Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13)

Mary and Martha

Tuesday, February 13, 2007
are you learning???

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:38-42)

As far as Bible teachings, this one isn't one of the most complex. Don't waste your time on the vain things of this world and stick with Jesus. This simple account, with its simple teaching, sadly, is greatly ignored today.

These days, we have believers who think that, so long as what they are doing isn't outright evil, then what they are doing is 100% good. The above Scripture blasts that concept to pieces. Martha wasn't doing anything wrong. She was serving her house guests; probably distributing beverages, getting dinner ready... etc. In and of themselves, nothing wrong with these activities.

These vain activities, however, become a problem when they take a soul away from the Lord. Mary had chosen wisely, in that, she took her seat as close to the Lord Jesus Christ as she could find, and listened to his teachings. Martha probably missed much of what the Lord was teaching that day because her mind was on the dishes and the cooking and the setting of the table... etc. Mary chose best, Martha chose vanity. Both women were saints, both were saved. Yet one chose the best way, the other chose a troublesome way.

The Lord, in his kindness, tried to reason with Martha. He explained to her that her sister had chosen the better way and that it would be best for her to imitate her instead of being critical of her. Now you would think that, considering the source of this admonition, that Martha would have learned something that day. You would think that she would never again waste her time on vain matters when the Lord was around. Well, consider this:

"Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment." (John 12:1-3)

Lazarus was at the table with Jesus. Mary, again, was at Jesus' feet honouring him with costly ointment. And where was Martha? Tucked in v.2, we read: "...and Martha served...". How sad is that? Martha hadn't learned a thing. She had been told her mistake and instead of repenting, she was once again focused on vanity, instead of having all her attention on the Lord.

Now it's easy, looking at these two portions of Scripture and conclude: "what a foolish woman!" But consider how many times you have been instructed of the Lord, through his Word, and have continued in vanity and error, instead of correcting your foolishness. I have seen this take place in my life, as I have seen it take place in the lives of others.

This is a grievous thing.

It is our responsibility, as God's people, to not only shun evil paths, but to walk the best and most profitable ways. Consider Martha. Consider Mary. "Choose that good part, which shall not be taken away from you."