Sunday, October 16, 2011


"Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" 'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Luke 10:38-42 NIV

I would like to approach this passage of scripture in the perspective of a worshiper ...

(1)Martha Served But Mary Sat At The Feet Of Jesus (Luke 10:38-42):
We are all familiar with this one story when Jesus visited the home of the two sisters. Martha came to Him to complain about her sister, Mary. God used the story of two well-known women in the Bible to demonstrate to us the type of relationship He wants with each of us.
I get the image of a house busy with people engaged in numerous conversations around the house. Martha is running about trying to figure out how everybody is going to get fed and coordinating the logistics of cooking for all the people. Somewhere in a secluded corner the Lord Jesus Christ is calmly teaching a handful of people who are intently listening to His every word. Mary is sitting at His feet, very content and very settled.
Martha frantically rushes over to interrupt the intimate gathering. Everyone casually looks up at her as the Lord easily sets the record straight. Feeling compassion for Martha, He reassuringly says, “Martha, Martha … you are worried and upset about many things, but only ONE THING is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." After all, if Jesus could feed the 4,000 (Matthew 15:32-39) and the 5,000 (Matthew 14:14-21), then certainly He could handle supper for a house full of people.

Jesus said:
"ONE THING is needed ..." As worshipers, especially if you are in the ministry of worship (i.e worship minister, worship leaders, musicians, singers); RELATIONSHIP with Jesus is the foundation for worship.

King David said:
"ONE THING I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple" (Psalm 27:4). David's primary occupation was to seek God and His beauty. God declared David to be a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). Imagine that? Wouldn't you love for God to say that about you? I know I would.

(2)Martha's Emotion vs Mary's Comfort (John 11:32)
In another story about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, the two sisters had different reactions to the news that Jesus was coming to see them after their brother Lazarus had died. There are many lessons that Jesus prepared us to see in this whole scenario. Herein we focus on the differences between the two sisters’ approaches to Jesus before He brought Lazarus back to life (kindly read John 11:17-40)

In verse 20 - Jesus was coming
- Martha took off quickly to find Jesus (impatient and anxious)
- Mary stay at home (probably waiting for Jesus)
In verse 25 and 26 - Jesus spoke to Martha but
- Martha did not really hear Jesus(verse 21-22). She was focused on what she had to say to Him. - Mary only went to see Jesus after Jesus called her (verse 28). She went without delay (at the right time).
In Verse 30 - Jesus met Mary in the same place as Martha
- Mary said the same thing as Martha, but unlike Martha complaining to Jesus, Mary worshipped at Jesus' feet(verse 32). Consequently Mary got a different response from Jesus(verse 33).
- Martha had not spent the time in God’s presence (just as in Luke 10) was overcome by her feelings did not believe. Her faith was not at a high level. Even when Jesus was ready to raise Lazarus from the dead, Martha was filled with unbelief(verse 39). Our unbelief can block God's miracles in our lives but, again Jesus lovingly corrected the situation (just as in Luke 10), when He said, “if you believed, you would see the glory of God ” (verse 40).

Both Mary and Martha were believers in the one true God. But, their walk were not the same. Martha knows how ... whereas Mary knows HIM ...

Martha's Syndrome:                   Mary's Solution:           
Fret & Worry                      Quiet 
Complain                                      Peaceful
Focus on feelings                       Prayerful
Anxious                                        At Jesus' feet
Unbelief                                        Faith


Anonymous said...

Did you mean to put quiet in comparison to complain I noticed it where peaceful should be? Great lesson.

Pete W said...

Martha has clearly crossed a cultural boundary when she invited Jesus into their home (Luke 10 - he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.) Then and now in the Middle East this would have brought shame on the two women - an unrelated, unaccompanied man in their home. So Martha has been clearly listening to Jesus' teaching about the openness of the Kingdom of God. Secondly, whilst she does get cross, is it not because she has adopted Jesus' own servant role, she's trying to follow his example, forgetting Jesus' suffering servant has a much bigger task: The Servant said: “The Lord God has given me a disciple’s tongue, for me to know how to give a word of comfort to the weary. Morning by morning he makes my ear alert to listen like a disciple” (Is 50, 4). Mary has chosen the better part but Martha does not deserve to be portrayed in such a negative light especially when there is no Biblical evidence for any of it. And when Jesus comes late to her brother death bed she again is the sister who breaks with tradition and crosses into the freedom of the kingdom by going to meet Jesus. Close relatives stayed at home to formally receive the condolences of visitors, Martha goes instead and asks for a miracle -20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

You have fallen for the traditional 'stain glass' spin put on Martha, she is with her sister, worthy of respect as disciples of Christ.