Mary and Martha: Delight and Service
In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus visited the home of Mary and Martha. Mary and Martha were two sisters who responded to Jesus’ visit in very different ways.
Martha’s approach was to serve. Jesus traveled with many companions. The twelve apostles were with him. His mother and other women were along as well. And it’s likely there were more disciples besides the twelve. So there was much to do. All of these people needed to be cleaned up, fed, and most likely put up for the night. Martha took responsibility for all that. And Luke records that she was preparing dinner (while her sister was occupied elsewhere).
Mary’s approach was to enjoy Jesus. She couldn’t get enough of him. She sat at his feet and listened to him teach. It wasn’t often Mary got to spend time with Jesus, so when she did, she was determined to take full advantage of it.
It upset Martha that Mary didn’t help her with the preparations. In fact, it upset her to the point where she confronted Jesus about it and accused him of not caring that she was working alone. Of course, Jesus did care. He was fully aware of Martha’s situation, and he intently wanted what was best for her. But what Martha thought was best for her and what Jesus knew was best, weren’t the same thing.
Listen to the sermon to explore the Lord’s correction of Martha and understand how we can apply those truths:
- Service — actively loving our neighbors through meeting physical needs — is a good and appropriate thing
- Service can become selfish rather than selfless when we desire recognition or resent our inconvenience
- Service can become a distraction to something even more important
- Nothing is more important than delighting in God and seeking him
- Knowing God better by studying his word is not just a means to an end