Martha was a multitasking hostess, sister of Mary and Lazarus, and a dear earthly friend of Jesus Christ:
Martha was a devoted and caring woman who felt great accomplishment in the smooth and efficient running of her household. She was the elder sister and order of birth always has an impact upon the personality and role of family within a household. Martha was both dedicated and family oriented and was a sister to Mary of Bethany and Lazarus. All three of them were beloved friends of Jesus Christ.
Martha was always busy often multitasking as she was this day as she worked to prepare her home for the arrival of Jesus. He was due to arrive in her town of Bethany located near Jerusalem where Martha resided. Jesus was an important friend of her family who stopped by on occasions during His earthly ministry when He was in the area preaching.
Martha always desired for everything to be perfect in her house upon the arrival of guests, especially for her dear friend Jesus. She became frazzled at the weighty effect of her self-induced workload; literally burying herself in a multitude of things to do distracted by her own high standard of expectations she failed to see any spiritual importance for herself attached to this visit from Jesus from any other previous visit He had already made.
When Jesus did arrive Martha was still hurrying about with a full plate of things yet to accomplish; becoming quickly frustrated with her sister Mary who dropped the ball for doing any work once Jesus arrived; choosing rather to sit peacefully at the feet of Jesus. Martha on the other hand, was bogged down playing hostess and working hard so that everything was in order for His visit. This casual laid back stance of her sister added fuel to Martha’s revved up emotional state straightway working her up into a frenzy. All Martha could see in her limited vision was her role of working and striving for the needs of her guest, rather than seeing a spiritual opportunity for herself to relax close by Jesus attentively drinking inward His wise words which strike straight into the heart of those who hear them.
Martha took it upon herself to boldly approach Jesus for His insight and help in this sticky situation with her sister who was not willing to help with any of the immediate work at hand. She inquired of Jesus about her sister who was idly sitting by at His feet choosing not to help with any of the workload. Martha believed Jesus would wholeheartedly agree and was expecting Him to chide Mary who had an obligation to support Martha as she played hostess. Martha prepared to hear Jesus support her good efforts never expecting to be gently reproached herself relying upon faulty reasoning.
The Bible records Jesus saying:
Martha was flabbergasted at hearing Jesus lend His unwavering support to Mary’s choice of spending her time enthralled at His feet listening intently to His teachings; rather than backing Martha’s request for her sister’s assistance in doing earthly tasks. Jesus was clearly taught Martha that tasks of a physical earthly nature could wait as He was on hand in her house this very moment parlaying great spiritual wisdom to anyone who listened. Nothing else in this world was important enough to be so troubled about in the short time Jesus would be present in her house or on this earth as He would be traveling on; both physically and spiritually. Nobody yet understood or realized Jesus was here on this earth for a limited time one day he would be finished with God’s purpose and will for Him on this earth. Jesus knew it was much more important to gather round about Him as He spoke in the moment at hand rather than to fret and worry about mundane worldly things having no eternal significance or value in light of eternity.
Martha at once stood corrected having her spiritual ears open wide to hear what Jesus was saying to the ones crowded around Him upon learning this vital lesson about the importance of proper spiritual triage; or sorting out proper use of time in moments at hand. A short opportunity to fellowship with Jesus took immediate priority over any other needs listed on her “to do” list. Martha stood listening in awe of His precepts re-prioritizing her time from doing and serving, which are good things, to listening to what Jesus had to say and being a better steward of the time God had given her.
Martha took this very important lesson to her heart because the devil always has an alternate or parallel path available having “good deeds” which are often actually dark spiritual substitutes to catch our attention rather than allowing man to contemplate upon and work in doing spiritual things of God. Often many unsuspecting people get caught up in the devil’s clever beguiling ways; therefore wasting precious time on doing morally good things or participating in things of man in this world having no lasting eternal value; rather than seizing opportunities to serve, honor, and glorify God according to His will for their life. Accomplishing good things according to the standards of this world is not the same as serving God according to His Word.
Jesus again taught Martha another valuable eternal lesson as they met again under different circumstances another day. Martha’s lesson this day was about spiritual life and physical death. Death from sickness had consumed her brother Lazarus and Martha had already summoned for Jesus to come to the aid of her brother prior to him succumbing to the throes of physical death. Martha had placed her confidence in the close friendship and ability of Jesus to come at once to heal her brother of this death gripping disease that had taken over his weak body. However, things did not develop for Lazarus according to what Martha had anticipated would happen. Finally Martha saw Jesus coming a ways from her down the dusty road a few days after death had already taken Lazarus. As Jesus approached Martha felt the sting of disappointment welling up inside of her; mixing with a heavy dose of grief and tears as she met Jesus on the road.
Martha spoke to Jesus according to her saddened emotional state grieving of her brother’s physical death:
Oh how often do you and I seek to blame God for our circumstances at hand? Yes, God could have prevented the death of His great friend Lazarus. However, Martha did not understand God’s power was not limited because Lazarus was now physically dead. God’s supernatural power is over both death and life. Martha was lashing out to God in her comments made but Jesus knew her heart and the depth of sadness. Martha was about to witness a very important lesson on faith and miracles from Jesus. Martha was astounded as she heard Jesus call for the rock to be removed from Lazarus’s grave not understanding what was about to take place. Martha was still focusing upon the physical aspect of Lazarus’s death. She knew that Lazarus had been dead for four days bringing natural decomposition along with the stringent or putrid odor of death. Martha expected an awful aroma of death to quickly waft out of his opened grave.
