And Lazarus entreated the Lord to come unto his house, and entering in he found Martha
and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, and seeing their brother restored unto sight, they
knelt before the Nazarene and did wash his feet with their tears.
Summary: (Born 9 BCE) Daughter of Joash, and sister of Mary and Lazarus of Bethany,
Martha was first introduced to Yeshua when she was nineteen years old (AZC — Yeshua
and Mary). The meeting was organized by Martha’s parents who were devout followers
of John the Baptizer. They hoped to match their oldest daughter with Yeshua after
learning he was a cousin of John’s. While Martha had no interest in Yeshua, her younger
sister Mary did, and the two were eventually married.
Martha was a strong supporter of Yeshua throughout his life and ministry. As a note
of interest, Yeshua’s first public miracle recorded in scripture was that of healing
his brother-in-law, Lazarus, from blindness (Y:4:1-9). Yeshua and the disciples would
gather often at the home of Martha and Lazarus, and while Mary would remain by Yeshua’s
side as he taught, it was Martha who often assumed the responsibility of preparing
food and serving the guests. Scripture portrays an event in which Martha approached
Yeshua while he was teaching, and asked for Mary’s assistance in the kitchen. Yeshua
gently refused her request, pointing out how she was “over burdened with a multitude
of care”, while commending Mary’s decision to “take to [her] soul the kingdom of
God” (Y:4:18-21). This event may also show Martha’s attempt to diffuse the tension
among the male disciples who “rebuked” Mary because her attendance was forbidden
according to Jewish tradition.
More than two years later when Lazarus died, it was Martha who first ran to meet
Yeshua as he approached Bethany, having come from Ephraim (Y:41:1-2). Falling to
her knees and weeping, she mourned the loss of her brother and lamented that Yeshua
had not arrived earlier to prevent her brother’s death.
3. “Lord, if you would have been here but yesterday, then would my brother not have
died. Yet do I know that whatsoever you would ask of God, even that thing will he
give unto you, for he loveth you.”
4. Yeshua spoke unto her, saying: “Weep no more because of Lazarus, for he does but
sleep and I go forth to awaken him.”
5. But Martha, not understanding the words of the Master, said: “Lord, I know that
in the life to come he shall live, but now is he dead already and prepared for the
6. The Lord spoke unto her again, saying: “I am the glory and the life: he that believes
in me, even though he were dead, yet shall he live.
7. And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die but shall ascend unto great
glory, even life everlasting. Do you believe this Martha?”
8. She answered him, saying: “Yes, Lord, I believe; for I know that you are the Messiah
which is come from God, for you give light unto the whole world.”
9. And after she was comforted of the Lord, she ran straightway unto the house, and
she spoke secretly unto Mary, saying: “The Lord is come into the city and, behold,
he calls for you.”
As the narrative continues and the body of Lazarus is laid before Yeshua, he speaks
to Martha once more:
23. And turning unto Martha, he spoke, saying: “Did I not say unto you, that if you
would but believe in me, you would see the glory which is come from God?”
Later in scripture, Martha served a dinner prepared by the disciples in honor of
Yeshua. The meal took place somewhere in Bethany (Y:45:1).
Azrael’s Commentary - Yeshua and Mary
[...] Mary’s family were devout followers of John. When the parents of Mary heard
from John’s own lips that Yeshua was a cousin of his, they began plotting to match
Yeshua with one of their daughters. Their reason for so doing was the assumption
that if Yeshua became a part of their family, then they would become a part of John’s
family and therefore gain added favor with God.
The parents first broached the subject with their oldest daughter, Martha, who at
the time was nineteen years old. But Martha was not interested in Yeshua, for at
the time Yeshua was only sixteen and he lived in Nazareth where he was an apprenticed
carpenter. Martha liked Jerusalem, she liked the market places and the excitement
of a big city. She did not want to get stuck in a small backwater town like Nazareth.
Like most people around Jerusalem, she had a strong prejudice against Galileans who
were viewed as poor, ignorant and vulgar rabble-rousers. And just because she believed
in John the Baptizer, that was not reason enough to find herself exiled from the
home and family she loved. Besides, Martha had met Yeshua and he was not that handsome.
In fact, she viewed him as ordinary and as common as dirt.
But when the subject of marriage was put to Mary, who at the time was a mature fourteen
years of age, she embraced it happily. For she, too, had met Yeshua down by the river,
and she found his soft voice and gentle ways fully to her liking. She knew that with
Yeshua she would always be loved and sheltered. And besides that, she remembered
the reverence with which John the Baptizer spoke to Yeshua. She remembered that when
Yeshua first approached his cousin, John ever so slightly bowed his head to show
respect. This signaled to Mary that there was more to Yeshua than met the eye. So
Mary was delighted by the prospect of marrying Yeshua. [...]
And certain women which had been healed of afflictions and infirmities ministered
unto the Lord with all gentle affection.
And of them were Mary of Magdala, Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s chief steward,
Susanna of Jotapata, Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus, Regilla of Hippos, and
many others also, and they gave unto the ministry of their substance.
Thus did the Master grant discipleship unto the daughters and mothers of men, which
thing caused many to wonder concerning him; and as he continued teaching, there came
Martha from the house, saying:
“Good Master, if it be pleasing unto you, send Mary to help me in the kitchen, for
I alone am left to serve.”
And Yeshua answered her, saying: “Martha, Martha, you are over troubled for many
things and are over burdened with a multitude of care.
Yet one thing is needful, to take to your soul the kingdom of God. Surely Mary has
chosen well this goodly thing, and it shall never be taken from her.”