Martha and Mary are often used to represent action or contemplation, while their brother, Lazarus, appears in one of Jesus’ most spectacular miracles. But by reducing the family to stereotypes, we miss so much argues Amy Boucher Pye in Transforming Love, which sees her bring a new richness to commentary on these three characters. Insights are born out of the author’s own experience and her careful study of the text.

Looking at Martha in Luke 10, Pye leads the reader to appreciate how Martha’s sharing of her exasperation is only possible because of the honest friendship of Jesus. In her commentary on John 12, she points out that the nard Mary used to anoint Jesus had such a powerful aroma, the scent may have remained even on the cross.

Although delivered with a light touch, this book has the potential to transform how we understand these characters, and our relationship with Jesus.