They were friends of Jesus and also among those who followed Jesus and listened to his teaching. Biblical scholars believe that Martha was probably an affluent widow. She also practiced hospitality.
When she invited Jesus to her home – she had to be ready for a crowd – his entourage came with him.
The Bible says she was encumbered or stressed by serving.
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.
So she does what most of us women do when stressed – she complains.
She goes right to Jesus!
She attempts to get Jesus to agree with her – “I’m doing all the work – shouldn’t Mary help?
God does not necessarily agree with the cause of our distress – we might think it is –
- My mother-in-law
- My child who refuses to potty train
- My boss who doesn’t seem to understand that I have children
- My adult child who doesn’t call me
- My messy house
Jesus does care – just not about the same thing that is bothering Martha.
Mary chose the “good part” – that was The one thing worth being concerned about – which certainly meant what Mary made her choice to do—sitting at Christ’s feet, to hear his word.
So, does Jesus not want to eat, you may ask? Don’t we have to attend to the needs of our families, especially when there are little ones that depend on our care for their very survival?
Of course. The Bible is clear in teaching that we have responsibilities to fulfill and it is godly to do so.
Yet, are we so busy that we neglect the “One Thing” that feeds our souls?
“Martha’s care and work were good in their proper season and place; but now she had something else to do, which was unspeakably more needful, and therefore should be done first, and most minded.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary)
I had the privilege of participating this weekend in a women’s retreat sponsored by a local church, yet including ladies from various congregations. It was a precious time of fellowship, worship and teaching.
It was a time to focus on the One Thing – sitting at Jesus feet.
God was faithful to meet us and His presence was evident as we shared together.
I am so thankful that I was able to be like Mary this weekend – sitting at Jesus feet.