If Martha had an open-plan kitchen she would’t have missed out on what Jesus was teaching; she might not have whined about Mary not helping her, and Jesus might not have chided Martha that Mary did the better thing, (Luke 10:38-42). And we might have missed that lesson from the Lord.
This silly thought occurred to me when friends were visiting. Sunday morning we had church at home. The dad of the visiting family was giving a little homily to his kids. I was puttering away in the kitchen, making waffles for brunch. I enjoyed doing both: serving our guests by cooking and listening to the Word of God.
Martha, Lazarus’s sister, must have just been having a grouchy day when Jesus was in her home, because we later see her to be a woman of great faith. Whatever the reason, the Lord knew what was in her heart and used the opportunity to teach and encourage her.
Here’s Martha meeting the Lord after Lazarus has died, John 11:20-27:
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
Martha trusted Jesus completely.