Summary: We often hear the account of the dinner given for Jesus at Martha's house as a, "Mary was good and Martha was BAD" sort of idea. But, is that really the essence of what happened? Let's take a look ...
Today we'll be taking a look at an interesting event which took place in Bethany at the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus. So, let's get right into it, OK?
Luke 10:38-42 NRSV
“Now as they went on their way, [Jesus] entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what He was saying.
“But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to Him and asked, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.’
“But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.’”
The Bible say nothing about the family of Mary, Martha and Lazarus other than they were siblings and they had a home in Bethany which was about 2 miles outside of Jerusalem.
We don’t know about …
How they provided for themselves
How far apart they were in age
We can assume that Martha was older since she is usually named first when the family is described which was a custom in the time of Christ.
We can also assume that Lazarus was quite a bit younger, otherwise as a male he would have been considered to be the head of the household in spite of being younger.
Now, the last two things that I mentioned are logical but they are not mentioned in the Scriptures therefore they could very well be in error. These are the sort of things we need to be careful of when we read books ABOUT the Bible. Certain aspects may be treated as facts when they are really conjecture.
Beware! Check everything against Scripture!
What DO we know for sure?
There is only one home recorded in the Bible where Jesus visits on three occasions and that is the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus.
How do we know that?
“Now as they went on their way, [Jesus] entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.”
John 11:1, 5
“Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha … Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.”
“Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor.”
“There they gave a dinner for Him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with Him.”
So, let’s return to the account of this gathering at Martha’s home …
“Now as they went on their way, [Jesus] entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what He was saying.”
OK, so we see that Martha opened “her home” to Jesus.
So far all we know is that Jesus has been invited into Martha’s home and her sister Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to Him.