Monday, January 17, 2011



Jesus, Mary and Martha at Bethany by James Tissot 1836-1902

Preacher’s sermon Sunday morning was about a family in Bethany. The earlier stop in Bethany told how Mary sat at Jesus’ feet while Martha spent her time being hospitable to her guests. She spoke to our Lord about her feelings:

But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. (Luke 10:40 KJV)

At the later meeting, the roles reversed slightly. Both sisters knew Jesus was coming. Mary stayed at home, Martha went out to meet Jesus.

Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. (John 11:20 KJV)

She also poured out her heart to our Lord:

Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. (John 11:21-22 KJV)

We know the rest of that story, but have you thought about how non-believers looked at this? We’re told the religious leaders met and said:

If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. (John 11:48 KJV)

Selfishness at its greatest. There’s a great deal of Sodom’s sin here, too – can you compare these men with Ezekiel’s vision of Sodom?

Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good. (Ezekiel 16:49-50 KJV)

Caiaphas, among those leaders, prophesied so much more than what he understood. He spoke the truth for all mankind.

Ye know nothing at all. Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; (John 11:49b-51 KJV)

Now, we know. We know Jesus is all powerful, quite capable of raising Lazarus from the dead and just as capable of being the one man who would die, not just for a nation, but for all mankind.

In Bethany, roles were reversed. Not only between sisters, but between men of God and their God who became man. Now Jesus asks that we reverse our roles, leaving behind our old sinful natures and grow in a new relationship with Him:

And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:24 KJV)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Phyllis -

    Thank you for this.

    Yes, true holiness. May our Lord help us all as we steadfastly draw nigh to Him...


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