As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 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!”
“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 10:38-42
I really really like this story, there is so much which resonates and challenges me. I learn so much about Jesus and what He prioritizes from His followers. That we sit at His feet instead of hustle and bustle around with acts of sacrifices. So often I forget this and have to be reminded that sitting at His feet and listening to Him is what is most important.
And yet…I am thinking about servant hood lately. Clearly in a sense Martha is trying to “serve” and make everything perfect and probably cook an amazing meal. But her heart is in the wrong place, and I think this is partly what Jesus has taken issue with. She’s distracted from Jesus by her “works”, she is bitter towards Mary for not helping her, she is worried about the insignificant things.
However, as I was thinking about this passage this morning randomly. I wondered what if Martha had been in the other room. And her hearts message was saying something like this:
“I got to sit at His feet this morning, now I want to serve my sister and take away all of her distractions so that she can sit at Jesus’ feet. I really love Mary and I want her to be richly satisfied by Jesus, so I’m going to make the preparations today.”
I love the idea of this. That we can serve other people to give them room to meet with Jesus. OF COURSE there is a tension to this, that we must not do this at the expense of our relationship with Jesus, or even as a way to avoid our devotional life, or to busy ourselves looking out for other people before we’ve removed the plank in our own eye…etc.
I remember my Pastor talking about one of the ways he finds helpful to “lead” his wife in Godliness. Is by taking the kids out for the day, so she can come close to Jesus without distraction. There will be times I’m sure in their life where this is reversed.
For those of you who are having a really fruitful relationship with God, I want to encourage you to think about ways you can serve other people, who are really busy and have loads to do – so that they can draw near to Jesus. Maybe its looking after their kids, maybe its cooking them a meal, maybe it buying them a worship album. It might be something else completely. I bet, you will find God in a deeper way when you serve others so that they can draw near to God. I reckon there is something very Jesus-like in this, that He took all of the things that stopped us from drawing near to God and bore them for us.
Warning: keep your heart in check with this, I reckon pride/bitterness and all sorts will be tempted to grow in this time…yet offer it back to God.
For others who are busy, I want to encourage you to stop. And exit the kitchen, whatever that looks like for you, and sit at Jesus’ feet. “CHOOSE WHAT IS BETTER!”
Hope this makes sense, and isn’t a heresy.