Adult Object Lesson: Jesus Visits Mary and Martha

coffeeIt’s a Matter of Priorities: John 12:1-8

Here is a video link that will help you springboard a conversation about the domestic conflict that results from Jesus’ visit to the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus.

Your adults are surely familiar with today’s gospel story. Jesus comes to visit Mary and Martha who become indebted to him for resurrecting their dead brother, Lazarus.

Mary sits at Jesus feet and anoints his feet with very expensive perfume. At least one disciple is upset. The narrator of this story, John, does not hold back in letting us know how he feels about Judas.

In comes Martha. While Mary has been doting on Jesus, Martha has been preparing to feed and entertain Jesus and his entourage. Dinner for at least 16—no small feat in the pre-appliance age.

Jesus responds with a lesson in values and priorities.

If you can share this video with your members, please do. Show it in church, during fellowship, or at least include a link in your weekly email newsletter. (You do have a weekly email newsletter, don’t you?).

If you can’t show the video, tell the story. Your object can be a cup of coffee — or two cups of coffee—one paper, plastic or styrofoam cups and one more elegant. You might conduct your own experiment and offer an assortment of cups to your group. You might show the video at coffee fellowship.

Note that the professor in this video serves coffee to his guests after listening to a gripe session. He is not unlike Jesus in this regard. The former students were feeling put upon by the world — like Martha.

This story is not so much about right and wrong as it is about priorities. Weave the video’s message with Jesus’s message about how we determine what is important in our lives. Discuss the viewpoints of each key figure in the story—Jesus, Mary, Martha, Judas, and Lazarus. You might also include the author of this gospel, John. He chooses to tell this story for a reason!

Enjoy a cup of coffee.

photo credit: H is for Home via photopin cc