“And she had a sister called Mary, who moreover was listening to the Lord’s word, seated at His feet.” Luke 10:39, NASB
Maybe Mary was weary. New Testament life surely required effort simply to survive, and not having a husband could have made provision more difficult. When Jesus came, she sat. Instead of bustling around and tending to momentary matters–as important as they were–Mary soaked in the Lord’s presence and allowed His Word to penetrate her thirsty spirit.
Martha, on the other hand, hospitably attempted to meet Jesus’ physical needs. Welcoming Him into their home to rest comfortably and eat something nourishing, she knew what was required to make that happen. She must have looked like a cat trying to catch a ball of string–making progress but never quite grabbing hold. Loose ends pushed her to the end of her rope, causing her to blurt out her frustration with Mary.
Can you relate? I know I can. Winding down to the end of an intense busy stretch, I’m exhausted. I still have responsibilities pressing me … situations needing attention … gatherings to plan. While much has been accomplished and at least I can come up for air, more awaits.
I love Martha’s hospitality and completely understand her irritation with all the work being left in her hands. But Mary understood that no matter how much needs doing, JESUS takes priority. While serving others and ministering to physical needs certainly honors the Lord, being filled up and strengthened by Him cannot be ignored. Or replaced. The irony is, Mary accomplished more by sitting at Jesus’ feet than Martha did by running around on hers.
This account of Martha and Mary stops me in my tracks. Before tackling the next item on the list, I plan to sit at Jesus’ feet. He’s the only one who can refill and strengthen. The peace of His presence and the satisfaction of His Word contain the boost I need. In the midst of life’s demands, His refreshment refocuses and energizes.
Dear one, sometimes we allow life’s urgencies to control us. Rushing from one worthy doing to another, we forget JESUS welcomes us to sit at His feet … to enjoy Him–delighting in His nearness and learning from His Word. We must BE with Jesus before we can properly DO for Him.