As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a village where a woman named Martha welcomed them into her home.
Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord's feet, listening to what he taught.
But Martha was worrying over the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, "Lord, doesn't it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me."
But the Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are so upset over all these details!
There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it-and I won't take it away from her."
Mary and Martha both loved the Lord, didn't they? Martha was busy cleaning the house and preparing supper getting ready to serve the Lord. Can you picture her, everything has to be in it's place, she wants everything just right, right down to a perfect meal, I mean after all, the Lord's visiting! This reminds me of my wife in many ways. When we get news that our family is coming in from Kansas, we'll it's house cleaning time. Don't get me wrong, I think the house looks great everyday, but when company's coming, well suddenly there's a new level of cleaning that I guess I just never paid any attention too. I imagine that Martha wanted everything just perfect for her Lord's visit, and of course we can all understand that.
In this case however, both Martha and Mary were serving Jesus, but Martha thought that Mary's style of serving was inferior to hers. Maybe better said, she didn't see what Martha was doing as serving because she was more concerned with her own style of service. But as we see here, she was actually neglecting her guest in her service. Martha was so concerned with all the work there was to do that she missed out on what Mary had discovered. Not only did she miss out, she was frustrated with her sisters lack of service for the Lord and upset with her leaving her all the work to do. I imagine she thought Mary was lazy or maybe even rude.
I like the fact that Jesus doesn't blame Martha for being concerned with the household chores, He was only asking her to set priorities. Mary's priorities were right while Martha's were not. Sure it's OK to want to clean up the house and fix a big dinner for the Lord's visit, but when the Lord arrived, Mary gave Jesus her full attention while Martha's service became self service more so that serving Jesus. Luke 10:39 says... Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord's feet, listening to what he taught. Mary's focus was on Jesus and listening carefully to what he was teaching.
These are the questions we should ask of ourselves: Are we so busy doing things for Jesus that we are not spending any time with him? Am I allowing my service to become self service? That's the challenge isn't it? It can be possible for service to Christ to turn into mere busywork that is no longer full of devotion to God. Another lesson... spending time alone with Jesus, listening to what he has to say through his word, is far more important than focusing on details that take our focus off of Christ. As Christ said to Martha in verse 41,42. (41)"My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! (42)There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her."
My prayer is that as we serve we remain mindful that our own agenda and the details of our agenda can take our eye off what's important in our serving Jesus. True service is when all our focus is on him. It's not about what we're doing for him, but what we're doing with Him. When our focus is about being with him, hearing from him, listening to him, we'll be obedient to him and this allows His spirit to work through us. Then our works are of his will.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus. Thank you for this passage of scripture and the lessons you teach us from it. May my service to you be pleasing and may I discover that just spending time at your feet is the most important place to be. Lord, forgive me when I too become so wrapped up in the busy details of Church, Worship, and Service that I fail to pay any real attention to you at all. Thank you for your Love. Amen.