Martha, Martha

38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 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.”

41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

– Luke 10:38-42


Martha, Martha…

Just a quick question. When did working in the kitchen become more important than sitting at the feet of Jesus?

Let me ask something else: when did so many Christians forget Jesus’ words to Martha, the dear sister saint stressing out over dinner plans for thirteen while the feeder of 10,000+ was relaxing in her living room? When did we start praising the worker and reproaching our younger sister whose first priority is to rest at the feet of Jesus?

I’m speaking to the religious, to those who would tell us that in the economy of mercy and redemption our efforts matter. Because even after you understand that God has given salvation purely out of grace, serving Jesus dinner is still a temptation. It’s still an easy temptation to think that me doing things for Jesus is more important than him doing things for me. 

As if it were me that provided Jesus with salvation.

I mean, I can totally understand where Martha was coming from; 13+ people show up at my house for dinner and I’d be off the wall. She got stressed out–and who can blame her? She had all the societal perception and mentality of a Jewish woman of the time; society’s values placed her in the kitchen getting food for a bunch of hungry young men. And don’t you think Mary had the same pressure? Imagine the boldness it took to go against that grain just to sit and listen to Jesus.

So Martha comes in all in a huff like so many dear Christians who’ve been slaving away in their own kitchens, looks at Mary, looks at Jesus,

“Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?”

Jesus just smiles tenderly, of course he knows how flustered Martha is right now–anyone could, much less Jesus,

“Martha, Martha…”

The NLT says, “My dear 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.”

Just one thing. “I don’t need a big dinner,” he says, “let Me feed you.”

We can get so caught up worrying about what we need to do–what we need to fix, self-improvement, what we’re going to do for Jesus…

One thing is needed.

It isn’t service. It isn’t saving souls. It isn’t working to become a better person. It’s sitting at the feet of Jesus.

“…Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.”

That’s all we’ve got to go on in regards to what Mary did that was so relevant to Jesus. She sat at his feet and heard His word. And we’re so caught up in this generation on being relevant in what we do. The only thing relevant to Jesus is to sit at his feet and hear his word. Abide. But servitude? When did we start thinking that Jesus needed us? Jesus could’ve made his own food…out of rocks if he’d so needed–the devil was quick enough to point that one out from the start. I’m willing to bet that Jesus thoroughly enjoyed both Martha and the dinner she made, but Jesus didn’t need it. If Martha had sat down with Mary and just listened to Jesus…

What do you think would happen if you sat down and just listened to Jesus? What if you just let yourself rest in him? What if you stopped whining to Jesus about your younger sister enamouring in the finished work of the risen saviour, and joined her? What if you trusted Jesus enough that you could just come out of the kitchen, and be less concerned about what you could do for Jesus and more concerned about what He could do for and through you if you just stopped and let him?

Just sit down and listen to his word.

Stop trying to feed–supplement, assist, provide for, etc.–Jesus. Challenge the norms your culture and Christian/Church culture have laid out for you and know that the only thing relevant to Jesus, is you, at his feet, soaking up every single word. Man doesn’t live just on eating bread, but on eating every word that comes from the mouth God. Because we’ve all got the Bible, but the only way you’re going to have opportunity to hear God speak, is if you stop long enough to come out of the kitchen and just listen.