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." Luke 10:40
Imagine this situation. You have invited Jesus, the God of the Universe, over to your house for dinner. To your surprise, He accepts that invitation, and it is obviously a big deal to you. This makes you want to work really hard to make sure everything is perfect. The problem was that Jesus was traveling through your city and you weren't able to prepare a meal or the house in advance, causing high stress as you are both trying to entertain Him and cook for Him. While you are in the heart of the preparation, you notice that your sister is lounging around while you are doing all the hard work. Would you be angry? Would you passive aggressively bang pots in the kitchen as a mild suggestion to come and help? Or would you have the guts to call your sister out directly, right in front of Jesus?
That was the exact situation that we find in Luke 10. Martha saw that Jesus was passing through Jerusalem and invited Him over for dinner. Her frustration boiled over, and she called Mary out for not helping with the meal. Jesus looked at Martha and had some words of encouragement in the midst of her busyness. Here is how Jesus responded: "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41-42) Jesus was telling Martha that she should have been focused on what was most important. Mary figured out that her time with Jesus was limited, and she focused on being close to Jesus, rather than being busy.
This story is always so humbling to process. Often in ministry, we see some people who get involved in church because they think that if they are busy at church, God will love them more. They will neglect their families, shut out building relationships with the lost, and even in some cases, stop reading the Bible and praying. They think that somehow through being at church and serving, their busyness is credited to them as closeness to their Savior. Those who do this follow in the way of Martha. There are also people who figure out that their best ministry is birthed from their time alone with God. These people follow the path of Mary. We get one shot every day to spend time with our Savior. Will you make the most of it?
If you had to think of these two characters in this story, Mary and Martha, which one do you relate to most? Do you have a heart like Mary, making time to connect with Jesus? Or are you busy like Martha? Understanding where you fall, either as a Mary or Martha, is critical. Sometimes though, a personal assessment on this one is not enough. We would encourage you to make time this week to ask a close friend, mentor, or small group member if they see that you are investing in what is most important.
Read Luke 10:38-42 (NLT)
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. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 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.”
But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
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