“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 have always loved this story of Mary and Martha. And I believe it is one of the most misunderstood or misinterpreted stories in the Bible.
Some people would say that Martha, who was distracted with all the preparations, is all bad, and we should just be like Mary. They are the ones who turn up their religious noses at those who have a hint of trying to do good stuff for the Lord.
On the other side, some would say Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, was doing all that matters, sitting and worshipping the Lord. They would say, “If I could just sit here worshipping all day, I wouldn’t need to get anything done, as I have chosen the one thing that matters”.
So, is the story of Mary and Martha all about bashing Martha, and exalting Mary? What exactly was Jesus trying to teach us with the story of Mary and Martha?
As we know, Jesus is our perfect example, and we can learn one or two things from Him in this season where we are celebrating His death and resurrection, and what it means for us.
The Scripture passage above speaks about the fact that Martha was concerned and distracted about the many things she was doing. The issue here was not about Martha’s busyness or her many tasks, the issue was that these things had distracted her and caused her to be resentful about the time that Jesus was spending with Mary.
In this season of Easter, what should you focus on? What one thing, or few things, is Jesus asking you to focus on?
Can you look at your life and the many activities or clutter that have weighed you down or distracted you, and begin to strip yourself of the many things, so that you can focus on that one thing?
Jesus is calling you to be with Him amidst the chaos, troubles, and legitimate activities, and step into a place of rest with Him.
One of my favorite Scriptures that depicts true rest for me is Mark 6:30-44, where Jesus had mandated His disciples to rest, and as they left to a solitary place, they still had the crowd follow them into this solitary place. Jesus did not send the crowd away, but He insisted on the crowd being served even in that place of rest. And this was where the miracle of the 5,000 happened.
The lesson here is this: Jesus is not advocating running off to a secluded place so you can always be spiritual. He is advocating that we focus on the few things that matter and serve those in your life – your husband, your children, co-workers, friends, family – from a place of true focus on Him.
As we celebrate this season of Easter, let that be your desire – to truly focus on the few or the One that matters.
Please pray with me.
Lord Jesus, thank You for pointing me in the direction that you desire for me to go. I praise You for showing me what true rest and focus on You should look like for me. I pray that as I go through this season, I will be in tune with Your heart, and I will know what my many things are, strip myself of the extra weight, and learn to focus on You as I should. Let me hold on to the few things that truly matter, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen
Oluseye and the Help Club for Moms Team