Mary and Martha are two women in Scripture who supported our Lord’s earthly ministry. In Luke 10:38-42, we read the familiar story of Martha getting upset with Mary because she was not helping her. Ultimately, Jesus commended Mary and corrected Martha. This story is one of opposites. Maybe you know a Martha or a Mary. Maybe you see yourself in one of them. Stop comparing yourself to others or others to you. Don’t just tolerate one another but celebrate and appreciate the differences. Affirm each other. Mary could have helped Martha and they both could have sat at His feet. Martha could have brought her work with her. Whatever you do, make the right choice. Jesus said, “…one thing is necessary” (v.42). There are three words that describe this story:
Martha is a homemaker. She is hospitable and hardworking, but she is not happy. She is distracted, worried, pulled in many directions, uptight, and upset. Most of us try to do too much. When we try to do too much it leads to frustration. If you try to be everything to everyone you will end up not being anything to anyone. Martha was so busy it became a burden and not a blessing. She lost the joy of serving. Don’t get the wrong idea; people need to work and serve one another. In fact, the Bible teaches we are not saved by good works, but we are saved to do good works. The issue here is that Martha got her eyes off Jesus and on herself. We have to make sure our serving does not become self-serving. Who are you doing it for? You or Jesus? Serve the Lord with gladness. Serve without complaining. Serve without calling attention to yourself. Martha starts complaining about what Mary is NOT doing. When people get distracted, they easily get divided. Martha is mad at Mary and ultimately, she is mad at Jesus.
Three times we see Mary in scripture and all three she is at the feet of Jesus (Lk. 10, Jn. 11, Jn. 12). There is a difference in doing something FOR Jesus and being WITH Jesus. Mary hung on every word! Sitting is an act of submission. Spending time with Jesus is about knowing God and listening to Him. Blessed are the balanced. Is the Christian life work or worship? It is both, but worship should be at the heart of everything we do. When you make a meal, make the bed, do laundry, cut the grass, or clean out the garage, whatever you do, do all for the glory of God. Our work should be an outflow of our worship. Our labor should be an overflow of our love. Lazarus, Martha, and Mary became close friends of Jesus. He felt at home in their house. He wanted to be with them. Does Jesus feel at home in your house?
Jesus tells Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her” (v. 41-42). If it is not one thing it is another! There will always be so many things pulling at us. One thing is necessary. Every day make the right choice. Daily sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from Him. Listen to His word. Ask Him what He wants you to do. Submit, saying, “not my will but Your will be done.” The only way to defeat selfishness and our old flesh is to spend time in the word and time in prayer. Martha was worried, upset. Every day we face so much stress and pressure. The only way to overcome worry is to spend time with Jesus. Mary and Martha were upset when their brother died and Jesus delayed His coming. You can be honest with Jesus. If you are mad at God go ahead and tell Him. He already knows it. Worship is worth-ship. How much is Jesus worth to you? Our worship should be an expression of His worth. Every time we sing, serve, pray, give generously, we are saying THIS is what Jesus is worth to me. THIS is how much Jesus means to me.
Last year, Tammy spoke at a conference on the subject of “One Thing” to pastors’ wives from across the nation. She came home and shared that same challenge with our pastors’ wives across campuses. She shared it with our church family on Sunday. Take some time this week to ask yourself these questions she presented and to be honest with the Lord about your answers:
– On a scale of 1-10, where are you emotionally?
– What is the one thing that is currently besetting you?
– What is one thing you want to see God do in you?
– What is the one thing God wants to see you do?