This is a familiar story – one we’ve heard taught on and mentioned many times. Jesus and His disciples visited a home they probably went to many times. It was the home Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.
When they arrived, they were welcomed in by Martha. The characters in this story are very colorful. We have:
Jesus and the Disciples – tired from their journey – visitors in the house
Jesus of course had much to offer with His words.
Martha – seems to be your typical performance oriented, perfectionistic, hardworking – never can sit still – everything has to be perfect kind of gal.
Sincere and loving – but direct and to the point.
Mary – is more driven by emotion. She was very relational. A BIG learner. She seems to live more in the moment and worry less about details.
Jesus gets a close-up view to the family tension and dysfunctionality. Martha is left to do all the work, while Mary is mesmerized by the words of Jesus. An eruption ensues… It would be just my luck that everyone would fight if Jesus came to my house.
Martha, who according to our text is distracted by all the work of the big dinner she is preparing. The more she works – the madder she gets. Finally, she can’t take it any longer. Subtle hints didn’t work. Obvious hints were ignored. In her mind, it’s time for direct words.
Martha spoke to Jesus (the One in charge) but obviously so that her sister would hear and be embarrassed.
“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.” (v.40)
I’m not sure what she expected when she yelled at Jesus, but Jesus lovingly, yet directly put her in her place.
“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.” (v. 41-42)
This all may matter – but something else matters more. Choose well. We don’t know what followed the conversation, but they all went on to be close friends. The rebuke was apparently received well and Martha learned a serious lesson.
How are we like this? All concerned with things that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things? What did Martha miss? What did Mary gain? What can we learn from this??
Tis one life and soon will be past, and only what’s done for Christ will last. C.T. Studd
- What are you all stressed out about that you need to release?
- What do you need to CHOOSE to neglect?
- How do you need to adjust your priorities
By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor