Martha Martha

“And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.”

Luke 10:41

Most everyone who owns a bible has read or heard the story of Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus and in whose home Jesus spent much of His time during His travels between Jerusalem and the Galilee region. They were Jesus friends and they obviously enjoyed His company in a way few people did as He ate and slept and did home bible studies there frequently.

There are many lessons we can learn from these 5 verses in Luke 10. Pick up the story in verse 38, “Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."

It’s pretty clear from the story that Mary understood the difference between good and best, where as Martha failed to understand that being busy is a choice each of us makes and often an excuse we use to maintain control of our lives and schedules that actually prevent us from experiencing the presence of God. Martha obviously had the gift of hospitality in that she welcomed Jesus into her home and as a good hostess she felt responsible for her guests care.

Martha most likely went straight to the kitchen and began preparing food to eat. Mary, her sister went with her and was most likely serving right along side until Jesus began to speak in the other room. Mary knew that being engaged is God’s desire for our lives, not being so busy that it keeps us from engaging Him. It’s as simple as understanding the difference between religion and Christianity. Religion focuses on either doing or not doing something in order to earn God’s favor, where as Christianity is all about our relationship with God made possible by what Jesus did for us. The Christian faith is about a relationship with Jesus where religion focus is always on something we do for God.

How easy it is for us to forget that man can’t live by bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Mary knew there was something more satisfying for her soul taking place in the living room where Jesus was, then could ever be prepared in the kitchen. Mary understood the water she and her sister would provide their guests would leave them wanting more compared to the water Jesus offers that satisfies and as he said once a person drinks will never thirst again.

The message of Mary and Martha is a contrast between being busy and being engaged. Our schedules might be full but being too busy is a choice. Martha let serving get in the way of receiving. Its like the old saying, “if we are so busy we don’t have time to pray then we are just too busy.” Martha was busy but in Jesus mind she wasn’t being effective and the proof was made evident when she opened her mouth to speak. Instead of kindness being on her lips out came complaints as she was troubled by what her sister wasn’t doing. She was worried about things that shouldn’t have concerned her. She was for all in tense and purposes in that moment being a busy body. And Jesus called her on it. She was present but she wasn’t attentive.

It all comes down to choice. None of us can honestly say before God we are too busy. There is a time and place for everything under the son Solomon teaches us in the book of Ecclesiastes. Our job is to make sure we pick the right time and place to serve and when to sit and receive. Learn the lesson of Mary and Martha and like Mary choose the better part, choose Jesus!

"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD…”

Isaiah 1:18  


Michael Osthimer





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