Luke 10:38-42

Luke 10:38-42
Ordinary C34


38 Now as they wentA on their way, he enteredB a certain villageC where a womanD

Notes on verse 38a

A “went” = poreuomai. From poros (ford, passageway). This is to go, travel, journey, or die. It refers to transporting things from one place to another and focuses on the personal significance of the destination.
B “entered” = eiserchomai. From eis (to, into, for, among) + erchomai (to come, go). This is to go in in a literal or figurative sense.
C “village” = kome. This is a village as contrasted with a city that has a wall.
D “woman” = gune. Perhaps from ginomai (to come into being, to happen, become, be born; to emerge from one state or condition to another; this is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth). This is woman, wife, or bride. This is where the word “gynecologist” comes from.

namedE MarthaF welcomedG him.H 

Notes on verse 38b

E “named” = onoma. May be from ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is a name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation. The name was thought to include something of the essence of the person so it was not thought to be separate from the person.
F “Martha” = Martha. 13x in NT. From Aramaic marta (mistress, lady); from mar (master). This is Martha. See also
G “welcomed” = hupodechomai. 4x in NT– including Martha and Zacchaeus welcoming Jesus into their homes in Luke 10:38 & Luke 19:6. From hupo (by, under, about, subordinate to) + dechomai (to warmly receive, be ready for what is offered, take, accept, or welcome; to receive in a literal or figurative sense).  This is to welcome someone as a guest, to entertain them, to have someone in your personal care.
H Some manuscripts add “into her home.” “Home” = oikia. From oikos (house – the building, the household, the family, descendants; the temple). This is a house, household, goods, property, family, or means.

39 She had a sisterI namedJ Mary,K who satL

Notes on verse 39a

I “sister” = adelphe. From adelphos (brother in a literal or figurative sense); {from a (with, sharing) + delphus (womb)}. This is sister in a literal or figurative sense.
J “named” = kaleo. Related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on). This is to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud.
K “Mary” = Maria. From Hebrew Miryam (Aaron and Moses’s sister); from marah (to be contentious, rebellious, bitter, provoking, disobedient; to be or make bitter or unpleasant; figuratively, to rebel or resist; causatively to provoke). This is Miriam or Mary.
L “sat” = parakathizo. 1x in NT. From para (beside, by, in the presence of) + kathizo (to sit, set, appoint, stay, rest); {from kathezomai (to sit down, be seated); {from kata (down, against, according to, among) + hezomai (to sit); {from aphedron (a seat, a base)}}. This is to sit beside or nearby.

at Jesus’sM feetN and listenedO to what he was saying.P, Q 

Notes on verse 39b

M “Jesus’s” = Kurios. Some manuscripts read “Lord’s.” From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
N “feet” = pous. This is foot in a literal or figurative sense.
O “listened” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
P “saying” = logos. From lego (to speak, tell, mention). This is word, statement, speech, analogy. It is a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying. It could refer to a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words. By implication, this could be a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive. It can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ.
Q Literally, “was listening to his word.”

40 But Martha was distractedR by her manyS tasks,T

Notes on verse 40a

R “distracted” = perispao. 1x in NT. From peri (about, concerning, around, encompassing) + spao (to draw or pull out a sword). This word, to draw away, distract, trouble greatly. Figuratively, it is a distraction from worry or a burden.
S “many” = polus. This is much, often, plenteous – a large number or a great extent.
T “tasks” = diakonia. Perhaps from dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + konis (dust) OR from dioko (to chase after, put to flight; by implication, to persecute or to purse like a hunter after its prey; this can be earnestly pursue or zealously persecute) {related to dio (put to flight)}. This is service, ministry, attending someone, service. It can mean serving someone at a table or otherwise as their servant/slave. It is also used for people who serve/minister in temples, as well as the work of Christian ministry. Figuratively, this word can mean money given for charity. This shares a root with “deacon” and is where the word “diaconate” comes from.

