I am reminded of a father who brought things home from work in this “gotta do more” world. His little boy asked, “Mother, why does Daddy bring all that stuff home every night?” Mother answered, “Well honey, Daddy is so busy he just can’t get all his wor … More
This familiar story appears only in Luke, yet these two ladies, Mary and Martha, are among the most famous of all Bible characters. The village where Martha opened her home to Jesus was Bethany, which was just a few miles east of Jerusalem (v. 38). Jesus stays in Bethany during His final week on earth. On this occasion both Mary and Martha were serving Jesus, but Martha thought Mary’s style of serving was inferior to hers.
A sharp contrast is made between Martha who was “cumbered about much serving,” and Mary who “sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his words” (vv. 39-40). This passage is not saying that people should be unconcerned with household chores (vv. 41-42). He was only asking her to set priorities. It is possible for our service for Christ to degenerate into mere busywork that is no longer full of devotion to God. We must choose to do the best things, and not be overly concerned about ourselves.
What we do with Christ is far more important than what we do for Christ. There is nothing wrong with serving, but we must first sit at Jesus’ feet and spend time with Him. That is why it is so important that every one of us has a quiet-time with the Lord each day.
Whenever I criticize others and pity myself because I feel overworked, I had better take time to examine my life. Who am I the most like - Mary or Martha and why?
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her."
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Luke 7:1-10A Centurion’s Servant is Healed
Luke 7:11-17A Widows Son is Raised
Luke 7:18-35Messengers from John the Baptist
Luke 7:36-50A Sinful Woman Forgiven
Luke 8:1-15The Story of a Farmer
Luke 8:16-25Jesus Calms the Storm
Luke 8:26-39Jesus Heals a Man With a Demon
Luke 8:40-56Jarius’s Daughter is Healed
Luke 9:1-17The Feeding of the Five Thousand
Luke 9:18-27Peter Confesses That Jesus is the Christ
Luke 9:28-36The Transfiguration
Luke 9:37-50Demonic Son is Healed
Luke 9:51-62The Cost of Discipleship
Luke 10:1-16Jesus Sends Out His Disciples
Luke 10:17-24Return of the Seventy
Luke 10:25-37The Parable of the Good Samaritan
Luke 10:38-42Mary and Martha are Contrasted
Luke 11:1-13Jesus Teaching on Prayer
Luke 11:14-26A House Divided Cannot Stand
Luke 11:27-36Jesus Warns Against Unbelief
Luke 11:37-44Woe to the Pharisees
Luke 11:45-54Woe to the Lawyers
Luke 12:1-12Jesus Speaks Against Hypocrisy
Luke 12:13-21The Parable of the Rich Fool
Luke 12:22-34Jesus Warns About Worry
Luke 12:35-48Preparing for His Coming
Luke 12:49-59Christ Brings Division
Luke 13:1-9Repent or Perish
Luke 13:10-17A Crippled Woman Healed on the Sabbath
Luke 13:18-35Jesus Teaches About the Kingdom of God