Mary (Martha's sister)

Along with Lazarus, these two sisters frequently had Jesus to stay, and no doubt, this ministry extended to other visitors too. Mary gave Jesus her full attention and was attentive to what he had to say, which irked her ‘service focused’ sister.

Her story is told in Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 10:38-42; John 11:17-45, 12:1-11.

Lessons from her life: * She did not allow the practical aspects of being a host rob her of quality time with the guest (Lk 10:39,40). Spending time with Jesus and service are both necessary in a Christian’s walk. Jesus said Mary’s learning from Him was the appropriate choice at that time.  Listeners must remember to put into practice what they hear (Jas 1:25). Mary had to learn to listen and do, while Martha to stop and listen. Which of these sisters portrays my typical response?

* By listening to Jesus she came to understand forthcoming events. This was outworked when Mary, in an act of devotion and honour, anointed Jesus’ feet with costly perfume and wiped them with her hair (Jn 12:1-7).  The onlookers were taken aback as Jesus commended her for her act of worship and sacrifice. Do I, in humility, show my love and devotion to Christ or hold back, fearful that people will term me fanatical?

See also: balance, being and doing, devotion, Lazarus, Martha.