Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
There are two sisters in the Bible whom we can never forget. The older, Martha, is portrayed as a lady who is fussy and on edge, always busy in the kitchen, and irritable about it because her sister Mary doesn't always share in getting the chores done. Their story is in Luke 10:38-42. Martha becomes the hostess at a big banquet (John 12:2). She is a very good lady, and hard-working, but she missed something that would have made her life happier.
Jesus appreciated being a guest in Martha's house in Bethany, a suburb of Jerusalem. It was a relief for Him from the pressure of sick people surrounding Him, and the constant hatred of the Jewish leaders. Martha was a "believer," but not a very "hungry" one.
Her younger sister Mary had also become a believer while living in exile in Magdala in Galilee. By piecing together all the context of this story, it becomes evident that their uncle had had a lot to do with raising Mary (the father is never mentioned; apparently he was out of the picture). Uncle Simon had begun molesting young Mary, who was vulnerable. Knowledge of the affair would have ruined Simon's career as a leader in the church in Jerusalem; and it seems that Mary took a "nosedive" into despair there in Magdala. She was an intelligent young woman, which made her despair all the more bitter. Many women can identify with her; she hated the man who had ruined her life, and apparently all men, too. She gave up hope that there is any such thing in the world as clean, pure love, and became a "basket case," possessed of "seven devils," as we read. Then she met Jesus. She had never encountered love such as was in Him. He could deliver her.
Thereafter she couldn't get enough of this agape-love. So when Jesus was a guest in Martha's house, Mary wanted to learn from Him all she could about the plan of salvation. Martha fussed at her for not helping more in the kitchen. Two good women, but Mary had "chosen that good part," said Jesus. Now, don't let yourself "starve" while slaving in the kitchens of life!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: June 1, 2004.
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