Are You A Modern Day Martha?
Martha: A Role Model for Female Disciples
Despite the burden of disappointment and grief, the marginalized status of a woman, and the absence of witnessing Jesus’ miracles, Martha’s confession of faith is unequaled. Martha, role model for many modern-day female disciples of Jesus, displayed a discerning faith. Because women can find encouragement and hope from her example, John deliberately composed his gospel with her confession placed, not on the margins, but at the center. John is impressed with Martha. So am I. Are you?
Did God Hard Wire You to Be a Martha?
Are you energized by the deep truths of Jesus in Scripture? Do you long for a place at the theological discussion table? Do you share a desire to explore Scripture and use its truths about Jesus to encourage and comfort others? Perhaps Jesus has hard-wired you to be a modern day Martha.
Martha is a female disciple of Jesus. But she is more than just a disciple. Despite her disadvantages, Martha is also a deep thinker, a biblical theologian, and a disciple who cares about hurting people. Immediately after confessing her discerning faith in Jesus, Martha sought out her grieving sister, Mary, and relayed Jesus’ request to see her (11:28). Martha, the female theologian, cared about her grieving sister and became the bridge to Jesus.
Does Her Example Resonate With You?
Does that description resonate with you? Despite the disadvantages life has served up to you as a woman, do you thrive when reading the words of Jesus, when discussing his life and identity, and when pondering the deep truths of God’s salvation in Jesus? Would you rather examine Scripture and learn Biblical theology in order to encourage and comfort people than do the traditional things women are expected to do in church?
If your answer is “yes,” I would suggest that you might be the unrecognized Martha in your faith community. But, perhaps, you had not given much thought to the idea up until now. Let me urge you to consider the idea, even if it is outside your comfort margins or seems out-of-reach for you.
Every Martha Needs an Advocate
The idea may seem out-of-reach because some in faith communities—contrary to John’s view--women’s theological opinions and Scriptural discussions are marginalized, dismissed, or unwelcomed. Becoming a Martha on your own with the odds stacked against you might seem out of the question. Point taken.
Consider Finding an Advocate
Let me suggest, then, that you consider finding an advocate. Modern-day Martha’s need a “Jesus” or a Paul or a Pauline who will recognize and value the potential of your faith. An advocate will appreciate (and not be intimidated by) your intellectual capabilities. An advocate will intentionally develop and stretch your faith.
An Advocate Will believe in You and See Your Future
An advocate will transfer you from the sidelines and reserve a place for you at the study table. An advocate will invite you to participate fully in the discussion about Jesus and his redemptive work. Advocates, like Jesus, will push you to the next level. An advocate can see your bright future when you can only dream the dream. Modern-day Martha’s deserve an advocate.
An Advocate Will Know You
Jesus intentionally set up Martha for disappointment so he could engage in a private appointment with her. That private appointment with Martha became the exercise machine where her faith in him was pushed to the level of discernment.
As her advocate, Jesus knew the untapped potential of her faith. So he designed the discussion to push her higher in faith. He knew what he was doing. He knew what Martha was capable of. Jesus advocated for Martha because he knew Martha. An advocate will know what you are capable of, though you may entertain doubts about yourself.
An Advocate Can Make the Difference
Jesus believed there was much hidden potential within her heart. And she proved that Jesus’ insight was spot on. Martha’s confession of faith occupies the center pillar in John’s Gospel. Not bad for a single, marginalized woman, a grieving sister who lacked the luxury of witnessing Jesus’ miracles or a place among the twelve disciples.
The advocate made the difference. With an advocate, Martha’s story could become your story.
Martha, ask the Savior for an advocate. Jesus wants you to be actively engaged in his church. You have so much to offer his people. You can make a difference in so many lives. Your faith can take the place of the center pillar for many whose lives are caving in. So, pray for an advocate.