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Martha, Martha

Properly Discerning our Gifts

Feast; #FT12-07; 38 minutes
Given 04-Oct-12

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Mark Schindler, alluding to the Hollywood Movie The Ten Commandments as an illustration , suggests that the repetition of the name of Moses depicts special reverence given to this character. Seven stalwart individuals received this special distinction: Abraham, Abraham (Genesis 22:11) Jacob, Jacob (Genesis 46:2), Moses, Moses (Genesis 3:4), Samuel, Samuel ( I Samuel 3: 15), Simon, Simon (Luke 22), Saul, Saul (Acts 9:4), Martha, Martha (Luke 10:41). Martha we would consider a person of similar stature to all of us. In each of these particular instances, God reveals Himself, gives clear directions for the course He has given, gives certain gifts (which are sometimes used for selfish purposes) to each, demonstrating that His purpose alone will stand. Even when we miss the mark, God can use the mistake to further His purpose, and that there is more to life than one spectacular sacrifice. Martha used her gifts, but to an extreme which was excessive. Jesus had to reel her in, setting her on a more productive course. We need to use our gifts responsibly, listening for God's prompts and direction, not in a self-willed fashion. Indeed, our very afflictions may be given as gifts or blessings to strengthen us. We were all selected as surely as these seven luminaries, and should strive to use our gifts for His glory rather than ours.

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I think it is safe to presume that most of you have seen the movie “The Ten Commandments.” So as most of you know it was a spectacular Hollywood production known not only for its splendid visual effects but also for sublime music and dialogue. One of the things that Nancy and I have always found a bit amusing about the film is that the people are constantly calling Moses, “Moses, Moses.” As a matter of fact our kids, when they were little, sometimes referred to the film as the “Moses, Moses movie.”

I do not mean to be disrespectful to God or Moses, but in typical Hollywood fashion, Moses was made larger than life a number of times by immediate repetition of his name. Whether it is Pharaoh on his own death bed proclaiming, “Moses, Moses, Moses,” or whether it is Nefertiti declaring her love to him and addressing his as, “Moses, Moses.” Hollywood, in grandiose style, separates him from the others by the emphatic and immediate repetition of his name.

However do you realize, brethren, that in the Bible there is only one time Moses is immediately repeated for emphasis and that is by God himself. And, in addition to that, there are only seven places in the whole Bible where God draws our attention to a specific individual by the immediate repetition of that particular person’s name. In each case, it is the word of God Himself, either as the God of the Old Testament, as Jesus Christ as a man, or Christ as the resurrected head of the body who is speaking directly to that person. With much more meaning than drawing our attention to the one considered the central character in a Hollywood epic.

God typically uses devices such as this in the scriptures to draw our attention to very important lessons for those whom he has called to a deeper understanding according to His word. Six of the seven included in this group, we already consider heroes of faithful service and calling in their election. There are people specifically chosen by Him to whom He has revealed exactly who He is, what He has done, and what He is doing. They have walked faithfully in spite of the trials that were their lot in life because their focus was on the revealed God of the scriptures. They learned through their life experiences to completely trust Him in everything.

These seven are just like us, with the potential that God has given His elect. But we are going to look more carefully at one of them that we have hardly ever considered as part of this honored group, but who was as faithfully devoted to God's service as the others and an emphatic example to us today. An example to the elect God has chosen to live this life of preparation for service to Him in the millennium.

I will quickly give you the list of where the repetition takes place and look at the circumstances; then we will go back to a brief examination of several of the common threads that weave these seven together as encouraging examples to us.

God's elect who are living through the trials of this end time which God carefully, mercifully and faithfully uses to prepare those called to meet Jesus Christ at His coming. We will then look a little more carefully into the life of that other person I talked about, the “seven stalwarts” of God's chosen people.

The first one is “Abraham, Abraham” in Genesis 22:11 when Abraham was in the process of sacrificing his son. God called out to him, “Now I know that Abraham will remain faithful.”

The second one is “Jacob, Jacob” in Genesis 46:2 at Beersheba when Jacob was in the process of dubiously marching out of the land that God promised him. He was sacrificing to God asking should he do this because he was leaving the land that God promised to him and his descendants, and God told him to go ahead and go to the land of Joseph in Egypt, and he would bring the people back out.

