Martha of Bethany

Martha was a personal friend of Jesus. She remained faithful when Jesus arrived too late to save her brother Lazarus.

- Posted on Jan 4, 2018

'Kitchen scene with Christ in the house of Martha and Mary', Velázquez,

Martha and her sister Mary and brother Lazarus lived in Bethany when Jesus and Hs disciples stopped at their house.  During Jesus' visit Mary stayed at His feet and  listened to Jesus speak while Martha was busy preparing and serving the meal for Jesus and the disciples. Frustrated,  Martha asked Jesus to order Mary to help her with the preparations. Jesus responded,  "Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

Later, in the Gospel according to John, Martha and Mary sent word letting Jesus know that their brother was sick. Jesus arrived too late as Lazarus had died four days earlier. Martha ran out to meet Him, while Mary remained inside. She and her sister Mary went with Jesus to their brother's tomb. Martha had faith and watched as miraculously Jesus resurrected her brother Lazarus.

Here is Martha's life story from the Bible:

• She lived with her sister Mary and her brother Lazarus in Bethany
 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (John 11:1, NIV)

• She welcomed Jesus into their home
 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. (Luke 10:38, NIV).

• Martha complained about Mary’s lack of help as she worked to prepare for a dinner 
She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”  “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:39-42).

• She showed great faith at the tomb of Lazarus
Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;  and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” (John 11:21-27, NIV).

• She served Jesus at a dinner in Bethany, where her sister Mary anointed Jesus with oil
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. (John 12:1-2, NIV)

For a devotion that focuses on lessons to be learned from Martha of Bethany read, Waiting on the Lord: The Power of Silent Prayer.

Read 10 Remarkable Women of the Bible.

Tags: Bible
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