Martha, Martha, Martha
Growing up I loved the Brady Bunch! I thought Marcia was so pretty and cool but I felt sorry for Jan! She was always compared to her older "perfect" sister, Marcia. Marcia had her nose busted, stood up for herself more than a couple times, and many, many dates! "Being sick of her teacher gushing over her former pupil, Marcia, Jan said, 'all I hear all day long at school is how great Marcia is at this or how wonderful Marcia did that. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!'" And that would become a famous catchphrase that would be recognizably affiliated with the Brady Bunch show.
I thought of this with Mary and Martha. For thousands of years, Mary was known as the devoted sister who sat at Jesus' feet while Martha was the busy sister. Today, people even refer to women as "Mary's" or "Martha's". Makes me feel kind of sorry for Martha!
Luke 10: 38-42, "As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 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.'”
Martha got her "Martha" reputation because she was distracted by all of the things that a good host needed to do. She wasn't doing bad things! Surely Jesus and His disciples were hungry.
Mary was getting all the Jesus time and she was trying to feed 15 people with no help and no modern conveniences! That is why she came to tell on Mary! Instead of staying in the kitchen slamming pots and pans, Martha took her problem to the One who could fix it.
That was not the end of Martha. Here’s the exciting news about Martha: She got the message. When Mary and Martha's brother, lazarus died they sent word to Jesus. Jesus arrived after Lazarus had been dead four days. John 11: 39, "...'But, Lord,' said Martha, the sister of the dead man, 'by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.'” This tme when Jesus came Martha came out and Mary stayed inside. John 11: 22-27, "When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
'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.'
Martha was not filled with anger for Jesus coming so late. In fact, she was filled with faith. Knowing her brother had been dead for four days and stunk she said, "But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask." And her response to Jesus when He told her that Lazarus would rise again? Verse 24, "Martha answered, 'I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.'”
Next came the big question. The one we must all answer. Jesus said, “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?” Martha was on it! I bet she answered so fast! “'Yes, Lord,' she replied, 'I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.'”
And as Paul Harvey used to say, "now you know the rest of the story!"