To describe Martha in a quick summary would be – theologian, apologist and organiser of everything.
Martha was an amazing Christian woman who knew Jesus so well. She cared for Him on many occasions and He would debate with her, question her and strengthen her hold on Him by faith.
She was concerned about Jesus’ physical needs and He knew this and imposed the whole band of Disciples on her household. They went to her household many times. It was a kind of “pit stop” on the seemingly never- ending tour of Judea.
I wonder if she regaled Him for not eating properly, not paying enough attention to his hair, or not using cream on His skin. Perhaps she gave the Disciples a lecture on looking after skin that spends most of its time outside..! SPF and all that..! I can see in my minds eye, how she would do it and say it. Martha was gracious but insistent and cared for others, as she would care for Mary, and Lazarus, her sister and brother.
She valued people, because her Master did so. She recognized need and tried to meet that need. On one occasion she got carried away with the arrangements and became very hot and flustered. She forgot about the power of God, and on that particular day thought it was all about her.
Jesus reminded her that the things of this life are not the most necessary things, and to let them go.
Maybe she thought of the words of Isaiah 55, which she would have learned at the synagogue…
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.”
She knew who Jesus is and what He was to her. Her grasp of life and death and resurrection was secure in her mind. She knew there was more than life on Earth, and looked forward to the coming Kingdom. Martha is so like many of us who have been on the road for some time, but we fail to appreciate the magnitude of what Jesus says.
We all have limited understanding, and Jesus seeks to show us more. Martha saw more…. She saw her brother rise from the dead, and her whole frame of reference about her Master changed. What a light she was, and still is. Martha’s fire was fed by her Lord, and has never gone out, and our also if we are truly trusting Him…