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 only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42 NIV
My husband and I have four grown children and five grandchildren. With my love language of service and hospitality gift, I can understand why Martha is concerned about preparations for her guests. In the culture of Jesus’ day, women did all the housework. We certainly understand Martha.
Martha goes right to Jesus with her complaint. This is good, if you have a complaint take it to Jesus. Martha expected Jesus to tell Mary to help, and she even says, “tell her to help me!” I have yet to complain to Jesus and find His response empathetic and agreeable to my requests. Philippians 2:14 says, “Do everything without complaining or arguing.”
As I read these verses from a number of translations, I find the following words describing Martha: distracted, bothered, upset, anxious, and troubled about many things. Jesus responds to Martha and says, “only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better.” Mary is sitting at Jesus feet, devoted to Him, listening to Him and valuing His presence.
In our present day culture, distractions surround us. In any given moment there are a myriad of choices of what we could be doing. Devotion to Jesus, time spent with the Lord, becomes our own intentional decision. God does not force nor demand that we commune with Him. He is patiently waiting for us to seek His word and His heart. In this place of devotion, we grow in our love for Him and others.
Spending time with the Lord strengthens our spirit, enabling us to be led of the spirit and not our flesh. With all the noise in our culture, it is easy to become confused and disoriented. If we only make time for the news and social media, God’s voice will be non-existent in our lives. Be watchful over the amount of worldly intake, and make time to sit at Jesus feet. It will bring refreshment to your soul.