Martha, the crippled woman, and a gardner

Mar 11, 2022
It would be easy to read the Gospels and conclude that Jesus spent all of his time with his apostles, infrequently mingling with other people while he taught or healed them. These stories are meant to convey a different picture.

Somehow, Jesus met the family of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha and spent enough time with them to become close friends. It is likely that Jesus stayed in many homes as he traveled, so it seems likely that he made other close friends too.

At another point in time, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. From the stories about this family, it appears they were well off financially. In this episode about Martha, it is likely she could have afforded servants to serve everyone instead of doing it herself. That fact that she didn’t may say more about her personality than about her financial status.

In this video episode of Martha, the part of the story up to when Jesus chastises Martha is in the Bible. After that, the story represents one possible reaction that Martha might have had. The Bible does not say what Martha’s reaction actually was.

In the modern world, celebrities surround themselves with armed bodyguards to keep away the crowds. There is some evidence to conclude that Jesus’ followers did try to keep the crowds away from Jesus on occasion, but other stories lead to the conclusion that Jesus came to be in contact with many other people outside of his group.

The crippled woman fought through the crowds just to get near Jesus. It was obvious she had faith, and she was healed. It was good news that God cared about her. However, the chapter starts out with the story of Pilate killing Galileans. God cared about them, too, but did not choose to save them. The apostles must have struggled with those types of incongruities.

In the Parable of the Narrow Door, Jesus makes it clear that many Jews who think they are righteous will not be saved, while many non-Jews will be saved. This must have come as quite a shock to Jews who thought they had exclusive favor of God.

There is a subtle message in Jesus’ reply to the Pharisees in Luke 13:32-33. Herod Antipas is probably in Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee, and is threatening Jesus once again. Jesus knows the time for his death is near, so he no longer has to avoid Herod and his threats since he is leaving Galilee for the last time. He is going to Jerusalm.