Sunday, April 10, 2011


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

Mary seems to be the spiritual one. In Luke's gospel we know she sits with the disciples and scandalizes her sister.

And in John 11, we discover that she is the one who poured perfume on Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. (This may be the story that shows up in Mark 14, Matthew 26, and Luke 7) Since none of them mention the woman's name we cannot be sure that what John is talking about is the same story, but it does seem likely.

Mary seems to see something in Jesus that calls out to her deeply. She seems to feel deeply. She perfumes him and washes his feet with her hair.

But here in her grief she speaks one line, her only line in the gospel and it is the same thing her sister had said moments before:  "Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died."

Now Mary who thought she "got" Jesus has to learn a very difficult lesson in faith, just like her sister Martha.

Both these women who seem to both love Jesus, but be very different in their approach to him, are about to learn about faith in a new and powerful way. 

When evil and death come to us and those we love, we can be tempted to believe that somehow Jesus was not with us, was not "on the job." 

Even the mourners whisper, "This is the guy who healed that blind man. Why couldn't he have healed Lazarus?"

Why is the impossible question. But who Jesus is, he will make very clear.

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