a journey of several days to Bethany….so when He gets there, Lazarus is dead for four days (John 11:39)….and there is a crowd of mourners which were there to grieve with Martha and Mary.
Leaving all….Martha, as soon as she hears Jesus is coming….goes to meet Him. (John 11:20)
Notice the faith of this woman:
John 11:21-22 “Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
But I know, that even now, whatsoever Thou wilt ask of God, God will give it Thee.”
Answering this kind of faith, Jesus says, “Thy brother shall rise again.”
He was telling her what He was going to do….
She declares her faith in God’s Word….”I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
And then Jesus reveals to this dear woman one of His names: “I am the Resurrection and the Life”.
John 11:25-26 “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?”
Jesus was speaking directly to her faith….Lazarus will be resurrected because of his belief in Me…..and you, who believe in Me will also have this everlasting life….
….do you believe, Martha?
John 11:27 “She saith unto Him, Yea, Lord: I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”
This is an amazing testimony….”I believe Thou art the Christ….and I am leaving all into your hands….do as Thou wilt.”
She goes gets Mary; and she and Mary, come to see Jesus. They are followed by the mourners….
And they take Him to where Lazarus is, and He tells them to take away the stone….
Martha speaks up about how long he has been dead, and that he would stink….
…one of the laws of Moses said (Numbers 19:11-16):
Numbers 19:16 “And whosoever toucheth…..a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.”
She did not want defilement to come upon Him, or those there….
…but Jesus reminds her
(how gently He rebukes those that believe in Him, to hang on to His Word to them).
John 11:40 “Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?”
Then, when they remove the stone off the grave….He prays, looking up (John 11:41-42):
“Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me.
And I knew that Thou hearest Me always: but because of the people that stand by I said it, that they may believe that Thou hast sent Me.”
Jesus could pray silently….but He prayed out loud, for a testimony for the people that were there. He was God’s Son.
(We could say grace silently, but often pray out loud for a testimony to the people around. Not to correct, but to testify that we belong to the Lord.)
Then, as God’s Son….Jesus commanded Lazarus….
John 11:43 “And when He had thus spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.”
No one had to touch him, or bring him out to Jesus…..Christ’s very voice commanded life, and it was done.
(This was a revelation, to those there, that Christ had power over death…..yet the folly of sin made the Pharisees and chief priest believe they could destroy Him and His kingdom. How sin blinds and deceives!)
And Lazarus came forth…still bound with the grave clothes of death….but very much alive. (John 11:44)
Then Jesus said, “Loose him, and let him go.”
(And isn’t this what Jesus speaks to our death and sins, for us)
Martha had great faith…..
…she sometimes let herself get burdened with “things”….but she received the gentle rebuke of her Lord, and trusted in Him as the Son of God.
(Her faith led her to be the only woman to declare that Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of God”.
Peter had (Matthew 16:16), and many believed on Him…..but Martha was the only woman who scripture shows to have made this public confession.)
Jesus loved Martha….
…He had fellowship and friendship in her house,
…He corrected her gently….yet every time He did, she gladly responded with more faith, and trust.
…He gave to her one of His names.
…It was for this family, that He showed His power over death.
Are we like Martha….growing in our love and testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ, even through rebukes, and sorrow?