20 Then when Martha heard that Jesus was coming she went to meet Him, but Mary sat in the house.
21 Then Martha said to Jesus: “Lord, if only you had been here my brother would not have died.”
22 and I know that whatever You ask God for, He will give it to You.
Martha heard that Jesus was coming, presumably Mary also heard.
Their only means of hearing of the imminent arrival of Jesus would have been through others who must have rushed on ahead of Jesus to give the announcement to the sisters. Bethany was a small village; therefore, His arrival with His disciples would have not gone unnoticed.
Even in these days often a large crowd gathers on the roadside waiting for some event to pass by, such as a carnival. Suddenly words spreads amongst the crowd that the carnival is coming, and anticipation begins to increase. That word continues to be spread further along the gathered crowd.
There is a message that all believers are called upon to announce and it is that Jesus is coming.
It was a message that was announced by Jesus, Himself, to His disciples:  “Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in Me.  There are many rooms in My Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly.  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am – John 14.1-4 (NLT).
We live in the sure knowledge that Jesus is returning to this earth and that every eye will see Him: 7 Look, He is coming with the clouds and every eye shall see Him and those who pierced Him, and certainly all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him, Amen – Revelation 1.7. That Jesus is coming is a message that we must continue to announce.
We know that there were a lot of Jews who had come out from Jerusalem to comfort the grieving sisters. They would not all have been able to get into the house. Perhaps those on the edge of these gathered mourners passed on the message that Jesus was arriving.
In all our activity as the people of God, we must keep to the forefront the message that Jesus is coming.
We do not know how close Jesus was to the home of Mary and Martha.