We might say Martha brought in the importance of right doing in her service to the Lord, and in right thinking as Jesus’ developed her faith in knowing the truth about His divinity. Now enter Mary, who said few words, but whose passion and practice made a deep and lasting impact on Jesus’ heart and our understanding of discipleship.
I think the way Martha would have liked to be remembered was as a woman of bold faith and blessed service, who was able to leave the conventions of her old life and enter into the grace and freedom Jesus offers
I read a book a while ago called, Where Is God When Bad Things Happen? Written by Luis Palau. As you can imagine from the title, the author talks about the traumas and tragedies that you and I experience in life, and why God seems to allow them. Where was God? What was God doing? What is God doing? That’s what Martha and Mary were wondering in this story, and probably Jesus’s disciples, too.
She carefully placed the jar in the nest of linen cloths that lined its cedar container, closed the lid, and resealed it with her signet. At the banquet, she would break this seal one last time.
Faced with the same evidence, some were moved to belief, and some were hardened in unbelief. And yet God’s purpose for Messiah still advanced. Even with free will, no person can alter God’s divine plan. As one commentator put it, Nothing people can do will thwart or alter the sovereign will of God, and nothing God does ever sets aside the free choice of people.
It is God Who creates new life within you and me, Jesus calls us by name and brings us out of death and into new life. Then God calls others to come help us unwind the old life from ourselves, all the things that had bound us in death.
Faith involves doing hard things. And obedience to God reflects belief in God and God’s word. Martha would have to put her belief on the line in front of her sister, in front of all those religious dignitaries, in front of all their extended family and people who had come down from Jerusalem.
[In the Greek] Though Martha’s voice had leaned more heavily on the final catastrophe of death itself, Mary spoke from the devastation of personal betrayal, her voice leaning on the connection of her brother, the unspoken meaning clear: you said you loved me, and he was my brother.
Or are we living in active faith that Jesus is powerfully at work within our inward beings, transforming us, and is also at work in our physical world, bring shalom to all those around us, including the earth itself?
What God does is always a reflection of God’s character and in keeping with God’s glory, and all this is displayed in the lives of every believer. Those who believe God see God’s glory in everyday circumstances.