by M. Jolaine Szymkowiak

This content is part of a series.

The Season of Pentecost -- Choices Then and Now (8 of 8)
M. Jolaine Szymkowiak

Martha – Luke 10: 38-42, John 11:11-45, John 12: 1-2
Mary – John 12:1-11, Matthew 26:6-13, Luke 10:38-42, Mark 14:3-9
We all know or have heard the story of sisters Mary and Martha many times. We all get the feeling we have more of Martha in us than Mary, and don't know how to get away from that feeling. We find it easier to be Martha but don't know how to stop it. We envy the time Mary is able to spend with Jesus. Most of the time Martha is portrayed as the one who doesn't benefit from the relationship with Jesus and his disciples, because she is so busy preparing and serving. However, when studying for this series of women of the Bible, I came across many commentaries who put Martha more in perspective for me and now I hope for you. Her life was a very needful part of the equation and we can learn much more than just the fact she failed in her relationship. We may find that she didn't fail at all. She may have had more faith than Mary.
Just prior to our meeting Martha, Jesus has sent seventy-two of his followers out to all the towns he had expected to visit. Possibly this advance team had made arrangements for Jesus arrival in Bethany and to stay or have a meal at Martha's home. This meant at the least, Jesus and the twelve disciples. A fact that is often overlooked when we read the story. Just think, to have thirteen men along with some women also plus one of them being such an important person, descend upon you for dinner can be overwhelming in itself.
The home belongs to Martha, not to Lazarus as would have been expected. Luke does not refer to her as a widow nor does he say "wife of" or "daughter of." Therefore she is probably single as is Mary. Whether because of inheritance or her mind for business, she does own her home. She is also socially sensitive in that she is concerned about entertaining someone as notable as Jesus. We see, however, she does not ...

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