Number three is “Moses, Moses” in Exodus 3:4 on Horeb when Moses had responded to God and turned to see the burning bush and was given his instructions after a lifetime of preparation to finally go and do the job that God had prepared him for.

Number four is” Samuel, Samuel” in I Samuel 3:10 when God spoke to Samuel as a child of about twelve to give him his marching orders for the remainder of his life to judge and lead Israel.

Number five is “Simon, Simon,” in Luke 22:41 when Jesus told Peter at the last Passover before he died that Satan wanted him, but that He (Jesus) would pray for him so that his talents would be redirected to what He and the Father wanted to accomplish in his life.

Number six was “Saul, Saul” in Acts 9:4 when on the road to Damascus God struck him down to redirect him to using all the talents that God had given him toward what God wanted to accomplish.

And last but, certainly not least of these loyalists to God's plan and purpose that God points us to because of the inclusion of this group is “Martha, Martha” in Luke 10:41 when Jesus affectionately refocused Martha’s mind and used her talents.

Now let us go back and take a look at some of the common threads that weave together these seven that God has brought to our attention. As Richard has told us many times in the past, there is the law of first mention in the Bible, so it is important for us to look at Abraham in order to pick up the commonalities with which God is tying this particular group together as an important lesson to His chosen few preparing to serve with them in the millennium and throughout eternity.

However, rather than starting with Moses' account recorded in Genesis, I would like you to turn to Acts 7, because God inspired his servant Stephen here to make something absolutely clear to us which is certainly implied but not stated in the Genesis 12 account.

Acts 6:15 And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an angel.

Now in Acts 7:2-8.

Acts 7:2-8 And he said, “Men and brethren and fathers, listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, and aid to him, 'Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.' Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans and dwelt in Haran. And from there, when his father was dead, He moved him to this land in which you now dwell. And God gave him no inheritance in it, not even enough to set his foot on. But even when Abraham had no child, He promised to give it to him for a possession, and to his descendants after him. But God spoke in this way: that his descendants would sojourn in a foreign land, and that they would bring them into bondage and oppress them four hundred years. 'And the nation to whom they will be in bondage I will judge, 'said God, 'and after that they shall come out and serve Me in this place.' “Then He gave him a covenant of circumcision; and so Abraham begot Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot the twelve patriarchs.

At the end of verse 6, Stephen had given an account for why he believed what he did.

We looked as Stephens account first as recorded in Acts rather than starting in Genesis 12 because I wanted to make sure that you see in God's word what we obviously all know. The God of glory revealed Himself and gave direction to Abraham.

I want us to quickly go through several scriptures now without much comment that will show us a pattern set in Abraham's life which we can extend to the other six and down to us.

Genesis 15:1-7 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.“ Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “so shall your descendants be.” And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. Then He said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.”

Now turn with me over to Genesis 16. Chapter 16 is the record of Abraham's failure to wait on God and fulfill the promise; at the urging of Sarah, he had a relationship with Hagar that was a real disaster for all involved bringing with it consequences that produced great pain for many people even unto this day. We will pick in up in verse 8, after Hagar is found in the wilderness by an angel of the Lord.

Genesis 16:8-13 And He said, “Hagar, Sarai's maid, where have you come from, and

where are you going?” And she said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress

Sarai.” So the Angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.” Then the Angel of the Lord said to her, “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.” And the angel of the Lord said to her: “Behold, you are with child, and you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has heard your affliction. He shall be a wild man; his hand shall be against every man, and every man's hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all brethren.” Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”

Now down in Genesis 17:1-11

Genesis 17:1-11 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. “And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. “No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. “I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for and everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. “Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. “This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; “and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.

Brethren, at this time, Abraham was 99 years old. Even though we have no precise way of knowing how long he had already been called in a relationship with God, we do know that it had been many, many years; and it was only now, as an old man, that God makes the most significant part of his plan and purpose for him shown.

