Those closest to God in the Bible have found themselves at times in a position contrary to the will of God. Often times these champions of the faith have uttered words or committed actions that seemingly defied God’s plan. Abraham and his son Isaac both lied to save their own skin. (Genesis 20 & 26) Jacob’s life is filled with “sticky” situations. Moses didn’t even get to enter the Promised Land. King David’s indiscretions are infamous. Peter’s impulsiveness got him in trouble more times than we have time to list in here. God’s rebuke of such behavior leaves a permanent imprint of His Holy Wisdom for all His children to see throughout the ages.
It is not by chance that these pillars of our faith exercised their free will and made wrong choices in their lives. It was all part of the Divine plan so God’s glory, wisdom, power and sovereignty would shine. The Lord is our Maker. He is our Father. O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64: 8 He has the owner’s manual in His hands. He wrote it! He is the only one who knows how to “use” us for good. Only when we surrender to Him and allow Him to make us His instruments, all our “flaws” become assets to further His Kingdom.
When we look at Martha we see the same paradigm. Like Peter, quick to action and ready to stick his foot in his mouth, Martha was a woman of strong character. I see a lot of Peter in Martha. Remember, Peter was the only one who got out of the boat and got to walk on water, but as soon as he looked away from the Lord, he got distracted by the waves and the storm, and began to sink. Likewise, Martha was the only one to get her hands into the work that needed to be done in order to host the King of Kings; but got distracted by the mountain of chores that the event involved. She looked away. She got distracted by the “storm,” and began to sink.
Like Peter, Martha would have another chance. She would have another encounter where she’ll experience the redeeming power of the Lord. Three times Peter denied Jesus, and three times he got to affirm his love for Christ. (Luke 22: 54-62; John 21: 15-20) The Lord had told Peter that the devil had asked Him to “sift” him as wheat, but that He knew Peter would “come back” from shame and be able to strengthen his brothers. (Luke 22: 31-32) After all, Peter was the one disciple who declared:
“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” when Jesus asked them directly, “who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:13-20)
Much in the same way, Martha proclaims the truth about Jesus when she says:"Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world,” in response to our Lord’s question regarding whether or not she believed His word. (John 11: 26-27) Jesus chose Martha to reveal Himself to. He told her, as He met her on His way to her brother’s Lazarus’ tomb that she needed not to worry, for
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11: 26-27)
This revelation for the ages was brought forth to Christianity through the centuries thanks to a gesture of kindness from the Messiah to His dear friend because He knew Martha would “get it.”
Martha got it, indeed. The Lord redeemed her and gave her another chance to recognize and to choose the one thing that matters. She was not distracted this time. She was ready. She did not hesitate. She said, “yes Lord.”
The Living God chose a man like Peter and a woman like Martha to reveal Himself for the benefit of those who would read and believe today, thousands of years later. Both were flawed and deeply human individuals. They both have, however, a visible passion for Christ that manifested itself in their fervor as servants and doers.
Martha had a moment of distraction for which she was rebuked by our Lord. Such moment, however, was necessary for her to understand the fullness and divinity of the One standing right in front of her. Martha’s actions and words of frustration that day back at her house were necessary for the Lord to refocus her walk with Him. His rebuke caused her to stop and think, ponder and consider, so in their next recorded encounter she would not be distracted.
As a person of action and words for the Lord, Martha became a conduit of the truth to all who would follow The Way, especially to His beloved daughters.
He has the owner’s manual…He is the only one who knows how to use us for good, with all our faults. He knows what we are capable of doing when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through us. He shapes us. He molds us. Like clay in His hands, He spins us and turns us around until we become what He designed us to be. Like clay in His hands, we must let go and let Him be God. Like clay in His hands, we surrender to Him, the Only One capable of smoothing out our imperfections and making us into something beautiful and useful for good and for His glory.