An old friend of mine has got me to thinking about Lazarus, and his sisters Mary and Martha. They are mentioned several times in the gospels, and were very good friends of the Lord Jesus. They lived in Bethany, which was located just about two miles from Jerusalem.
This is the Mary who anointed Jesus with expensive ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair. This is the same Martha who toiled in the kitchen, complaining to the Lord that her sister had left her to do all the work. Both sisters expressed the tiniest smidge of doubt when their brother Lazarus had died and Jesus showed up four days "late," so they thought. It makes me smile when I think of how I can relate to these very human people!
With all their quirks, these three, Lazarus, Mary, and Martha, had a home in which the Lord Jesus felt welcome. Several times when Jesus was in Jerusalem, pressed by crowds, selflessly ministering to people, teaching those who would listen, and being wearied by hypocritical Pharisees asking pointless questions in order to trap him with his words... we see Him at the end of the day, resorting to Bethany to rest in the house of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary.
What was it about these particular people that made Jesus feel welcome in their home?
I think, first of all, they were humble. Humility is willingness to yield. Humility is the absence of pride. When humility hears a Word from the Lord, it says, "I will obey." Jesus could recognize pride immediately, and always rebuked it. No doubt Lazarus, Mary, and Martha must have been humble people.
It follows that they were also obedient. Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." A simple thing, even if it is easier said than done sometimes. There is no clearer demonstration of our love for God, than our obedience to Him.
Due to their obedience, I believe they were people who lived a holy lifestyle. Holiness is very underrated these days, and many preachers never preach about it, because it makes people uncomfortable. "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation [lifestyle]; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."
Lazarus, Mary, and Martha were not without their flaws, as we have seen. But I think the key to having a home where Jesus feels welcome is found in our heart attitudes. We should be aware of our shortcomings, willing to listen to His Word, and ready to yield and make changes as He deems best.
An attitude like that is like a big, cheery sign on the door that says, Jesus is welcome here!