Jesus Meets Mary, Martha And Lazarus
In the Gospels, the sisters Mary and Martha are mentioned only in Luke and John , Although contemporary understandings of their significance to the early John , which has the meeting take place at the house of Lazarus, who is By contrast, Luke depicts Mary as a disciple sitting at Jesus' feet. Did you know . Bible study on Mary and Martha, friends of Jesus, sisters of Lazarus. Why does Mary just sit with the guests when there is so much to do? great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. . Jesus was approaching their town, Martha went out to meet Him, but Mary stayed sitting . Jesus in his many trips to Jerusalem with his parents would stop at Bethany, a small hamlet to rest, there Jesus met Mary,Martha and Lazarus for the first time.
In desperation Martha and Mary send for Jesus. When Jesus arrives, both sisters reproach him for not coming sooner. In response, Jesus goes to the tomb, prays, and calls to Lazarus. Lazarus comes out, alive, from the tomb. During the dinner, Mary anoints Jesus with expensive nard perfume.
Judas objects to her extravagance, but Jesus defends her. They had a brother, Lazarus. The three young people were friends of Jesus. They behaved with him in a natural way, speaking openly about what they thought.
Jesus, who was quite capable of overwhelming people with his presence, was informal and easy in their company. This was important for a man like Jesus. People who are held in high esteem, as Jesus was, are often isolated, even though they are at the center of the crowd. Leonardo da Vinci captures this isolation in his painting of The Last Supper below: Jesus is sitting in the middle of a table with his friends all around him, but he seems alone, as those dearest to him lean away from him, separating themselves from him as they will do later, when he is arrested and faces death.
We know little about the background of Martha, Mary and Lazarus. They may have been well-to-do orphans who had the management of their own lives, since there is no mention of their parents. Moreover the eldest of the three, Martha, appeared to be in control of the household.
They seemed to be affluent. They had a house large enough to accommodate many people, as their hospitality to Jesus and his group of friends shows. They appeared to have no occupation. But Mary could afford to buy a very expensive perfume called nard. It was a special gift, not an everyday item, but it showed they were people of means.
Martha and Mary: two sisters
None of the three appeared to be married. This was unusual in Jewish society, where people were usually married before the age of It may mean that they were quite young, perhaps still in their teens, or that they were on the edge of society, and not acceptable in some way. In any case, they seem to have been young, comparatively well-off, independent, and intelligent. Jesus visits Martha and Mary The first story about them happened in a town near Jericho, which is between Galilee, where Jesus came from, and Jerusalem, where he died.
Jesus visited their house. Martha prepared food for the guests; Mary sat and listened to Jesus.
Mary of Bethany - Wikipedia
What did they eat? The main meal was taken in the evening. It might consist of a lentil stew seasoned with herbs like cumin or coriander. Fruits included fresh figs and melon, as well as dried pomegranates and dates — dried fruits were a staple item in the Middle East. Wine, water, and curdled milk similar to liquid yogurt accompanied the meal.
Tell her then to help me. There is need of only one thing. Martha was a doer, a capable young woman who organized and ran a fairly large household.
Mary was a thinker, interested in ideas.
Martha objected to the fact that she had to work while Mary sat and listened. Jesus said that Mary had made the better choice. This was the usual posture of a disciple of any teacher in the ancient world. But disciples were usually male, so Mary must have been quietly breaking the rule that reserved study for males, not females.
Her sister Martha was not merely asking for help. She was demanding that Mary keep to the traditional way of behaving. Jesus was ignoring the traditional role of women, and encouraging Mary to think and learn. He upheld her right to listen, think about ideas, and to develop her mind. She should not be limited to the tasks that society laid down for her, but be allowed access to ideas, as Jewish men were.
This would have gone against all his other teaching. What he did say was that being a disciple, and learning about the ideas he was explaining, was even more important. Mary hardly hears her sister, so focused is she on the face and words of Jesus. Jesus with Martha and Mary, Bible women.
Painting by He Qi. It was about three kilometers east of the city, a comfortable walk for people at that time. Lazarus was very ill, so Martha and Mary sent a message to Jesus, asking him to come. Jesus received the message, but put off coming for two days. In the meantime, Lazarus died of his illness. The house went into mourning. As was the custom, a continual stream of friends and relatives came to comfort Martha and Mary, and to mourn for Lazarus.
Mary, Martha and Lazarus of Bethany | Marg Mowczko
There were strict rules about what could and could not be done after a death in the family. After the funeral, the family of the dead person stayed at home for seven days, sitting barefoot on the floor or on a low bench they did not wash themselves or their clothes, or do any work. What happened when Jesus arrived? When Jesus eventually arrived, Lazarus had already been buried in the tomb for four days.
Present-day interior of the tomb said to have belonged to Lazarus The length of time, four days, is important. It means that the custom of inspecting the body three days after burial, to make sure that the person was dead, had already been carried out. So Lazarus was not merely unconscious, as modern skeptics suggest. This point is driven home by Martha in verse 39, when she described the stench of the rotting body.
As Jesus approached, Martha went out to meet him on the road.
Mary of Bethany
Both women figure significantly in the story: Martha confesses that Jesus is the Messiah John Here, Judas criticizes her for wasting money, but Jesus commends her. All four Gospels contain stories of a woman who anoints Jesus; only John names her as Mary of Bethany. Who are Mary and Martha in Christian Tradition? The sisters appear in many postbiblical traditions. Early Christians often interpreted Luke Some later texts and artifacts depict the sisters at the cross and resurrection.
This tradition endures in the Orthodox icon of the holy myrrh -bearing women, including Mary, Martha, and Mary Magdalene. The gospels name only one Martha, but multiple Marys: Because of their similar names, early Christians sometimes confused Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany. Contemporary scholars have perpetuated the confusion by identifying the Mary mentioned in some ancient texts such as the Gospel of Mary and the Gospel of Thomas as Mary Magdalene.
These texts portray Mary in many roles, from the woman who receives special revelations to miracle-working missionary and Eucharistic minister see Beavis Eastern Christians resisted this conflation, traditionally regarding the two Marys as distinct saints.
A popular medieval French legend spread this idea, portraying Martha, Mary Magdalene, and Lazarus as missionaries to southern France, where Mary preached and performed miracles and Martha saved the village of Tarascon from a dragon, taming it with a cross and holy water.