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had sat down, He began to speak to them of the things of God. Mary was eager to catch every word which fell from the Saviour's lips. She sat at his feet, and heard his word. Now, Martha was really a good woman too, and no doubt loved Jesus ; but she did not show her love in the best
way. She was so anxious to provide a good meal for her Lord that she had her mind too much taken up with making it ready. At last she became quite vexed that her sister did not help her. She came and begged that Jesus would send her to assist. Hear how Jesus answered her. “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things : but (or only) one thing is needful.”
Ah! dear children, you know that is the care of the soul. It is not wrong to attend to the business of this life. No; God has told us that we must not be “slothful in business ;” but we must still be “fervent or “earnest” “in spirit, serving the Lord.” Jesus himself tells us not to seek what we must eat, or what we must drink, but to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” (Matt. vi. 33.) This was just what Mary had done; and no doubt she had learnt such sweet lessons from her Saviour's lips as she could never forget.
A short time after this Martha and Mary were in great trouble. Their dear brother, Lazarus, became
ill. Jesus was a long way off, beyond Jordan, but they sent directly to tell Him. I am sure you think that Jesus would go at once and heal him, and I dare say they expected it too. Jesus could show his almighty power more wonderfully by waiting a time. After He knew, therefore, that Lazarus was sick, He remained two days longer in the same place where He was. During this time Lazarus died. Do you not think his sisters must have wondered that Jesus had not come to them in their trouble? At last Jesus set out towards Bethany. As He was journeying, He told his disciples plainly that
Lazarus was dead. When they reached Bethany, they found that he had been buried four days. Many of the Jews came from Jerusalem to comfort Martha and Mary. Some of these took the first news to the poor sisters that Jesus was coming. As soon as Martha heard this, she ran to meet Him; but Mary sat still in the house. When Martha met the Saviour, she cried, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother would not have died; but even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, He will give it thee.” Jesus said, “ Thy brother shall rise again.” Martha thought Jesus meant that he should rise again at the last day. Then it was that the Saviour spoke those wonderful and blessed words which are now used in our Burial Service every time a body is committed to the grave :-"I am the re
" surrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (John xi. 25, 26.) Jesus asked Martha if she believed this? She answered, “ Yea, Lord, I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God.”
And now Martha became quite uneasy at Mary's absence. She sent to call her secretly; and then Mary arose, and came to meet Jesus.
He had not yet gone into the town, but was still in the same place where Martha had met Him. Many Jews followed Mary, thinking she was going to the grave to weep there. When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews that were with her weeping, his tender spirit was much troubled, and “Jesus wept”! The Jews talked together as they went along. Some said,
Could not this man have prevented his dying? He opened the eyes of the blind; surely He might have saved Lazarus.”
At last they came to the grave. It was a cave, and a large stone was laid on it. Jesus said, " Take away the stone.” Martha told Him that, as the body had been four days
in the grave, it must be already in a state of decay. Jesus only answered her by repeating that, if she would believe, she should see the glory of God. The stone was taken away. Jesus prayed for a moment, and then cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth."
Immediately he that was dead came forth, bound round with grave clothes, and his face covered with a napkin. Jesus said, '“ Loose him, and let him go.”
Do you not know, dear children, that a day is coming when all who are in their graves shall hear the Saviour's voice, and shall come forth ? (John v. 28.) Oh! what an awful call will that be to those who have died in their sins; but oh! how blessed to those who have loved the Saviour here on earth! How joyfully will they rise to meet Him when they hear his voice ! They will not come out of their
in the same poor, vile bodies, which they had before they died. Those will have turned to dust, and instead of them Jesus will