Saturday, April 9, 2011


In John 11 and Luke 10 we run into Martha and Mary.

Martha takes the verbal lead in both stories. And in both stories, she takes on Jesus both times. 

In the Luke passage she is scandalized that Jesus lets her sister sit as a disciple and learn from the master. Women as disciples! Scandalous!  She tries to be tactful and suggests that Jesus send her sister away to help her do the cooking and cleaning. He is tactful back and says no, that Mary, and by implication Martha can become a disciple.

In the next encounter, the sisters have sent for Jesus to come and heal their brother. Jesus comes too late to do any good. And this time Martha is more direct.  "Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died."

What I love about Martha is that she doesn't have any trouble giving Jesus a piece of her mind.  She has a real relationship with him. Not very pious, not very respectful, but very real.

Jesus chooses one of the most difficult times in her life to push her to a new level of understanding and faith in him.

She has to choose: trust or not trust. She trusts, but keeps her voice and personality. A few moments later she tells Jesus to not have the grave opened.

Jesus told her she should trust, she claims she will, and few moments later she begins to waver.

I love Martha. She believes, but struggles with her beliefs. She trusts, but struggles to trust. And she sees the power and glory of God.

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