Jesus, Lazarus, and Friendship
Mary and Martha lived in Bethany, on the eastern slope of the Mount of . being seriously concerned about—and that is the relationship of the. Yet the language in this particular chapter seems to point to both Jesus' personal friendship and a "follower" type relationship with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Ardy Bass. (Published in The Bible Today, 32 [March ] 90 – 94) Friendship implies a relationship that is intimate, and trusting, For friendship to thrive there weds to portrayal of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus as friends of Jesus. While the.
Mary and Martha: Friends of Jesus
This information gives us a more accurate picture of these friends of Jesus. Another real possibility is that Mary and Martha belonged to an ascetic Jewish sect and had chosen singleness and celibacy. It is believed that a colony of ascetics perhaps Essenes lived in Bethany. Because we do not know about any husbands or children, it is difficult to estimate the ages of Mary and Martha and their brother.
Martha is often, but not always, mentioned first among her siblings, so she was probably the oldest e. In comparison with his sisters, Lazarus plays a more passive role in the gospel narratives, so he may have been considerably younger. His young age would have made his death even more lamentable. Or had the perfume been a donation from a wealthy benefactor for the work of the poor? Did Mary use perfume to anoint Jesus that was meant to be sold to help the poor?
Martha seems to have been regarded as the mistress of the home Luke Several wealthy women in the New Testament appear to have been the mistresses of their own homes with no mention of a husband or father: Other New Testament women are mentioned as being of independent means. It was uncommon, but not rare, for a woman to be independently wealthy and a homeowner in New Testament times.
Mary also seems to have been the more popular John She still seems to be the more popular in the church today. Martha has been unfairly maligned by some because of just one incident Luke These statements are recorded in John chapter Mary and Martha were both devoted disciples of Jesus. Perhaps some of the other men and women who travelled with Jesus were also sitting with Mary while Martha was busy preparing a meal.
Martha was doing a very good thing, the expected thing, but Mary had chosen the better option. Click To Tweet Later, Mary would choose to do another fine thing when she lovingly anointed Jesus with her expensive perfume in preparation for his death Matt.
Disciple Jesus Loved Lazarus
Did Mary knowingly anoint Jesus as a prophetic act? She immediately went to work, beginning to prepare the meal. She sent one of her helpers to the market to get some extra food; she began to build a fire for cooking—and in the midst of the bustle of preparation, Jesus arrived.
Martha welcomed Jesus into the home, and after the initial greeting, she hurried off to the kitchen to continue the preparation of the meal.
Mary took advantage of this time with Jesus to hear what He had to say—and what He was teaching about the real issues of life here and hereafter. There is something tranquil in what Mary chose to do. Mary chose to hear about matters of eternal consequence. Bid her therefore that she help me. Martha wanted to give her guests the royal treatment, but she allowed her concern about getting the meal ready turn to irritation and complaint.
She was motivated by hospitality and wanted to be a good hostess—but she became involved beyond her strength! Tell her to help me! She expected Jesus to come to her aid.
She was sure He would send Mary to help in the kitchen. But in verses Jesus responded: And Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Jesus repeated the name of Simon in Luke You are concerned about a lot of details, but you could live without them if you had to. The longer we live in this life, and the closer we come to the grave—the more we realize the importance of that truth. Martha was feverishly going about many things that day, in order to please and properly entertain the guests who had arrived. Jesus was not especially interested in being fed a sumptuous meal, but was rather interested in reaching open hearts to hear His message of good news!
Martha was active and anxious to serve others. Mary was quiet and contemplative. Jesus did not condemn Martha for attempting to provide a good meal for her company—and neither did He praise Mary for her indifference toward the work of helping to prepare the meal. Jesus will not criticize a woman for keeping a neat house, nor will He especially bless a woman who sits around all day at His feet and does nothing else!
Martha could have prepared a less lavish feast, and Mary could have offered to help Martha—but the point is this: We must guard against focusing most of our activity on providing physical comfort, and neglecting the provision of food for the inner person.
Unfortunately, when things get busy, usually the first thing to go is time with the Lord. The programs of the church, and the unending needs of people around us, are so pressing—that reading and hearing the Word of God is sometimes neglected. It is a sin to get caught up with our busy schedules, and fail to take time daily to be alone with God and His Word. Most of us can use a little more Mary and a little less Martha in our lives.
And when Jesus had heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed two days longer in the place where He was.
- Disciple Jesus Loved Lazarus
- Jesus at the home of Martha and Mary
- Biblical Studies/New Testament Commentaries/The Gospel of John/Chapter 11
Jesus had a special love for the family, and because of His love for this household John Jesus knew that Lazarus would be dead when He arrived in Bethany, but He also knew that He was going to do a great miracle. Jesus wanted all who would witness the miracle to know for sure that Lazarus was truly dead, and to be convinced that Jesus the Son of God had power over death.
In the warm climate of Palestine, a dead body would decompose rapidly, so the bodies of those who died were often buried the same day as the day of death. Lazarus had been dead four days by the time Jesus arrived.
Jesus and His disciples were on the other side of the Jordan River when they received the news about Lazarus. The journey to Bethany meant traveling more than 20 miles all by walking. The road to Bethany involved climbing from more than 1, feet below sea level, to an altitude of 2, feet above sea level. It took a long, long day of difficult up-grade walking to get from Jericho to Bethany.
Mary and Martha: Friends of Jesus
Martha responded that she believed in a general resurrection on the last day. Those who live and believe in Jesus will never die spiritually and eternally.
Those who serve the Lord will not experience a loss of communion with God, even though the physical body dies. It is likely that Martha though busy with food preparation took time to memorize Scripture while she stirred puddings and prepared soups!
Apparently Martha had also taken time to learn from Jesus and to know the basics of the Hebrew faith. Her statement of belief in verse 27 is exactly the response that Jesus wants to hear from all of us!
When Jesus saw Mary weeping, He was deeply moved and He also wept verse That was followed by the scene at the tomb, when Lazarus came forth at the mere word of Jesus. He was bound hand and foot with grave clothes.
Surely there was a happy reunion that evening in the home of Mary and Martha at Bethany. There are several practical applications gleaned from the lesson: