The Son of God among the Sons of Men Part 11: Jesus and Martha -- By: Everett F. Harrison

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 104:415 (Jul 1947)
Article: The Son of God among the Sons of Men Part 11: Jesus and Martha
Author: Everett F. Harrison

The Son of God among the Sons of Men
Part 11: Jesus and Martha

Everett F. Harrison

XI. Jesus and Martha

We have already seen how Jesus ministered to a woman in need (John 4). Now we are to see how a woman ministered to Him. Luke supplies the information that during a certain period, at any rate, of the Galilean campaign, several women who had received healing of their ailments at the hands of Jesus went about with Him and the disciples, meeting their needs out of the material resources which they had (8:2, 3). In Judea there was nothing comparable to this, but a woman made her home available to the Master whenever He chose to come. Since Martha lived at Bethany, her hospitality was a special boon to Jesus, for He could teach in Jerusalem and mingle with its crowds, then seek quiet and rest at her home scarcely two miles away.

This relief was doubly welcome in view of the strenuous nature of the teaching program to which Jesus set Himself in those closing days and the darkening face of opposition turned toward Him by the leaders of the Jews. The latter even set spies to work, in addition to keeping close watch on Him for themselves (Luke 20:20). We have also from Luke the information that during the last week before the passion, it was Jesus’ custom to spend the night in Bethany (21:37). From the fact that the verb there used denotes the making of a bivouac, plus the circumstance that there is mention only of the mount of Olives, not of the town of Bethany, it is possible that Jesus spent those nights in the open air. But the matter must be decided, if it can be settled at all, with the help of Matthew 21:17, where the same verb is used, but

where it is distinctly stated that Jesus lodged in Bethany. According to Matthew 26:6 and Mark 14:3, the Master on one occasion was in the house of Simon the leper, and His disciples with Him. Doubtless this man had a commodious place, and gratitude for his healing could well have prompted him to offer his premises for Jesus’ use during His stay in that vicinity. So whether at his home, or at Martha’s, or at both, some provision was assuredly made for the comfort of the Teacher and His friends.

Our first glimpse of this hospitality being extended to Jesus by Martha comes from the account in Luke 10:38–42, and this wi...

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