Martha: the Iron Chef of Luke's gospel!

Christ at Home with Martha and Mary by Joachim Beuchelaer (1533-1574)

Christ in the House of Mary and Martha by Vincenzo Campi (1536 - 1591)

Just how much work had Martha done before she complained to Jesus about her sister, Mary, who seemed unwilling to lend a hand in the kitchen?

These two paintings (click on the images above for larger versions) indicate that quite the feast was in store for Jesus! Even with some kitchen staff in the first painting, Martha had her work cut out for her. A kind of biblical forerunner of the Iron Chef!

Notice, too, how both these artists place Martha and her work at some distance from Mary at Jesus' feet. In other paintings, at least Martha appears to be close enough to listen in on the Lord's conversation with her sister. In these scenes, I doubt she could hear a word Jesus said.

(See the post below for links to other images and this weekend's readings, with commentary on them.)

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  1. I had a thought today. If indeed Martha were to do like her sister Mary does and is rewarded for doing, i.e sitting at Jesus' feet, everyone would go hungry in the household :-)

  2. Too often people have an idea that the kitchen was way far off from the living room at that home in Bethany. But everything would have been in one room. And if it had been Lazarus sitting at Jesus' feet, I doubt we'd have a story here...


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