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Mary, Martha and Jesus, some reflections 2

October 4, 2007

I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised at Martha’s initial reaction in Luke 10:40

"Lord, don’t you care…?"

It reminded me that in Mark 4:35-41, in the middle of the storm while Jesus was in the boat, the disciples said

"Master, don’t you care…?"

It seems that Jesus’ lack of engagement with the matters that consumed them was interpreted as lack of care.

Jesus spends his whole career being misunderstood by people. It must have been really wearing on him. After the death of Lazarus, when he eventually decided to go to Bethany, even though Laz had been dead for four days, Martha meets him:

"If you had been here my brother wouldn’t have died" (John 11:21)

Although leavened with a statement about resurrection, she still misunderstands – you could have done something! Mary, on the other hand, (the one who spent time in his presence, remember), she stays in the house in a strop and refuses to come out and meet him, and when she does go, she berates Jesus,

"if you had been here he wouldn’t have died" (John 11:32 – implication: ‘you don’t care!’)

Even the crowd round the scene misunderstand and misinterpret his actions:

"Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?" (John 11:37)

And all this at the conclusion of his ministry, days before his death.

No wonder he wept (John 11:35).

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From → Gospels

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