While watching a fireworks display during a celebration in my city, I became distracted. Off to the right and the left of the main event, smaller fireworks occasionally popped up in the sky. They were good, but watching them caused me to miss parts of the more spectacular display directly above me.
Sometimes good things take us away from something better. That happened in the life of Martha, whose story is recorded in Luke 10:38-42. When Jesus and His disciples arrived in the village of Bethany, Martha welcomed them into her home. Being a good host meant that someone had to prepare the meal for the guests, so we don’t want to be too hard on her.
When Martha complained that her sister Mary wasn’t helping, Jesus defended Mary’s choice to sit at His feet. But the Lord wasn’t saying that Mary was more spiritual than her sister. On occasion Martha seems to have shown more trust in Jesus than Mary did (John 11:19-20). And He wasn’t being critical of Martha’s desire to look after their physical needs. Rather, what the Lord wanted Martha to hear is that in the busyness of our service, listening to Him is the main event.
Dear Lord, help me to remember that my service for You is important, but it can never take the place of intimate fellowship with You.
Jesus longs for our fellowship.
Mary and Martha appear on three occasions in the Gospel accounts (Luke 10; John 11 and 12). They were friends of Jesus and sisters of Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead (John 11:17-37). It is interesting to note the significant interaction Jesus had with them. In Jesus’ day women were not regarded as reliable witnesses, yet Mary and Martha played a large role in witnessing Jesus’ miracles and message.