“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 chose what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
The first woman we meet in this story is Martha. She is found opening up her home to Jesus. I think Martha was exhibiting the gift of hospitality. This is something we are exhorted to do in the scriptures. In Romans 12:13 Paul tells us, “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” In 1Peter 4:9 it also tells us, “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”
The next woman we meet is her sister Mary. She is found at the feet of Jesus soaking in his powerful and life giving teaching. Mary took the stance of a disciple. Disciples took time to listen intently to what the rabbi, or teacher communicated.
This behavior did not set right with Martha. I think she felt overwhelmed by the many preparations of the meal. She felt this so strongly that she came to Jesus with her concern. She wondered why her sister didn’t seem to care about helping her. Jesus lovingly responds. He actually says Martha’s name twice as if to make a point. He knew she was worried and upset about many things. Jesus said only one thing is needed. Mary chose what was better, and it will not be taken from her.
So Jesus doesn’t tell Mary to help out in the kitchen. He is quite happy with her choice to be at his feet learning and gleaning wisdom. He says that she made the better choice. Being with Jesus is more important than preparing and serving a meal. It’s actually more important than most things we find ourselves doing these days.
How often during the week would you say you spend time in Jesus’ presence? Do you take time to actually listen to what he wants to say to you? Is hearing from him valuable to you? Do you write down what Jesus is saying to your heart? This is a practice that I’ve done more consistently in the past though I want to revive in my life once again. We have so many voices speaking daily. It could be from the news, our offices, or our homes. Many voices are competing for the most important voice which is Christ!
Take some time today to listen to what Jesus wants to say to you. Linger in His beautiful presence. Quiet yourself so you can hear His voice speaking to you. Choose what is better.