Martha (Aramaic: מַרְתָּא, Greek: Μάρθα, Hebrew: מרתה) was a sister of Lazarus and Mary of Bethany.
Work and learning from Jesus
Martha provided for and served Jesus while He stayed at her house, while Martha's sister Mary listened to and learned from Jesus. Martha's work kept her busy, and she sought to have Mary help her with her work. Martha asked Jesus to ask Mary to help Martha with her work. Jesus responded by telling Martha that she was too worked up, that Mary was making better use of her time, and that He will not stop Mary from doing what is good.
Now while they were on their way, Jesus entered a village [called Bethany], and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was continually listening to His teaching. But Martha was very busy and distracted with all of her serving responsibilities; and she approached Him and said,Lord, is it of no concern to You that my sister has left me to do the serving alone? Tell her to help me and do her part.But the Lord replied to her,Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her.— Luke 10:38–10:42 (AMP)
Martha's brother Lazarus became sick, and Martha and her sister Mary told Jesus about it.
Now a certain man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived. It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. So the sisters sent word to Him, saying,Lord, he [our brother and Your friend] whom You love is sick.When Jesus heard this, He said,This sickness will not end in death; but [on the contrary it is] for the glory and honor of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.Now Jesus loved and was concerned about Martha and her sister and Lazarus [and considered them dear friends]. So [even] when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed in the same place two more days.— John 11:1–11:6 (AMP)
Jesus cared about Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, and He understood had he had to perform a miracle, so after two days, Jesus and His disciples went into Judea in order to help Lazarus. By the time Jesus and His disciples arrived, Lazarus had been in his tomb for four days, and many Jews visited Martha and Mary in order to offer them comfort due to the death.
Martha met with Jesus and told Him that He could have prevented Lazarus' death if He had arrived sooner. Jesus reassured her, telling her that Lazarus will rise from the dead and that everyone who believes in Him will be granted eternal life. Martha then reaffirmed her faith in Jesus.
So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him, while Mary remained sitting in the house. Then Martha said to Jesus,Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give to You.Jesus told her,Your brother will rise [from the dead].Martha replied,I know that he will rise [from the dead] in the resurrection on the last day.Jesus said to her,I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, relies on) Me [as Savior] will live even if he dies; and everyone who lives and believes in Me [as Savior] will never die. Do you believe this?She said to Him,Yes, Lord; I have believed and continue to believe that You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the Son of God, He who was [destined and promised] to come into the world [and it is for You that the world has waited].— John 11:20–11:27 (AMP)
Martha then told Mary that Jesus wanted to see Mary, and Mary went to see Jesus. The Jews who were comforting Martha and Mary believed that Mary was going to Lazarus' tomb in order to weep, so they followed her.
Mary met with Jesus and told Him that He could have prevented Lazarus' death if He had arrived sooner. Mary, and the crowd also wept. Jesus was deeply moved and asked for the location of Lazarus' tomb.
Jesus asked for the stone in front of the tomb to be moved, but Martha thought that it was too late. Jesus then reminded Martha about what he had said to her earlier about those who believe in Jesus being granted eternal life. They then moved the stone, and Jesus thanked God aloud so that those around Him would known and believe that God sent Him.
Jesus then shouted with a loud voice for Lazarus to come out, and Lazarus came out alive and still wrapped in burial cloth. Jesus then commanded the people to unwrap him.
Jesus said,Take away the stone.Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to Him,Lord, by this time there will be an offensive odor, for he has been dead four days! [It is hopeless!]Jesus said to her,Did I not say to you that if you believe [in Me], you will see the glory of God [the expression of His excellence]?So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised His eyes [toward heaven] and said,Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me and listen to Me; but I have said this because of the people standing around, so that they may believe that You have sent Me [and that You have made Me Your representative].When He had said this, He shouted with a loud voice,Lazarus, come out!Out came the man who had been dead, his hands and feet tightly wrapped in burial cloths (linen strips), and with a [burial] cloth wrapped around his face. Jesus said to them,Unwrap him and release him.— John 11:39–11:44 (AMP)
Many Jews became believers in Christ due to the miracle.
Mary Anoints Jesus
Six days before Passover, Jesus went to Bethany and stayed at the home of Simon the leper. Martha served supper to Him. Lazarus was present at the table. Mary poured expensive [spike]nard perfume on Jesus' feet and head and wiped His feet with her hair. Judas Iscariot objected to the use of the expensive perfume out of greed, but Jesus told Judas to leave Mary alone and to allow Mary to keep the rest of the perfume so that she can use it for His burial. Jesus also said that Mary was preparing Him for His burial and that Mary's actions would be told in the Gospel.