The village that Jesus and His followers entered in verse 38 was likely Bethany. Though the text does not state specifically, Mary and Martha in these verses are surely the same two women that were the sisters of Lazarus (John 11:1). Lazarus is not mentioned here, and some have speculated that it may be because of Jesus’ personal relationship with the three siblings.
Those who were Jesus’ enemies were still in power when Luke was written (John was written later), and so some believe that, given the nature of the miracle Jesus performed on Lazarus, it was not desirable to call more attention to this family. This is thoughtful speculation, but it could be over-thinking the situation. The Holy Spirit determined what would be included in each gospel. Though there was much else that happened at their home, Luke had a certain point to make.
Martha was distracted with “much serving” as a hostess, while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to His teaching. Martha thought Mary should help her instead, and she told Jesus so. Jesus answered: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
This passage is here simply to remind us of how easy it is for us to become so busy and distracted, so anxious and worried about other things, that we forget about what is most important. Martha and Mary had the Son of God in their home as a guest teaching those present personally. Martha’s heart was in the right place wanting to be a good hostess to all present. But what Jesus had to offer her was more important, and the rest would keep.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.