Martha was focused upon the clutches of physical death rather than the possibility of new life as she spoke to Jesus:
Martha and others who had gathered around as the stone from the grave was removed were about to see a miracle take place as Jesus did raise Lazarus back to new spiritual life from the sting of physical death. Jesus brought Lazarus back to life not because he was such a great man, or because he and his sisters Martha and Mary were such good people, or even out of great love for these three dear friends. Jesus brought Lazarus back to new life solely to honor and glorify God bearing witness for all who had gathered around Lazarus’s tomb. As Lazarus’s name was called he arose from the grave forever changing the life of Lazarus as well as all the lives of those who witnesses who were present.
The supernatural power and presence of Jesus upon this earth was magnificently displayed pointing to the glory of God in heaven, Martha responded in great belief having witnessed this great miracle first hand learning even more wonderful things about this man named Jesus.
- The hectic life Martha chose to live is similar to a life many ladies live out each day as they try to combine being a wife, mother, along with working an outside job in addition to their household duties resorting to haphazardly tacking on Jesus Christ to the end of their life as time allows. Women today often multitask on multiple levels from home to work filling up their day from sunrise to sunset leaving little or no time for prayer, study, or personal fellowship with God.
- Martha was burying herself in the buckling weight of a heavy imposing workload until God intervened. God brought a challenging situation to Martha’s life to give her a new prospective on what things are most important. God gave her a spiritual priority list as Martha was incensed that her own sister Mary had chosen to rest spiritually and physically from any the tasks at hand listening to what Jesus had to say rather than stepping up to help her with tasks at hand. God taught Martha that there are good choices and better choices in life when aligning up with His teachings and commandments. God gave Martha an eternal priority list with the highest priority always in the things of an eternal nature rather than investing precious time in things of this world. Jesus told her while it was not necessarily wrong for her to desire to have all her ducks in a row and working hard to accomplish important things on this earth; but it was better stewardship to spend quality time with Jesus while the moment or opportunity to hear Him teach was at hand as all other things having no eternal value could be set aside to do at a later time.
- God will intervene in our lives as well today when our spiritual priorities get out of order. God knows just how to get our undivided attention and will pursue us along whatever avenue it takes from the outside and using His Spirit which resides within us to prod us and goad our conscious into repenting of our sinful ways and seeing our situation as God sees it. He will change circumstances in our life to get our mind upon things of an eternal nature rather than on the things of the god of this world.
- God has a biblical based order for his own spiritual family revealed in His commandments, precepts, and through character studies of those whose lives were inspired to be included in His Word. Man is to work by the sweat of his brow and woman, taken from his side, is to be his help meet as both man and woman first surrender in submission to Christ and to their spouse respectively. Beyond establishing this important spiritual relationship triangle with God at the head and man at her side as woman works diligently at keeping the household in order along with the husband’s valuable input in raising and teaching their children unto the things of the Lord; striving to reach the next generation.
Beyond this basic structure there are many good and worthwhile things in this world which we can purposely place in our lives according to time left after fulfilling and serving the will of God in our life. There are many examples of biblical women who were further employed or had duties outside the home in various settings; but there is always a godly order or spiritual accounting in implementing how we fill up the time God has given us of each day. We must keep these verses at the forefront of our mind to remind us that our lives our not our own we were bought with a high price by God through the shed blood of His Son on Calvary. God tells us in Romans 12:1-2 that we were bought by God making it highly important that the time God allows each of us to have on this earth is spiritually well spent by living according to His will for our lives. This means allowing Him to occupying first place in our life building everything around His presence as we live in obedience unto His will according to His supernatural strength and not of our own limited natural weaknesses and tendencies to hop about on rabbit trials in life setting His will for our lives aside to accomplish something for the world having no eternal value.
Do you often feel overburdened and tired as you set out to accomplish too many things in your day? Check your multitasking or “to do” list against God’s will for your life to see if you are burying yourself in many eternally unimportant tasks having set aside the very things God has specifically willed for your life. He always desires that you place His task list in the forefront of your life. We must ask ourselves often if we are accomplishing worldly things for the god of this world rather than building up eternal riches and sowing the seed of the gospel message fulfilling God’s will as God intended. Accumulating spiritual riches and sowing seeds for souls to in heaven will far outweigh amassing any worldly accomplishments, wealth, and pleasures for a season on this earth.
Do you realize the only thing that will be found in the heavenly realm from this earth is your spiritual family consisting of your brothers and sisters in Christ? Nothing else in this world will reside in the eternal realm. That is why it is so important to spend quality time, like Mary, at the feet of Jesus soaking in His Word and forthright sowing the seeds of His gospel message to others you come in contact including family and friends and strangers whom God place in your pathway according to His will.
Be busy about the things of God, as Martha learned and took to heart, and all other aspects of your life will fall into place in such marvelous holy fashion bringing peace and joy to your life now and for all eternity.
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