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Summary: Mary & Martha. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Reading: Luke chapter 10 verses 38-42.

Ill:

Photographs can be very deceptive,

• Whoever said; “The camera never lies”,

• Never had a studio portrait done of themselves or their family.

Studio portrait are perfect prints:

• Every hair is in place, people are wearing their best clothes,

• Everybody is told to stand or sit in a certain way.

• Even the background is designed to create the perfect picture.

• Yet in reality that family, that home may be the complete opposite of what’s portrayed.

• For the camera and for the public we show one side of ourselves,

• But in our homes we can often reveal another totally different side.

In Luke chapter 10:

• We get a behind the scenes look into a home.

• And a valuable lesson to learn.

Note the context of these verses:

• Verses 1-24: Jesus sends out the seventy-two as his ambassadors.

• They were very busy going from place to place, they were busy in serving Christ.

• Verses 25-37: The story of the Good Samaritan.

• Once again there is an emphasis on doing, lending a helping hand,

• Now in our passage we have the story of somebody busy serving,

• Luke places this story here to teach us something.

• Following Jesus is not all about doing things, being busy serving Christ.

• We all need to learn to enjoy Christ, to take time out and sit at his feet!

(1). The Place (verse 38)::

“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way,

he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.

Jesus and the twelve disciples were on a journey through Judea:

• Luke doesn’t tell us the name of the village,

• But he does tell us who lived there (John chapter 11 verse1 fills in the details).

• And they come this village called Bethany.

• The village is Bethany which is two miles or 3km from Jerusalem on the road to Jericho;

• The name Bethany means; “The house of the poor one”.

• It first became a settlement, a village in the 6th century B.C.

Three people share the house.

• The home at Bethany belonged to Martha (Luke 10:38).

• Which might indicate that she was a widow.

For Jesus this was a place of rest:

• For about two and a half years, Jesus has been on the road,

• Traveling around as an itinerant preacher teaching and healing in village after village.

• He is a well known public and popular figure.

• Where Jesus goes the crowds are sure to follow.

• Not only do they follow but they make demands,

• They are bringing their relatives to be healed, constant stream of people.

A home not a house:

• For Jesus this was not just a house but a home,

• It was an oasis, a hideaway, somewhere to go and relax!

• Here he can switch off and relax, ‘recharge his batteries’.

• He is able to enjoy the company of his three special friends:

• Friends who won’t demand miracles or ask leading questions.

• But just want to enjoy him and his company.

• It’s a home where He knows He is loved and accepted,

• Where He knows He can rest.

Ill:

• I do not want to sound critical, but as an itinerant preacher,

• You experience a wide variety of hospitality.

• Question: What makes a good place to stay, food? Comforts?

• Answer: The ability to relax and be yourself!

Jesus could relax in this home:

• So much so that on his final visit to Jerusalem.

• Jesus stayed overnight in Bethany, traveling into the city each day.

(2). The People:

• A house is a place;

• A home is more, often it is the people.

• The people who make this a home are Mary, Martha and Lazarus

• Although Lazarus will not appear in the story.

Martha was thought to have been a widow:

• She is named as the house owner, before Lazarus the male.

• Mary was her unmarried sister (spinster/unclaimed treasure).

• Lazarus was the bachelor brother and a very good friend to Jesus.

• Three times in John 11 we are told that Jesus loved Lazarus.

Financially: As a family they seem to be in comfortable:

• Possibly affluent, wealthy.

• That is reflected in their social eminence,

• For many Jews came ‘to console them concerning their brother.’

John 12 you have the expensive jar of perfume.

The sisters:

• Martha and Mary are always closely linked in the gospels:

• So much so that it is difficult to think of one apart from the other.

They appear together in three graphic and moving situations.

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