Have you been asked, “Are you a Martha or a Mary?” I’ve been at this long enough to have both qualities, but there’s more Martha in me than I would like to admit. In this scripture, Jesus wasn’t condemning work; He doesn’t call some of us to sit on our tails while others do all the work. He clarified what it is to serve Him. God said we must work, but we really can’t serve Him properly unless we get to know Him.
8 Now as they went on their way, Jesus[d] entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”Luke 10:38-40
Jesus Didn’t Care
Martha was running around the house, probably making a meal for Jesus and trying to get everything right for His visit. However, Jesus didn’t care about the things she was doing. It actually saddened Him. He only came to their house to spend time with them, not because He was hungry or needed to feel special. Mary wasn’t participating in Martha’s assumptions on how to serve Jesus. Jesus addressed Martha with love and concern, showing her that the anxiousness and trouble she felt were a sign that she was busy doing unnecessary things. God said clearly that His yoke is easy in serving Him, and the burden is light. * If it’s not easy and light, maybe we are wasting our time.
41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary.[a] Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.Luke 10:41
Serving Him, Knowing Him
Mary saw the unique opportunity and value of one-on-one time with Jesus. How often do we miss that as we try to get everything done, even serving Him? Jesus wants us to spend time in His presence, learning, listening, and receiving. That is the point of the story. We can’t service Him effectively without really knowing who He is. May we allow the anxiousness and trouble to open our eyes to the fact that we need to know Him better to serve Him in the way we are uniquely designed.