38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.40 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!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[b]Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
This passage really spoke to me in a different way today. Maybe you are working hard, living life, serving, loving on others, but all with a place in your heart that asks for something in return, a reward of some kind. You’d like a promotion, a financial breakthrough, more friends, a spouse, or maybe just simple recognition. – That is Martha!
She is doing good, but deep in her heart she is motivated by a selfish desire to please, to make things perfect, to control, and then she seeks after a reward, a thanks from Jesus Himself.
Jesus’s response always stings me a little because I am so often a Martha and I think a lot of us feel bad for Martha because we identify with her. Someone had to do the cooking and cleaning, right? And we don’t admire Mary as much as we should because we are too busy feeling bad for Martha.
So, when we finally are like Mary, when we choose Jesus first, time with Him, a career path for Him, sacrifice for Him, the path less traveled for Him, we can stand out like a sore thumb. Everyone around us will seem like Marthas and we might start wondering if it isn’t Martha’s way that is right. After all, her way looks productive, responsible, maybe even admirable, because she is getting things done.
That is why today, as I try and am growing more into a Mary, I find such affirmation and confirmation in Jesus words, rather than the usual sting. “Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away form her.”
Maybe you are trying to be a Mary, but you look around you and feel like a weirdo in the midst of worldly pleasure and life. Please hear Jesus. Know that your choice to sit at His feet and listen, to walk closely with Him, to choose His will, not your own is what please Him and in return you receive eternal life, pleasures forevermore, and a relationship that is so intimate and wonderful you will never want to be a Martha again.