“Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what He taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” Luke 11:40 (NLT)
Whenever I read this particular passage of scripture I feel myself silently pleading for Jesus to reward Martha’s efforts and chastise her sister Mary. But, He doesn’t.
“My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details. There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it and it will not be taken from her.” Luke 11:41 (NLT)
Many days I feel like “Martha” is synonymous with “Ashley.” I see so much of myself in sweet Martha. She has such a bad rap. Martha loved Jesus just like her sister Mary, but too often she allowed her service to Jesus to interfere with her worship of Jesus. Her attributes: attentiveness, hospitality, and servitude were commendable, but her attitude towards Mary also revealed a lack of humility and a critical spirit. I’m like Martha because when I read this account my first inclination is call Mary lazy and inconsiderate. She SHOULD be helping. But, Jesus does not hesitate to commend Mary on her ability to recognize the one thing worth being concerned about…true worship.
Mary recognized and understood the magnitude of Jesus’ presence. She recognized the importance of sitting at His feet, regaling in His wisdom, and truly worshiping Him with her time. She realized that there was nothing that she could do for Him that would ever compare to what He had already done for her.
So, today ask God to give you a Mary heart; to help you place your service to Him in proper perspective. What often happens in our service to Jesus is that we begin to think that we have to give and what we are doing FOR Jesus is more important than what He has done for us. Like Martha we busy ourselves with services to Jesus, but we stop listening to Him. Instead of sitting in the presence of our special guest we busy ourselves with what we deem to be more important. We allow our focus and attention to stray to our tasks. No matter how commendable our service may be we can’t allow our service to God to become more important than the time we spend with God. Cultivate a Mary heart and spend time at Jesus’ feet daily.
Written by Ashley Ivery