Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.
And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word.
But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me."
And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.
But one thing is needed and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."
Mary and Martha are two of my favorite people because the truth is I can relate to them! Sometimes I'm so much like Martha and I'm distracted by ALL the things that I need to get done. Other times I'm like Mary and ALL I want to do is sit and listen and spend time with Jesus even though I know there are things I should be doing. I'm like Mary in those moments when He is my only focus!
The thing is that both sisters loved Jesus! It says that Martha welcomed Him into her home. She welcomed Him into her home and when you have guests in your home you feel responsible to look after them, to make them feel welcome. It also says that she had a sister named Mary who ALSO sat at Jesus' feet which implies that it was something that Martha did as well. Instead of staying there she got distracted with serving because the truth is its the thing we do. Don't forget that it wasn't just Jesus she welcomed in either. There were twelve other men that traveled with Him as well, so it was a crowd she was hosting! Is it any wonder that she got distracted and left His feet to serve? Wouldn't you? Don't we when we get caught up in work, family, friends, and of course, the big one, serving in our ministries?
Martha was working hard serving Jesus and the disciples when she realized she was doing all the work by herself. She looked over and saw her sister, sitting there, totally absorbed in the things Jesus was saying and next thing you know, she is focused on that instead of what Jesus is saying. And now? Now she is angry and feeling put upon. How about you? Have you ever got distracted from listening and next thing you know your 'worried and troubled' about others or even worse with them. Martha's distraction caused her to be open to a root of bitterness towards Mary because she perceived Mary's listening to mean that she was being blessed in a way that Martha herself was missing out on.
The truth is that all too often we are like Martha. We love Jesus but get distracted with the things we have to do for others or even by what we see others doing.
Then there is Mary. There are times when, like Mary, nothing can drag me away from His presence. I love when, like Jesus said to, "I choose the one thing necessary" and sit and listen and I don't let life or what other people are doing distract me from hearing all He has to say. Did you know Mary isn't the only one who took time and sat and listened despite the tasks of the day? '...Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight. He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.' Mark 1:35 '...And when He sent the multitudes away, He went up on a mountain by Himself to pray. And when evening had come, He was alone there.' Matthew 14:23 Jesus knew the importance of spending time talking and listening to the Father. There is a reason He was able to say, "...that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him." John 8:28-29
We are all a lot like both Martha and Mary at different times of our lives and as we grow in the things of God we need to learn to spend more and more time listening at His feet and less time 'worried and troubled and distracted' by the world around us. The truth is He is the 'one thing' that matters most and by putting Him first everything else will fall into place and be taken care of! Jesus is our perfect example and He always, no matter what His day was filled with, took time to make His Father the focus of all His actions; whether it was in taking time alone with Him or any and all the ministering He did throughout the day. It was all about being and doing His Father's will.
"Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:33-34 Taking a look at this illustration in the lives of Martha and Mary is a great way for us to ask ourselves, "Are we making Him 'The One Thing' necessary in our own lives the way Jesus did with His heavenly Father? Has He got all our attention or is it the world around us? Is He the focus of our day?"