Biblical Women Mary of Bethany


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Mary of Bethany : 

Mary of Bethany Sister of Martha and Lazarus

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Martha’s story can be found in all four gospels. We learn the most about her from the gospel of Matthew 26:3-13 and John 11:1-12:11. It seems that Mary was a single woman who in time would become totally devoted to Jesus. Much of what we know about her is contrasted with her sister, Martha and highlighted by the death of her brother and her anointing of Jesus. Turning to the gospel of Luke 10:38-42 we see Martha complaining to their house guest, Jesus, about Mary’s lack of help in preparing the meal. Martha had made two mistakes in asking this understandable question. First, she demonstrated her concerns with things of this world and Second, she overlooked that part of hospitality is entertaining the guest or in this case being entertained by the guest.

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Mary had chosen the better part by disregarding things of this world and learning about the next world by sitting at the feet of the word’s greatest teacher, Jesus. In the gospel of John chapter 11 we hear of the tragedy that stuck their family when Lazarus their brother died.

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Again we see Martha rush to Jesus to confront Him with His apparent lack of concern for Lazarus’ illness and subsequent death, again issues of concern for our temporal world. Mary on the other hand sat quietly in the home but when Martha told her that Jesus called she sprung into action. Often times in our lives the Holy Spirit calls us to do things. We should be like Mary and spring into action to do the Lord’s bidding.

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Mary then does what we all should do, she brought her concerns to the Lord in prayer and worship. The Lord was moved with compassion, went to the tomb and asked that the stone be removed. Lazarus had been dead for four days (Jn. 11:39). Lazarus was raised from the dead and we are told that many of the Jews who had followed Mary from the house became believers. You see, Mary had led others to Christ.

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Mary was also the one who anointed Jesus with nard. This action shows her to be prophetic in that Jesus says, “she has anointed my body beforehand for burying.” (Mk. 14:8 RSVCE) Mary’s encounters with Jesus all point to her desire to build a deep relationship with Him. Mary of Bethany wasn’t afraid to express her love and devotion to Jesus. Her acts of devotion as Jesus said, would be remembered forever as an example of total self-giving to the Lord. Catholic Biblical Association (Great Britain). (1997, c1994). The Holy Bible : Revised Standard Version, Catholic edition, translated from the original tongues, being the version set forth A.D. 1611, Old and New Testament revised A.D. 1881-1885 and A.D. 1901 (Apocrypha revised A.D. 1894), compared with the most ancient authorities and revised A.D. 1952 (Apocrypha revised A.D. 1957) (Mk 14:8). New York: National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.

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