We have heard this discussion many times. We always hear the story comparison. Don't be a Martha, be a Mary. Some friends and I had the discussion again today. Here are my thoughts on this lesson.
Luke 10:38-42 New International Version (NIV)
At the Home of Martha and Mary
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 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!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Let us first remember that the scripture says that Martha opened her home to him. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing she had the gift of hospitality. At the very least, she was hospitable, most likely thrilled to have Jesus and his disciples in her home.
Mary sat listening, taking in the sweetness of Jesus. Martha served. I think I might be a little jealous of what I was missing out on, too, if I were her.
They were among friends. There was love in the room. In his response, Jesus says few things are needed- or indeed only one.
He does state that Mary chose what is better. I don't think we can deny that to be true. Intimacy with Jesus trumps all.
What I learn from this scripture set is that hospitality is precious, needed, and the foot in the door of relationships. I ask, why do we always pit Martha and Mary against each other? To compare creates bitterness. To desire to be one over the other is not reflective of what we are to learn. We learn from both. Who did Martha turn to with her frustration? The One who is the best source for the answers we need to hear. The Only One that delivers true peace. Mary got carried away in the melody of the ministry truths. I think it is important that we remember that we can tell Jesus anything and ask him everything. He is available. Where we are in our relationship with Christ is not determined by whether we are a Martha or a Mary. What is important in this scenario is that the story used both women to deliver the message of Peace. Having a relationship with Christ is indeed the one thing that matters. God created us uniquely his with gifts that are as diverse as the stars in his universe. We find ourselves in spiritually different places from moment to moment in this life and he knows this. He says, few things are needed, but only One for sure is. His desire is for us to hang on his every word. First, we have to open the door and invite him in.
Thank you, Martha and Mary!
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