Bible Society of South Africa

Two sisters – 14 September 2021

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

Jesus Visits Martha and Mary

38As Jesus and his disciples went on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha welcomed him in her home. 39She had a sister named Mary, who sat down at the feet of the Lord and listened to his teaching.

Luke 10:38-39GNBOpen in Bible reader

Every time I drive from Tarkastad to Queenstown, I see two hills called Martha and Mary. I wonder who named them and why they were named after the biblical sisters. The hills look alike but not exactly the same. According to our story today, the two sisters also had different views about Jesus.

Mary felt that she had to cherish every moment of being near to Jesus and took the opportunity to sit at his feet and listen to his teachings. Martha, so we read, was probably the homeowner and hence the hostess when Jesus visited them. As a good hostess, she was very busy making sure his stay at her home was enjoyable.

Up until that point, everything seemed to be fine, but then Martha became upset because Mary did not give her a hand with all the work that needed to be done. She voiced her displeasure and asked Jesus to tell Mary to come and help her. “Martha, Martha!” Jesus said, and by the repetition of her name, we can hear his affection for her. We can almost hear him say how much he enjoyed staying over at her nice, clean house and eating the food that took so much of her time to prepare, but that she should not be cross with Mary as she had chosen what was most important.

Each of us has our own personality and we all experience and worship Jesus in a different and unique manner. My experience is not better than yours and yours is not better than mine. The most important thing is to respect one another and especially our different views and experiences of Jesus. In this way we will be able to live out the command to love one another.

Prayer: Thank you that I may worship you in my own way. Please help me not to be prejudiced against people who experience you differently and who worship you in other ways than mine. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.14.1
Find us on