We are not going to have time to go through all the things in Abraham's life that set up the pattern for those who would be called after him because that is a subject for many sermons; that is not the focus of my message today. I just wanted us to get our thinking headed in that direction because I believe God tied Martha into this group so that we can see that an average, gifted, one of His elect (just like us) is tied into this prominent group, and also so we can see clearly, without excuse, that His expectations of successes, failures, and endurance are the same for all His elect.

If we had time to go through each one of His “faithful 7” at length, we would see seven clear threads from the pattern of Abraham that tie them together. They are:

  1. God reveals himself to each as the Holy God of Glory.

2. He gives clear direction from the overall course of one’s life which becomes more focused with faithful submission.

3. He gives certain gifts for each to be used carefully and thoughtfully in consideration to God's word and promises. He expects His elect to know Him so well that these gifts be used in an appropriate way and at the appropriate time.

4. These gifts, of and by themselves, can easily become a source of mere personal satisfaction if they are not used in faithfully moving beyond the comfort zone that they seem to give us.

5. God makes it absolutely clear, through a lifetime of nurturing by Him, that it is He who will do whatever it takes to get His plan and purpose accomplished. And there must be no doubt among His elect that He will do it and we must cooperate.

6. Even when we sin and fail to hit the mark, perhaps taking matters into our own hands, God will use it to accomplish what He wills; and we will continue to move forward with Him, in spite of stumbling along the way, if we continue to seek Him, repent, and respond faithfully to changing our direction to His direction of life.

7. There is much more to life than one great sacrifice, which shows God our heart. It must be a lifetime of faithfully executing God's plan and purpose, 24/7, as He sees it, rightly using the gifts that He has given.

With these things in mind, I would like you to turn to Luke10. Jesus' words to Martha are recorded there.

However, I think it might be helpful for us to consider, before we read these verses, to look at the context in which these verses are given. In Luke 9:57-62, we see Jesus' comments to his disciples about the high cost of following Him; and once one puts their hands to the plow there must be no hesitation or looking back, to be fit for the Kingdom of God. Luke 10:1-20 is Luke's record of Jesus' sending out of the 70 with God's supplied gifts and His protection in order to accomplish his work. It also tells us of them returning in great joy saying that they had authority over demons, to which Jesus replied:

Luke 10:18-20 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names [every one of you] are written in heaven.”

Do not get caught up in rejoicing in the gifts themselves as a source of self-sanctification. Satan is very clever and will use those very gifts to bring us down unless our focus is always where it needs to be, which should be on using the gifts in the way that God has determined for those chosen to do his work as he will have them use them.

Jesus' words to his Father and his disciples in Luke 10:21-24 as well as the parable of the good Samaritan’s service to others in verse 25-37 are also crucial to our appreciation of what we are told about Martha and her sister Mary in verses 38-42. Even though verses 25-37 are important to helping our understanding verses 38-42, I think you are all familiar enough with the parable of the good Samaritan that you should be able to see the tie-in without reading those verses, but please reread them when you get a chance.

Now we will consider what Christ said to His father and his disciples in Luke 10:21-24 before we read in Acts 38-42.

Luke 10:21-24 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the spirit [this is just after the seventy had come back] and said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is but the Father, and who the Father is but the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” And He turned to His disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things that you see; for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see and have not seen it, and hear what you hear, and have not heard it.”

This is the same for you, brethren, and it was the same for Martha. Now this is shortly after the parable Christ gave about the good Samaritan and all those other things I mentioned:

Luke 10:38-42 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached him and said, “Lord do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

In Herbert Lockyer's book, “All The Women Of The Bible,” he writes: “The majority of women in the Bible are revealed to us in passing hints. None of them are as fully pictured as we would like, but when we look at Martha it does seem as if her character is more fully revealed than that of many other females.

Luke gives us our first glimpse of her in a piece of writing, which is one of the marvels of literature as H.V. Morton expresses. There is not one word we can do without, yet the picture is complete and framed as it were by the kitchen door. Luke tells it all in 98 words.

So what is this picture that God shows his elect here? What is summarized in these 98 words that is of such importance to us that God points out this ordinary woman by including her in this company of His choosen, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, Peter and Paul? Because of lack of time, I am not going to build the case for each point. I am merely going to point them out to you as food for thought so you can consider them in your own life as the elect of God.