so she cameU to him and asked, “Lord,V do you not careW that my sister has leftX me

Notes on verse 40b

U “came” = ephistemi. From epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast). This is to stand upon, happen, be present. Usually, it is used in a literal sense.
V “Lord” = Kurios. Same as “Jesus’s” in v39. See note M above.
W “care” = melo. 10x in NT. This is to think about something, take an interest, to pay attention. It is to care or worry about something.
X “left” = kataleipo. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + leipo (to leave behind, remain, lack, abandon, fall behind while racing). This is to leave or leave behind, abandon, forsake, leave in reserve.

to do all the workY byZ myself? Tell her, then, to helpAA me.” 

Notes on verse 40c

Y “do all the work” = diakoneo. Related to “tasks” in v40. From diakonos (servant, minister, waiter, or attendant; a person who performs a service, including religious service); {perhaps from dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + konis (see note T above) OR from dioko (see note T above)}. This is to wait at table, to serve generally, to minister or administer, to be in the office of deacon. To wait on someone as a slave, friend, or host.
Z “by” = monos. Perhaps from meno (to stay, abide, wait, endure). This is alone, single, remaining, mere, desolate.
AA “help” = sunantilambanomai. 2x in NT– here and in Rom 8:26 where the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses for we do not know how to pray as we ought. From sun (with, together with) + antilambano (to take instead of, take hold of, help, support, enjoy; providing or receiving support that directly corresponds to the real need); {from anti (over against, opposite instead of, offsetting) + lambano (to take, receive, get, lay hold of; to lay hold by aggressively or actively accepting what is available or offered; to accept with initiative; emphasizes the volition of the receiver)}. This word is to take hold with at the side, lend a hand along with, cooperate with, take one’s share in, help, aid. Give assistance with full initiative because closely identified. Supplying help that exactly corresponds to the need. Personal interest motivating giving the help

41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worriedBB and distractedCC by many things, 42 but few thingsDD are neededEE—indeed only one.FF 

Notes on verses 41-42a

BB “worried” = merimnao. 19x in NT. From merimna (care, worry, anxiety; being separated from the whole); from merizo (to divide, part, share, distribute, assign; figuratively, to differ); from meros (part, share, portion figurative or literal); from meiromai (to get your share, receive one’s allotment). This is to be anxious, distracted, or care for. It is being pulled in different directions – usually a negative.
CC “distracted” = thorubeo. 5x in NT. From thorubos (an uproar, noise, outcry, riot, disturbance, trouble; figuratively, a very emotional wailing or hysteria; a commotion that leads to panic or terror); from the same as thoreo (to be troubled, agitated, alarmed, be unsettled, be frightened); from throos (clamor, noise) or from threomai (to wail). This is to disturb, agitate, cause tumult, trouble, create panic.
DD “few things” = oligos. {Here, it is singular and not plural.} This is few or small – it can be a short time or extent, low light, amount, or worth.
EE “needed” = chreia. From chraomai (to use, make use of, give what is needed, act in a specific way, request); related to chre (what is proper, fitting, or necessary). This is the is task, business, or affair. It can also be need, want, or destitution.
FF “one” = heis. This is one, a person, only, some.

Mary has chosenGG the betterHH part,II which will not be taken awayJJ from her.”

Notes on verse 42b

GG “chosen” = eklgeo. Related to “saying” in v39. From ek (from, from out of) + lego (see note P above). This is to choose, select, elect.
HH “better” = agathos. This is good, a benefit, or a good thing. It is good by its very nature, intrinsically good. A different word, kalos, refers to external signs of goodness.
II “part” = meris. Related to “worried” in v41. From meros (see note BB above). This is portion, share, district. It can be literal or figurative.
JJ “taken away” = aphaireo. 10x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + haireo (to take, choose, or prefer) {probably related to airo (raise, take up, lift, remove)}. This is remove, take away, cut in a literal or figurative sense.

Image credit: “Martha Complains about her Sister Mary” by LUMO Project.

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