Jesus walked on this earth for three decades. Those decades changed history (and our eternity) forever. He spent thirty of those years as the son of a carpenter, but "about my father's business." He completed his work in three years.
Martha's Sister, Beloved Prodigal tells the story of those years from the viewpoint of "friends of Jesus", Martha, Mary, and Lazarus.
Most of Martha's Sister, Beloved Prodigal is fiction--my view of what might have been. I hope it entertains. But, I have no wish for readers to mistake my fevered imagination for Gospel. Below is what the Bible tells us. Everything else in Martha's Sister, Beloved Prodigal is Fiction. Here is:
The Gospel Truth
1. Mary, a “sinner,” went into a room of hostile men and fell at the feet of her Messiah. John 11:2 tells us this Mary was the sister of Lazarus: not Mary of Magdala. Magdala (Magdalen) is a city near the Sea of Galilee. Lazarus and family lived in Bethany.
Mary washed Jesus' feet with her hair and tears. She poured an expensive ointment over them. The men in the room criticized Jesus for allowing her to touch him. But Jesus honored her and forgave her. Her life of sin ended.
2. Jesus visited the home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. Martha complained because she did the work while Mary sat at her master's feet. He taught us an eternal lesson. Mary chose “the better part.” Every church needs Martha, but her works could not replace worship and learning.
3. Lazarus died and Jesus called him, living, out of the tomb.
4. Mary washed Jesus feet a second time in her own home. Read this in John 12. Six days later his enemies crucified him. They hanged the God of Heaven from a cross and tortured him as our sin lay on him.
5. The family may have witnessed the crucifixion. In Martha's Sister, Beloved Prodigal, Lazarus and Mary stood watching. The Bible doesn't say. But only two miles separated Bethany from Jerusalem. Did they walk to Jerusalem that day? Were they standing in the crowd?
6. Jesus gave up his spirit and the veil of the temple tore apart. At that moment the spirits of deceased friends and family visited the living.
7. The family joined other believers who received the Holy Spirit the first time. Every believer of the day--only about one hundred and fifty--sat at those tables. Fire fell on their heads and they spoke in other tongues.
8. The religious powers put a price on Lazarus' head. His life defied their denial of the Lord’s power.
Imagine yourself there. You stand staring as the Rabbi calls the dead man from the Tomb. You came to mourn. You don't believe what you hear. But he raises his head, hands beating away the linen. A dead man obeys the voice of his God. Do you run? Do you stand transfixed? Or do you faint, your wife frantically waving a palm leaf over you?
You came to the city to shop. Your attention goes to the mob by the road. Then you see your beloved Lord covered in blood and bruised from beatings. He can't stand under the cross he carries. What if the mob and guards (and maybe your fear) prevent you from helping him?
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Patricia Annalee Kirk