Mary or Martha?

April 14, 2021

“’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 10:41-42

 In Luke chapter 10, we find the tale of two women.

The first, Martha, is a go-getter. She is efficient and capable. She is a take-charge kind of gal who sees what needs to be done and does it. Initiative. Maybe even spunk.  That is Martha. Today, Martha would be Room Mom at her kid’s school or president of the local PTA. She would serve in several different ministries and head up committees at church. If Martha isn’t careful, she will volunteer herself right into a panic attack.

Then, there’s Mary. Sweet, laid-back Mary. Mary isn’t lazy; she is just…well, slower-paced than Martha. Mary stops to notice the types of birds in her yard and the flowers that are blooming. She remembers the name of the familiar cashier and the barista. She stops to look the waitress in the eye and actually speak to her when out to dinner. Mary is present. She doesn’t jump on every opportunity to volunteer…even for good causes. Mary’s life is full…but there is margin.

Both of these women have a heart of gold. Neither is “more spiritual” than the other. When they hear that Jesus is coming to their home for dinner, they are equally excited. They each want to bless Him. Both women want to be with Him. They just have two completely different ways of approaching their Savior.

Martha, focused on Christ’s worth, gets busy preparing for His arrival. Only the best will do. The delicious food and beautifully set table will surely show Christ how much she loves Him, right? Mary, on the other hand, readies her heart for the Lord’s visit. She prepares to learn from Him. She recognizes the gift of this face-to-face time with Him. Surely her presence will demonstrate her love for Him.

Christ’s words must have stung Martha, don’t you think? How could He not appreciate her work? After all, she was doing it for Him! Christ’s rebuke, however, was out of love. He wanted Martha to realize that He only wanted one thing from her. He wanted her attention…her heart.

How do you approach Christ? Is it like Martha or like Mary? Are you so busy working for Christ that you are neglecting being with Him? If so, choose the better thing. It can never be taken away from you.

Dear Lord, I want to be like Mary, but I know the world is begging me to be Martha - to do more, be more, accomplish more - rather than spending time just resting at your feet. Please help me to change my perspective and my priorities so that I might be more like Mary each day. In Jesus' name, amen.

Topics: Approaching God

Bible Reference

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.”