Faithful Friday: Martha of Bethany

By Sarah Levesque (Rated G)

“Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things…” (Luke 10:41).

This is probably not what Martha expected she would be known for, on the off chance she expected to be remembered at all. The sister of Lazarus and Mary, Martha probably expected to be known for her industriousness. When the Lord came to dinner, it was Martha who was making sure all the little things were done, but it was proving too much for her. Like many another person, she got annoyed at her shirking sister and brought it to a higher authority. Imagine her surprise when instead of gently instructing Mary to help Martha, Jesus rebuked Martha, adding, “Mary has chosen the better part.” The Gospel writer does not tell us what Martha did next; perhaps she took her cue and sat to listen to her Lord.

Later, when Lazarus died and Jesus returned too late to save him, Martha marched out to meet Jesus and confronted him, saying “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:20-21). But she added, ““But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him,” (John‬ ‭11:22‬). And when Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again,” Martha’s response was still trusting, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Perhaps this was the safe answer. Perhaps she really didn’t have any thought that Jesus would raise her brother that very day. But she went on to say, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” She is one of the few to make such a bold statement in the Gospels.

May we, like Martha, believe in Jesus with great faith, and may we cast our anxieties and worries on the Lord.

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