Martha seems to be the older of the three siblings, and her responsible nature made her take action in providing a meal, but it put her in a position of weariness.(Luke 10:38-42); Jesus did not rebuke her for wanting to help, nor for wanting to serve as host, what he criticized was that her “anxiety” led to her criticizing Jesus’ attitude or care towards her. Jesus did care, and cared enough to help her understand her need to rid herself of a stressed out anxious attitude. Being hospitable and serving a meal was practically a sacred duty in the culture of that time. Martha was doing a good thing, it is actually God’s will that we serve one another, but Mary had chosen the higher priority in God’s will. Mary had chosen the one thing that was really necessary: that is to be with Jesus and learn from him (Luke 10:42). If we believe we are hard workers like Martha was, in the church, we should never think that our Lord doesn’t care, simply because our work is so hard or seems to be of a lesser priority. He cares very much, in fact, this passage teaches us that it is God’s work, but we must never stress out and start complaining about God not caring. 1st Peter 5:6-7. Mary and Martha were both devoted disciples of Jesus. Sitting at someone’s feet was the usual posture of a disciple who was being taught, and in Luke 10:39 we see Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet. Perhaps some of the other men and women who traveled with Jesus were also sitting with Mary while Martha was busy preparing a meal. Jesus promises that Mary’s choice to be personally trained as one of his disciples will not be taken away from her.
However, later in his ministry, Martha made some astute statements of faith concerning the identity of Jesus and concerning eternal life. These statements are recorded in John 11:24-27. Her faith was rock solid in the resurrection and the fact of Jesus being the Christ, which is very similar to Peter’s statement in Matthew 16:15-17. God expects his family to fully accept and fully live out all the implications of what the world calls impossible. Firstly that Jesus is the Christ that came from God, and secondly that his Spirit is God with us today because of the resurrection. This is at the core of becoming, living and growing as a family member in His household. If you can’t do this, you’ll never be a friend to Jesus! See James 4:4.
Later, Mary would choose to do another beautiful act of worship when she anointed Jesus with her expensive oil in preparation for his death & burial (Matt. 26:6-13; Mark 14: 3-9; John 12:1-8). Did Mary knowingly anoint Jesus as a prophetic act? (cf. John 12:7). Mary was criticized and misunderstood because of her extravagant act of worship, but Jesus defended her actions and prophesied, “Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her” (Matt. 26:13; Mark 14:9). Mary and Martha would continue to be devoted friends of Jesus. We learn practically nothing for certain about the faith of Lazarus, or even his character and talents, but he does become a celebrity after Jesus raised him from death (John 12:1-2, 9). He then became the target of the chief priests’ plot to assassinate him (John 12:10-11). Can you imagine what it must be like to know that because of your friendship with Jesus, his enemies want to kill you so they can simply eliminate evidence of his proven claims? WOULD THAT MAKE YOU BOLDER IN YOUR FAITH, OR CAUSE YOU TO RUN & HIDE YOUR FAITH? Read Matthew 5:14-16. Christ’s family should stand-fast, even if we are not known to have any worldly significance, and might feel like God has painted a target on our back and given our enemies arrows to shoot us with. What happened to Lazarus? John 12:9-17. The same thing that will happen to any of his family members, we will be comforted by angels and received safe in the arms of Jesus.