Mary's Story of Jesus
I am Mary, the younger sister of Martha and Lazarus. I want to tell you the story of how Jesus became a brother to us.
I have very little memory of our parents because they passed away when I was five or six years old. Some kind of contagious disease took away the lives of countless men, women, and children in our village. My sister was married at that time, and she lost her husband too. Somehow we three survived. My brother was about ten and my sister was about fifteen.
I was still a child, and our brother was a playful little boy. The burden of the family fell upon my sister. Although she was only a teenager, she had to become a mother to us. I don’t know how exactly she managed the family. Of course we had the support of some distant relatives, but my sister had to work all day in other people’s homes and farms to make a living.
I don’t need to tell you how hard life had been to us. I often found my sister very depressed and sad.
She was keeping herself alive only for us. One day, I remember, she embraced both of us and cried for a long time. She said she was almost going to kill herself, but somehow the thought of leaving us orphans withdrew her from that attempt.
Jesus happened to visit our village at that time. We had heard a lot about Jesus. We had heard that he was a friend of the poor and the sick. When he came to our village, we were fortunate to see him and listen to him. His words were magical. His very presence brought peace of mind. Being in his presence was like being in God’s presence. I couldn’t understand all that he said, but he always loved to tell us stories, which we enjoyed very much. Moreover, he always enjoyed playing with children.
Jesus’ arrival in our village brought about a radical transformation in Martha. She began to develop a thankful attitude. I couldn’t see her crying and depressed any more. We often heard her quoting Jesus, who had made a lasting and deep impression upon her.
After a few months, Jesus came to our village again, and we were all excited to see him. We, the children, flocked around him to laugh with him, to play with him, and to listen to the little stories he said.
Jesus, knowing all about our family, had become a special friend to us. He was so kind as to visit us. My joy had no bounds. Jesus, the man of God, was sitting there inside our home! I was so proud when people rushed in to his presence to hear him speak or just to have a peep of how he looked like. He had been a celebrity in all of Galilee and Judea. My sister was very much excited too. Being the head of the family, she was very much concerned about how to host Jesus and the people who accompanied him. She was worried about preparing food for everybody. She found herself helpless as my brother and I were still children. Being so young, I couldn’t sense what was going on in her mind. I was with the other people intently listening to Jesus. Jesus’ words mesmerized us and we had even forgotten where we were.
Martha came into such an oasis of tranquility with an outburst of anger from her mouth.
It sent tremors of shock to everyone sitting there except Jesus. He was apparently untouched by her words. All eyes fell on my sister. Obviously her heart was full of anger and frustration. She didn’t mean to make such a scene, but it just happened. In an apologetic tone she said to Jesus that she had such a lot of work at home, and that even her own sister didn’t help her with all that. That is when I realized that I was the cause of such a humiliating scene. I felt very bad. The eyes of all people turned on me. I knew what they all were saying to me in their mind: Bad girl!
I felt so much pain within me. From the heights of joy, I fell down to the depths of sadness. I had never felt such shame and pain in all my life. I began to cry. I didn’t know what else to do. Jesus saw the frustration in my sister’s heart. He also saw the pain within my heart. While all the eyes around me were looking at me with anger, Jesus stretched his arms toward me, and I walked toward him. He held me close to him and patted on my head and cheeks gently. I could feel a gush of love flowing into me and filling me.
I had never felt such love even from my own Mom and Dad. I pressed my face against the palm of his right hand. He must have felt the warmth of my tears of joy.
My sister felt guilty for making me so sad. She also felt ashamed for making such a scene while Jesus was there. We all were wondering what Jesus was going to say. Would he be angry? Would he leave our home never to return? Contrary to our expectation, he opened his mouth and spoke so gently and softly. All the darkness of anger, sadness, and frustration simply vanished from there like fog in the sunlight. His words were full of love and care. Holding me closely, he talked to my sister:
“Martha, I can see your heart. I understand your situation. I know the immensity of your burdens. God knows it too. You are within the care of your loving heavenly father.
"More than anything else, what you need is a strong mind. Your path of life is rough, and only a tough mind can lead you along that path. Do not carry any burdens within your mind. Place all of them at the feet of your heavenly father, and free yourself.
"Let your mind be on top of everything. Like Mary, this younger sister of yours, forget everything else for some time, and sit here with us.”
Hearing these words of love, my sister sat there with us and listened to Jesus. After some time, Jesus said:
“Come, let us all go and help Martha”.
Standing in the kitchen, Jesus said:
“Look Martha, how many helpers God has given you! Just tell us what to do!”
With this incident, Jesus became an older brother to us. Almost a year after that incident, my brother became sick. We sent for Jesus, but he couldn’t come right away. My brother died, and four days after his funeral, Jesus came. When he saw my sister and me crying, he also cried with us. He walked with us to the tomb, and he asked us to open the tomb. We opened. Jesus asked my brother to come out of the tomb, and he got up as if from sleep, and came out of the tomb! He is still with us alive and healthy.