• Luke 10: 38-42: 38

MARY AND MARTHA


Scripture: 38-As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 - She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s fee listening to what he said. 40 - But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 - “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 - but few things are needed or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

After reading the scripture above, my commentary will be "Did Mary or Martha do the right thing". What is your opinion?

Mary and Martha are sisters and resides in the same residence. Lazarus is their brother, the one Jesus raised from the dead. We can imagine the ladies had a blessed relationship, just because they were servants of the most high. They were also friends.

Jesus was visiting Bethany and Martha invited Jesus to her their home. This is a great way to show hospitality. When Jesus comes to Bethany, Martha demonstrates hospitality by welcoming Jesus into the home she shares with her sister Mary. She busies herself with the tasks of serving their guest. Although we are not told precisely what those tasks are, a good guess is that she began preparing a meal.

Jesus is asked to settle a dispute, he refuses to side with the one who asks that things be decided in a particular way. Yet he responds tenderly and instructs in the process. The double address "Martha, Martha" indicates the presence of caring emotion, as such an address does elsewhere (6:46; 8:24; 13:34; 22:31). Jesus questions her not because of her activity, but because of her attitude about it: "You are worried and upset about many things." By comparing what she is doing to what Mary is doing, she has injected unnecessary anxiety into the visit. "Only one thing is needed." With this remark Jesus sets priorities. "Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

Jesus commends the hearing of the word at his feet. To take time out to relate to Jesus is important. In a sense Mary is preparing to partake in the "right meal". What She has done by sitting at Jesus' feet will remain with her. This meal will last. Jesus is not so much condemning Martha's activity as commending Mary's. He is saying that her priorities are in order. To disciples Jesus says, "Sit at my feet and devour my teaching. There is no more important meal."

Balancing work and reflection is tricky. Most people today are forced to live hurried lives. Often our schedules are full of "good" activity. One of the demands of a full schedule is that the activity be prioritized. Where does JESUS sit in your daily schedule? It is easy to get bogged down with our lives, but we must remember to put GOD first in all things. There is a time for everything. Some things come high on the list; others must wait. Sometimes priorities have to be shuffled at the last minute to meet needs. The account of Martha and Mary is about such priorities, especially when the options are good ones.


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Bishop Paul E. Moss, Jr. Pastor and Teacher

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