Summary: Mary & Martha. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: Luke chapter 10 verses 38-42.
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.
• 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.
• 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.