By Brooke Holt
“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 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.’” Luke 10:38-42
What would the Lord have you learn from Martha in this passage? Often, we hear of Martha being chided by Jesus for her busyness as Jesus heralded Mary for her willingness to give him her full attention. This is certainly an important component of this story. Jesus wants us to think through our priorities. Where does he fall on that list? As with Mary, he should be our number one priority and thus the focus of our love, attention, and time.
People often fail to recognize that if Martha had not extended hospitality to Jesus and the disciples, Mary would not have had the opportunity to sit at Jesus’ feet. Martha did the work to open their home and then care for those who had gathered there. Water was out for their feet, there was a clean and comfortable spot to gather and listen to Jesus, and a meal was being prepared. Martha tended to the details that would bless Jesus and all those who were there with Jesus that day.
Martha was likely that perfectionist who wanted everything to be just so, perfect in every way for her guests. Jesus was just glad to be there with Mary and Martha and grateful for a place to gather with those he loved. It was about quality time together, not the perfect place or meal. Yet, I am sure everyone there would enjoy and appreciate a home-cooked meal. Who knows what these men ate while traveling together?
Martha’s attention and focus on opening her home and providing a meal would surely be a blessing to all. Where Martha was rebuked was in her attitude. Was she delighting in her gift of hospitality or allowing her perfectionism to rob her of the joy? Was she so worried about all the details that she missed out on sitting at Jesus’ feet?
We can learn many important lessons from Martha—good and bad. The Lord would have you delight in your spiritual gifts, whether hospitality, teaching, prayer, service, etc. Then, the Lord would also have you always choose the highest call—that relationship with Jesus. When that relationship is strong, you will have the power, strength, and joy to use your gift to serve God and others.
How are you using your spiritual gifts to serve God and his church? In what ways might you need an attitude adjustment about the spirit in which you serve? Every person and every gift is vital in building God’s kingdom. May you find delight in the Lord today and then delight in exercising your gifts! We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Why is trust so difficult? Unlike all the broken promises of this world, God’s redeeming promises are absolute, trustworthy, and true. The covenants of God afford us with abundant reasons to trust God with his plan for our lives. Trusting God: Redeeming Promises of the Word small group Bible study explores the six major redeeming promises of God found in his Word. Learn more about God’s commitment to his people, the nature of a covenant, and how you can find your security in being a child of God’s redeeming promises. Learn more about God’s promises today.
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