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Begin this lesson by reading Luke 10:38-42. In these verses, there are important points of interest about the life of Martha. She is believed to have been the daughter of Simon the leper. She was the sister of Lazarus and Mary. I want to remind you that there are six women in the Bible who are called Mary. Mary of Bethany was the sister of Martha. Martha was apparently the oldest and therefore the head and manager of the household. It is the opinion of some, that Jesus never spent a night in Jerusalem after he was grown; but rather He went to nearby Bethany and stayed with Martha, Mary and Lazarus. We do know that He loved them and we enjoy spending time with those we love.

It is not uncommon for people to remember the faults of others and quickly forget their virtues. This has often been true of Martha. She is most often remembered for her complaining to Jesus and as the one who was unfavorably compared with her sister. Though very different from her sister Mary, yet she was a most conscientious and worthy woman. Jesus loved her and she most surely is a notable woman of the New Testament.

When she complained to Jesus about Mary not helping her, Jesus did not condemn her for the work which she performed. He gently reminded her that Mary's total dedication to Him, was a sign of holiness, not laziness. We often overlook an expression found in verse 39. It describes Mary by saying "which also sat at Jesus feet and heard His word." This expression indicates that Martha also often sat at Jesus' feet and also heard His word. So, she was not as worldly as some may think.

Not only did Martha listen to Jesus, but she was a woman of strong faith. She expressed one of the most earnest professions of faith recorded in the gospel narratives. Though Lazarus, her brother, had been dead for four days when Jesus arrived in Bethany, Martha declared that had Jesus been present, her brother would not have died. What strong faith she had in the power of Jesus. Jesus replied and told her that He was the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). He also said, that whosoever believeth in Him, even though dead; yet he shall live (John 11:26). Jesus asked Martha if she believed this and without a momentís hesitation she declare her belief that He was the Son of God.

When thinking of Martha, let us remember her for the special Christian woman she really was. Though lacking the spiritual insight of Mary, she deeply loved Jesus and her family and she did not spare herself in tending to their needs. Above all she was a woman of faith, one of the few who declared that Jesus is the Son of God.

Martha, then, was a woman of many admirable qualities. Great faith, an abiding love for Jesus and a selfless devotion to her family in all their everyday needs. With these qualities, the Christian housewife can discover that her endless chores cease to be mere drudgery, and can become a new and wonderful opportunity to serve the Lord, while meeting the needs of her family.

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This page last updated on June 17, 2014