Martha Going to Jesus
Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him. — John 11:20
The coming of Jesus to this Bethany home was never so welcome as on that day. It is the same yet in people’s homes, even in those where He is most loved: Christ is never so dear and precious to us as when we are in trouble. Need reveals His preciousness. Many persons who do not desire the minister’s presence during their days of prosperity and gladness are quick to send for him when sorrow comes. This was not Martha’s way, however; she had welcomed Christ to her home in the happy days when there was no sorrow, and that was what made His coming such a blessing to her now.
We get this lesson — that the only true preparation for trial is personal friendship with Christ. If we never turn to the Bible for comfort until some great grief is upon us, it will not give us much light; but if we have it in the bright days, and its words are hung up then like lamps in our heart’s chambers, when it grows dark the beams will shine out and change night into day.
When visitors to the Mammoth Cave¹ are preparing to enter that wonderful cavern, the guide puts into the hand of each tourist a lighted lamp. It is noonday, perhaps, and it seems very foolish to walk down the green bank carrying little lamps in the bright sunshine. But when the party enters the mouth of the cave and goes a little distance, they understand the use of their lamps. In the darkness they would perish but for their pale light. Some people do not think, when they are moving along in joy and gladness, that they need Christ; but by-and-by it grows dark in some path of sorrow, and then they learn the blessing of having Christ beforehand. If they have Him in their hearts, they find it light all about them; if they have Him not, the gloom is turned to despair.
1: Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave. 350 miles long and 379 feet deep, Mammoth Cave is known as the longest cave in the world.
One early visitor recalled his tour of the cave: “No ray of light but the glimmer of our lamps; no sound but the echo of our own steps; nothing but darkness, silence, immensity.”