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

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.

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.

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion