Fruitful Women: The Faith of Mary and Martha
In continuation of my Fruitful Women Series, where women of scripture have been aligned with a fruit of the spirit that they demonstrate, today’s fruit of the spirit is faith. Faith applies to many women described in scripture; however, I have chosen Mary and Martha, and here is why.
As the story goes, Mary and Martha’s brother, Lazarus, died. As to be expected, they were grieving the loss of their brother. As soon as Martha heard that Christ was nearby, she ran to greet him. She had a dialogue with Christ, but something important that Martha says is found in John 11:21-22:
"Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.”
In the meantime, Mary sat still in the house and was being comforted by the Jews. However, then Martha secretly told Mary that Christ was nearby. Mary ran out, and the Jews thought she was going to the grave where Lazarus laid to grieve and weep.
When Mary came to the place where Jesus was, scripture describes the following:
“Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”
As scripture further explains, Christ commands to move away the stone from the grave, and He calls Lazarus to come forth. Next, scripture graphically describes Lazarus rising from the dead with grave clothes and all. He had been dead for four days!
It is unmistakable that both sisters in separate dialogues with Christ demonstrate their faith by acknowledging that if Christ had been there, their brother would not have died. They truly believed in Christ’s power to perform miracles. They didn’t say, “Now you are here, but it is too late," or "You let us down.” Their faith was evident in their responses, which were framed in a much more positive manner like "You are all powerful, and this would not have happened if you were here."
I am very intrigued by the part of scripture where it describes that Christ groaned when He saw the Jews weeping along with Mary at the death of Lazarus. It was then that He performed the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead.
When I examine the illustration of faith of Mary and Martha, I reflect on my personal faith and ask myself these questions:
- Do I demonstrate the faith that Mary and Martha show when I seek my Father’s will?
- Do I feel impatient when I don’t get an outcome I expect, or do I simply trust that Christ is in control?
- Do I feel the times I have to wait for an answer is a letdown, and I am angry with Christ, or do I approach my prayers with faith that Christ is always there answering my prayers?
- Have my prayers been effectual and fervent to reach heaven’s throne so that Christ would groan and move in a way to produce the best outcome?
There is so much to glean from Mary and Martha’s example. For all these reasons, in my opinion, they are fruitful women who can be exemplified for their faith.
If you missed any of the previous articles in the Fruitful Women Series, here are the links to Sister Linda's other articles.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.