Martha – 10 Points for Bible Study 01/31/2015

From our lesson of  Martha, Luke 10:38-42; John 11:1-12:3 , here are some important points. The points do not directly answer the questions on pages 192-195 of the text, but may help you in our discussion of the Saturday Bible Study 01/31/2015.

1. Martha, her name, the feminine form of “Lord”, means “Lady”. (4, page 355)

2.  Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus (John 11:1-2) lived together in Bethany, a village less than two miles from Jerusalem (John 11:18). 

3. All three were intimate friends with Jesus (John 11:5).

4. Martha was the pratical type: the mistress of the house (Luke 10:38; John 12:2) impatient over her sister’s contemplative bent (Luke 10:40) and collected enough in her bereavement to meet Jesus on his approach to Bethany and explain the situation concerning her brother Lazarus’ death (John 11:20-27). (2, page 287)

5.“Distracted with Much Serving ( Luke 10:38-42 ) “This story of Martha and Mary, one of the most exquisite in the Gospels, is found only in Luke. One can no more than guess as to why it is given its particular location in the narrative. Is it because the writer or his source rushed to caution against a conception of Christian life which would make it consist alone in deeds of the benevolent, like that of the good Samaritans? This has been suggested, but is at best doubtful. Still a major point of the story is undoubtedly that service of others is not enough; indeed, that it is possible to be distracted with much serving. It is possible to lose one’s soul in a program of highly useful activities.Our services to others must be in a relation of contract alteration or rhythm with our sitting at the Lord’s feet and listening to his word (1, page 197)

6. Martha knew that Jesus had the power to heal (John 11:21).

7 She felt free to ask Jesus for favors (John 11:21).

8. She believed in the resurrection of the dead on the final day (John 11:24).

9. She felt that after a person was dead for 4 days, even Jesus could not raise them from the dead (John 11:39).

10. Jesus visited the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus shortly before the Passover and His death. Martha served a dinner in his honor. (John 12:12).

1. The Interpreter’s Bible, In Twelve Volumes, Volume 8, Abingdon Press, 1956

2. The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Volume Three K-Q, In Four Volumes, Abingdon Press, New York 1962.

3. The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1995. (All Scriptures)

4. Women of the Bible,  One Year Devotional Study of Women in Scripture, Ann Spangler and Jean E. Syswerda, Zondervan, 2007.

5. Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups, Jean E Syswerda, Zondervan, 1999.

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