The story of Mary and Martha hits home for me on so many levels. (Luke 10:38-42) It starts with Jesus and his disciples being invited to Martha’s home while they were traveling. As Martha was busy cooking and preparing for her guests, her sister Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to his teachings. Martha, who might have been feeling a bit overwhelmed, goes to Jesus and asks him if he cared that Mary had left her to do all the work by herself. She asks Him to tell Mary to help her out. Jesus being the amazing teacher that he is, tells Martha that she is worried and upset about many things but only one thing is necessary. He says that Mary has chosen the better task and that will not be taken away from her.
The tired mama, wife, and sinful flesh in me wants to challenge what Jesus is saying. I almost want to say in Martha’s defense, what do you mean Mary has chosen to do what is better? She is in the kitchen working hard to make sure everyone has a full belly and comfortable place to rest. How can sitting down in fellowship be better than what Martha is doing now?
Jesus, she is the one serving, isn’t that important?
I can admit, like Martha, I am a super task-oriented person. Sure I enjoy people but give me a task to do and I’ll just get it done. Seriously, I can play out this scenario in my head over and over again and I know I would have been Martha all the way, even though in hindsight I would love to say I would be Mary. Oh, how I desire to be Mary! I would have been worried that the place wasn’t clean enough; wondering if my food was flavorful enough. I would have prayed that the kids were on their best behaviors, if everyone was comfortable, and many other small details.
The most intriguing part to me in this passage is that the whole story ends with Jesus saying “Mary had made the better choice and it will not be taken away from her.” Point, blank, period! You’ve got to love how direct Jesus is. No sugar coating things here. He didn’t say, “Martha, thank you so much for cooking dinner it smells lovely, I’m sure it would be helpful for Mary to assist you with cooking, let me see what I can do to get you some help.” Nope…
Mary understood what’s MOST important. Being a great hostess is good, but the desire to hear from the Son of God is GREAT. Jesus knew he would not be around forever so Mary sitting and gleaning every bit of guidance she could from the Master was much more valuable of her time. We can learn so much from this short passage. Personally, I can easily get caught up in the details and “major on the minor” things in life. Take a moment and just think of how amazing it would have been to sit with Jesus and hear his wisdom and guidance face to face…I’m guessing much more awesome than cutting potatoes.
Personally, I can easily get caught up in the details and “major on the minor” things in life. Take a moment and just think of how amazing it would have been to sit with Jesus and hear his wisdom and guidance face to face…I’m guessing much more awesome than cutting potatoes.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35 HCSB
The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever 1 John 2:17 NIV
Let’s keep these scriptures in mind as we begin and end our days. If we are truly living for eternity then our time spent with God is a high priority.
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