Jesus Arrives at Mary and Martha’s House

A group of friends went deer hunting and paired off in twos for the day. That night one of the hunters returned alone, staggering under an eight-point buck. “Where’s Harry?” he was asked. “Harry had a stroke of some kind. He’s a couple of miles back up the trail.&q … More

Priority

Lazarus probably died about the same time the messenger arrived to tell Jesus about his sickness (v. 17).  Since Palestine is a warm climate and decomposition sets in quickly, a person was usually buried the same day he died. Therefore, Lazarus had been placed in a tomb. Since Bethany was only about two miles from Jerusalem, many people had come to comfort Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus (vv. 18-19). Mary and Martha were quite different in their personalities (vv. 20-22). Martha was a task oriented person while Mary was a people person. Jesus did not condemn Martha ’s service, but He did rebuke her for being “torn apart” by so many things (Lk 10:39-41). I find it interesting that Mary is found three times in the Gospels and each time she is at Jesus feet.

Martha was quick to affirm her faith in Jesus Christ (v. 22), and Jesus  responded by promising her that her brother would rise again (v. 23). She interprets this to mean in the last day, when Jesus meant right away (v. 24). Martha was like many Christians today who do not appropriate the promises of God for now. It is like having a million dollars in a checking account and not realizing that you can write checks on it. Martha is best known for being too busy to sit down and talk with Jesus (Lk 10:38-42). But here we see her as a woman of deep faith who says, “I do believe that you are Christ, the Son of God.” Her statement of faith is the kind of response that Jesus wants from us. Jesus then said, “I am the one who raises the dead to life (vv. 25-26)! Everyone who has faith in me will live, even if they die. And everyone who lives because of faith in me will never really die. Do you believe this?” She then secretly tells Mary that Christ has arrived and Mary goes out to meet the Master (vv. 27-30). Possibly she did this “secretly” because of the danger involved.

Application

I am afraid that I tend to be more of a task oriented person like Martha than a people person like Mary. I want to be more of a person who keeps my priorities in line as God directs.

John 11:17-27 (English Standard Version)

Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?" She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world."

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