I understand you Martha. You had many things to do and became anxious about your workload. Been there and still do that…
Martha lived in the village of Bethany with her sister Mary and brother Lazarus. Since it was her home, it is likely that she was the eldest child and had been widowed.
I understand that sense of responsibility and seriousness in being the oldest child. I married an oldest child and we both think we are right and know the best way most of the time.
Jesus was Martha’s family friend and she opened her home to he and the travelling disciples. She had a choice in the matter and chose hospitality over inconvenience. It was the kind thing to do, but now she felt pressured to make things perfect. She had standards of excellence for her hospitality.
I do not know if she was a multi-task or uni-task person; just that she was reaching her limit. There was too much happening for her to maintain her composure.
Suddenly, Martha’s mood takes over the room. Martha snaps, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
When we feel overwhelmed we might react in similar fashion.
First, she is looking for support. Who in the room will back her up? Martha looked to Jesus, perhaps hoping he would give Mary that holy look and say, “Lovest thou me? Serve thy sister with gladness of heart. She is thy elder and thou owe her with thine exceeding kind servitude.”
When we believe there is injustice or inequity, we will look around to see who can influence others to see what we see. Martha felt alone in her frustration and speaks the one person who might support her war.
Secondly, she embarrasses her younger sister in the presence of highly respected friends. Anger will cause us to knock others down in front of other people.
What Martha did was turn the camaraderie and hospitality into her venue for anxiety. This can only be described as awkward.