The story of Mary & Martha is a great example to us of where our priorities need to be. I can identify with both Mary & Martha in this story. I want to work for Jesus, and I want to be the one sitting at His feet, learning from Him. Let’s look at what Jesus has to say in this passage:
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.” Luke 10:38-42 (NIV) (Bold added to emphasize certain sections)
Martha was very hospitable and opened her home to Jesus. She was using her gift to serve Jesus and was busy preparing for Jesus’ visit, probably making food for the meal they would share together. She was too distracted by the work to spend time at Jesus’ feet like Mary was. She was also annoyed that Mary wasn’t helping her so she wanted Jesus to take her side and get Mary to help! What was Jesus’ response to Martha? You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.
Mary has chosen what is better. Wow. Yes, practically speaking the food did need to be made and I am sure Martha wanted it to be just right for Jesus. If Jesus came to my house for dinner, I would like to make him the best dinner I know how to make and I would want it to look incredible and taste even better. But what does Jesus desire more than a good meal? Fellowship with his beloved followers. He wants to share His heart with us, to teach us, to feed our souls with truth, to make us more like Him.
Are you worried and upset about many things? Are you so distracted by all that needs to be done for Jesus, that you miss out on fellowship with Jesus?
I admit its hard for me to stop and just be God’s daughter. I do feel significant and valuable when I am using my gifts for God and doing things that bring results that I can see. Although using my gifts for God is a good thing, I know that apart from being connected to Him, that even my work will amount to nothing.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Taking time to stop and connect with Jesus is the most important “work” that I can do this week. Jesus is honored when I work for him, when I use the gifts he has given me to bring him glory and to point people to him. But our work for Jesus needs to flow out of our daily growing relationship with Jesus. Then it will produce fruit and bring him honor. We can work hard like Martha but our work honors God most when it comes out of a heart that consistently sits at the feet of Jesus like Mary.
Look over your life. Does your work for Jesus flow out of your relationship with Jesus? Scripture tells us that Mary discovered the one thing worth being concerned about. What are you most concerned about?