Just prior to the only account of Martha, outside the gospel of John, God prepares us for what is about to be said about His relationship with Martha and Mary from the things we can glean from Luke 9:57 and Luke 10:38.

The first point is: disciples of Christ would find the cost of discipleship very high. Christ and His disciples would be sheep among wolves relying on hospitality of others of like minds. Few labors are called into the harvest. The calling is very specifically done by the Father and the Son. The son also gives extraordinary gifts and protection, including the gift of sacrificial hospitality as shown in the parable of the good Samaritan.

Those gifts are merely a means to an end that Satan will come and try to use those very gifts to bring us down in self-glorifying pride, which will not only pit one person with gifts against another, but will actually end up having us oppose God's judgment over our own.

And the next point is: Prioritizing our own time between the work of using our gifts in sacrificial service to others and having our eyes and ears blessed at the appropriate times by the revealed word of God is critical to our salvation.

These now can become part of our short analysis of the lesson God was pointing us to with Martha. But first I would like to read to you another comment that Herbert Lockyer had about both Martha and Mary, because I think it will show that God was pointing to more than just Martha here, but to Martha and Mary as types of His elect.

Lockyer writes: “We have no scriptural warrant for affirming that the difference between the quiet, pious Mary and her industrious sister is that of the opposite of light and darkness. In the church there are vessels of gold and vessels of silver. We are not justified in saying that the character of Mary is a work of gold and Martha is silver. These two sisters in that Bethany family had their respective talents and each of them served the master accordingly.”

So now before we turn to a bit more complete picture of Martha and Mary in the gospel of John, I want us to see how we can glean from these verses that Luke has written here and what God has pointed to within their context.

In verse 38, we see Jesus and his disciples welcomed to her home. There are a number of things we need to think about here, especially with our relationships with God and with one another. Martha received him and the apostle with gracious and diligent hospitality, just as Abraham received the two angels prior to Sodom and Gomorrah.

Do we do this for Him by now doing it with each other? From this account and from the account in John, which we will look at in a few minutes, we will see that this hospitality and industrious nature was apparently a God-given gift to be used in service. There are also many different explanations why this home is identified here in John's account as Maratha’s, which would have been quite unusual for a woman at that time. But the point is, here is another apparent gift from God that her home was to be used in service of others—but, as seen in verse 40, was also a source for failing to hit the mark because of focusing too much on the gifts she had and not on the appropriate use of them in the appropriate time.

Verve 39 also points out some things that many have overlooked.

Luke 10:39 “And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard his word.”

Martha is often maligned as being the representation of someone who is more concerned about worldly things while Mary was more concerned about the spiritual. This is not true, brethren. As this verse shows, she and Mary were both those who submissively sat at Jesus' feet and heard His words. We know that this metaphor for someone who has placed themselves in a position to learn from the teacher, just as in Acts 22:3, the Apostle Paul talked about being brought up at the feet of Gamaliel and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers. So Martha and Mary were both being taught at Jesus' feet.

Martha had probably been so eager to offer her hospitality to Christ because she had known Him through His words and was eager to please him the best way that she thought she could, and to please Him because she loved him. But just like Peter, in his love for his master, found himself at odds with God's purpose for Christ’s sacrifice because of his misdirected gift of zeal and “take charge” attitude; Martha, too, let herself slip into a misdirected use of her gifts and did not correctly discern how to use her gifts wisely at that particular time.

Another very, very important point God is showing us, in pointing us to Martha, is found in verse 40. A serious warning to all. Satan will do everything he can to turn us against God and one another by accusing God of being unfair to us, because he may convince us that everyone else needs to be doing the exact same thing that we are doing; because this is our talent, everyone should have this talent. Then the way that they use the gifts must be the same way that we use our gifts. This is a very dangerous, slippery slope to be on.

Martha had allowed Satan to subtly convince her that what she was doing with her gifts was more important than what Mary was doing at the time; and she indirectly accused Christ of not caring that her work was of greater importance. But Jesus, in His love for Martha and her zeal to serve Him, gently warned her of the trap that she had fallen into, just like He did with Peter.

