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Thursday, April 18 2013
The House of Martha and Mary
The ancient village of Bethany was located on the south-eastern slope of the Mount Of Olives (see also Zechariah: He Shall Stand Upon The Mount Of Olives). As such, it was on the natural route that the Messiah took as He journeyed to and from Galilee and Jerusalem. It was while on such a journey that Jesus met "a certain woman named Martha" who became a believer and "received him into her house." Martha also had a sister named Mary (i.e. in the actual Hebrew, Miriam; see also What Does The Bible Really Say About Mary?) and a brother named Lazarus (in the actual Hebrew, Eleazar, pronounced ale-aw-zawr).
"10:38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 10:39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. 10:40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
Some time later, when their brother Lazarus became very sick, Martha and Mary, in their obvious faith in Him, asked the Messiah to come and heal Lazarus (see also Israel In History and Prophecy: The Messiah and Day of Atonement: The Messiah's Deliverance). Jesus received their message, but deliberately stayed away so that Lazarus would die. Why? "That I may awake him out of sleep"
"11:1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 11:2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) 11:3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
When the Messiah arrived, Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days. Martha and Mary responded to His arrival differently; "Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house." Both expected not to see Lazarus alive again, although Martha's faith in the resurrection held strong: "I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day" (see The Harvest Prophecies). Martha then called for Mary, who "arose quickly, and came unto Him."
"11:17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. 11:18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: 11:19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. 11:20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.
The resurrection of Lazarus, as the Messiah had planned to do (the reason that He stayed away while Lazarus was sick) then happened, after Jesus prayed to the Father. Notice carefully why the Messiah prayed and did the miracle - "I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me."
"11:38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. 11:39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone.
As stated in the verses above, Mary's faith apparently differed from that of Martha, at least until the resurrection of Lazarus took place. Notice too that up to that time Mary's religious fellowship was with "many of the Jews which came to Mary." They were all Jews, but Martha was among the first of them to look beyond a mere human Messiah (as Judaism is to this day still looking for; see Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism). The miracle helped many others, including Mary, to realize what Martha did. Unfortunately however, "some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done," which made it more dangerous for Jesus to be in Jerusalem.
"11:45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. 11:46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done." (John 11:45-46 KJV)
The house of Martha and Mary continued to be a place where the Messiah visited, right up to the time of His Crucifixion.
"12:1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. 12:2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
This Day In History, April 18
1025: Boleslaw Chrobry (known as Boleslaw I the Valiant) became the first King of Poland.
1328: Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV ("Louis the Bavarian") deposed Pope John XXII in Rome in a quarrel over who had superior authority (see Emperors and Popes). Peter of Corbara was appointed anti-pope as Nicholas V (see Antipopes).
1521: The trial of Martin Luther began its second day during the assembly of the Diet of Worms ("diet" is from the Latin word for day, used to refer to a daily assembly, while "Worms" is the English rendering of Vorms, a city in Germany). Luther refused to recant his anti-pope teachings, while keeping, as the "Protestant" world has done ever since, nearly all of the Church of Rome's anti-Christ doctrines (see Antichristians).
1689: British Chief Justice Judge George Jeffreys died in the Tower of London. He presided over the "Bloody Assizes" following the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685.
1834: William Lamb became Prime Minister of England.
1847: U.S. forces under General Winfield Scott attacked Mexican forces under General Santa Anna at the battle of Cerro-Gordo.
1897: The Greco-Turkish War was declared between the Ottoman Empire and Greece.
1906: A powerful earthquake struck San Francisco (then a relatively small town). It killed more than 1,000 people and left over 200,000 people homeless.
1943: While traveling in a bomber, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the planner of the attack on Pearl Harbor, was killed after the plane was shot down by U.S. P-38 fighters.
1946: The League of Nations was dissolved. It was replaced by the United Nations.
1949: The passing of the Republic of Ireland Act.
1950: The first transatlantic jet flight, a BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation, today British Airways) Comet airliner from London to New York.
1951: France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg signed a treaty to establish the European Coal and Steel Community.
1954: Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser became the leader of Egypt.
1955: Albert Einstein, German-born scientist, died at age 76. He formulated the Theory of Relativity and won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921.
1974: A Washington court issued a subpoena on U.S. President Richard Nixon to produce tape recordings and other "cover-up" evidence demanded by prosecutors for their investigation of the Watergate crimes.
1996: Over 100 civilian refugees were killed by Israeli artillery that bombarded a UN compound in Qana, Lebanon.