Jesus Visits Martha and Mary
“38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.
39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.
40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details!
42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
It’s honestly kind of funny how I ran across this story. I’ve been in a pretty busy season of life lately with a lot of different things going on and coming up all in the same time range. It’s been a lot to be done and to be honest it’s been overwhelming at times. I caught myself last night looking over my long to-do list and thinking about all the things to be done along with the little amount of time I had to do it, I began getting worried a little bit.
We live busy lives in a world that is always trying to pull us in different directions at all times. Especially with all the resources we have at our fingertips, it’s extremely hard to focus in on what’s important and stay away from being distracted by what’s not. I was in the middle of this busy strain in my life and started becoming worried. How can I get all this done in a short amount of time? What’s most important that should be done first or next? With all these different things battling for my attention, what direction should I give my attention to? Where should I go? What should I do? How should I do it? How can I do it in a way that pleases the Lord? Or how can I please the Lord the most?
These are questions that we will all face at one point or another in life but the good thing is that we have found all the answers we need in God’s Word. I had a lot on my plate and had intentions of digging into my Bible, but like so many times before, good intentions can sound good but they can only be good if put to action. So instead of only having the intention to read my Bible, I actually opened it up and what’d ya know? I fell right into this story about Jesus visiting Martha and Mary.
So much can be taken away from this story but what hit me the deepest was that two types of people were shown, Mary’s and Martha’s. Yesterday I acted way more like a Martha than a Mary. What I mean by that is Martha has Jesus coming into her home, she’s freaking out, “the Messiah is in our house, I have to get everything perfect, cook the perfect dinner, set up the best dinner party ever, the house must be spotless,” the list goes on and on. Martha is led to deep worry over doing all these things for Jesus and making everything perfect but she is a mess in the meantime. She is wondering why Mary is being so lazy. not helping out with dinner and just sitting around talking. You see how easily you can get distracted to do all these things for Jesus and keep doing them because you tell yourself it’s for Jesus so it’s not wrong. Yes it may be work that’s good but let’s look at Mary’s example where Jesus says, that’s good but I’m here to give you not just good but BEST!
Mary gets it! From our point of view it may not look like she’s doing anything but she’s receiving EVERYTHING! Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to His Words filled with the utmost wisdom, perfection and power of God. Mary doesn’t worry so much about all that needs to be done because she sees what’s most important. All that stuff in the kitchen is nothing compared to being filled with the Bread of Life.
I was such a Martha and struggle not to be a lot of the time. I get distracted by all the details and caught up in trying to do it all for Jesus when there is only ONE THING that’s really important, there’s only one thing I NEED to do and that’s sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening and taking in His powerful, life-changing Word. We say that all the work we are doing is still “good” if it’s for Jesus but what a powerful picture of the Gospel here. There’s nothing we can do to bring us any closer to Jesus or make Jesus be any more pleased with us or love us more than He already does. Jesus has already done it all by dying on the cross for our sins and raising from the grave. Upon Jesus raising on that third day, He raised not with a list of to-do’s, not with the keys to a “good” life but the keys to new life, the BEST possible life. It’s not about what we do but what Jesus has DONE!
Jesus did all He did for us so we could have one on one communion with the Father in Heaven. He did all He did because He wanted the BEST for us and to find out what is truly BEST for our lives, to separate “good” from BEST, the only way to receive that, see it and understand it better is sitting at Jesus’ feet, digging into His Word and through what Christ has for us, we are equipped to discern what we need to-do, we grow in wisdom and increase in His love to learn what truly needs to be done, how to do it, when to do it or if we even need to do it all. With all the questions that may come up in our crazy lives, there’s no need to be a “Martha”, run around in “to-do mode” trying to get it all done in a worried and stressful panic. The answer to all our questions come in following the example of Mary, sitting at Jesus feet and deeply taking in His powerful Word. Out of all that seems “important” there’s only ONE THING that’s really of importance to us and that’s simply spending time with Jesus!!!
It blows my mind how quickly everything in life, all the worries and busyness seems to fall into place, we have such a powerfully calm and peaceful presence about us, AFTER we first spend time with Jesus! Spend some time with Him and receive His vertical power and peace over all these horizontal problems.