Luke 10:41-42 …and Jesus answered and said to her “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

It was gentle reprimand, a reminder that discernment, in use of our gifts, must always be used to ultimately be focused on the end result. And we may think it unfair, but what we think is unfair, may just be blindness generated from our own self-centered focus on ourselves and our gifts, within the strengths of gifts that do not even belong to us in the first place.

I think there is a very important lesson that God wants us to learn here in that we all have different gifts and if we get caught up in those gifts, we may all wind up being bitter and finding ourselves at cross purposes with God and one another, which is very important.

But if we listen for God's loving direction and admonitions, we will be using our gifts together in the way that is pleasing to Him and will fulfill His purpose for us and for all of us. Now please turn with me to John and his more expansive account of Martha. We will see the lesson that God is pointing us to, more clearly linking Martha to the other giants of faithful servants to Him.

John 11:1-5 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

In these five verses, John establishes the relationship of love and affection that existed among Jesus, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. Not only that, but God clearly points out that each had a very different and significant gift before them. As hard as it might be for us to think when we go through trials and illnesses…do we see them as gifts? Jesus tells us right here in this book that Lazarus' sickness and death were gifts given so that the Son of God may be glorified through them. This is a tough nut to crack, brethren, but we have got to think of these things that way.

John 11:6-16 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. [Very important to stop here for a second because Jesus Christ is explaining there is a time and a place to do everything, and a time and a place to use the gifts He has given us as well.] “But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.” Then Thomas, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”

Again, God is pointing us to Martha. He shows us in these verses that those called to him must carefully consider all the things in terms of how they best work and fit into fulfilling God's plan and purpose just as Jesus did here, as I mentioned.

John 11:17-28 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Then Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You. “ [She had come a long way in understanding what Jesus was doing, but as you will see in a little bit…not quite far enough as all of us.] Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, [just as all of us have said to Him] “yes Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying “The Teacher has come and is calling for you.”

As soon as she heard that Jesus was in the vicinity, Martha rushed off to seek him. This impetuous zeal was one of her gifts, just like that of the apostle Peter. And just like Peter, she proclaimed Jesus to be the Christ, The Son of the Living God.

In this account, we see another important lesson to us, the elect of God. Martha and Mary had different reactions to their difficult circumstances, and they differed in their approaches. Because of Martha's personality, she immediately was aware that Jesus had come, and in spite of here grief she attacked the problem head on. Mary was so absorbed in her own grief and the grief of the people around her, I presume, that she was not aware of His presence until Martha came and got her.

Brethren, does this mean that Martha's way of handling the situation was better than Mary's or vice versa? No, it does not. It is just another indication from God that his elect are each gifted differently and with different personalities and will respond in different way to the situations in their lives.

These things should never, ever be a source of contention among the brethren. God gives each gifts and personalities for His glory.

John 11:38-44 Then Jesus, again came groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead for four days.” [This is what I meant about Martha coming to the point where she knew who Christ was, but she still had not gotten to that stage, that we are all working towards, in her belief] Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I say this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” Now when He had said these things , He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

Here is another example for us of Martha. She knew who Christ was, as I said, but her own perception of circumstances limited her faith in what He could do and what He would do. We must constantly think on God's words and learn that if we believe Him, we will see the glory of God before us.

Martha, one of the ordinary elects, has been specifically included in this group of Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, Peter, and Paul. In doing this God makes sure that we see someone just like us and understand that we were just as carefully chosen by Him and gifted to support the entire body right now and prepare together for the responsibilities that will be ours to serve and to teach others together at Christ's return.

As Jesus said just prior to our introduction to “Martha, Martha” in Luke 10:22-24:

Luke 10:22- 24 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is but the Father, and who the Father is but the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” And He turned to His disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things that you see; for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see and have not seen it, and hear what you hear, and have not heard it.”

Brethren, we were all just as carefully selected and individually gifted by God as Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, Peter, Paul, and Martha to serve with Jesus Christ at His return.

MS/skm/cah




 

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