Martha or Mary?

…Who will you be?

If you’re not familiar with Martha and Mary – they are sisters. Along with their brother Lazarus, they are close friends with Jesus. On one particular day, Jesus decides to visit Martha and Mary.

38 Now while they were on their way, Jesus entered a village [called Bethany], and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.39 She had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was continually listening to His teaching. 40 But Martha was very busy and distracted with all of her serving responsibilities; and she approached Him and said, “Lord, is it of no concern to You that my sister has left me to do the serving alone? Tell her to help me and do her part.”41 But the Lord replied to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42 [MSG]

So, from these couple of verses, a lot can be said. As Jesus came to the house, Martha immediately wants to cater to Jesus and prepare food. To me, Martha has the characteristics of an older sister, because she had responsibilities. While Mary has the characteristics of a younger sister, “the lack of responsibilities”. As you read, Martha had a problem with her doing all the work, when Mary was just chilling, legs crossed, hands under her chin, sitting at Jesus’s feet all while looking up at him.

Martha expressed her concerns to Jesus, more likely ‘telling’ on Mary. Martha thought by doing this she would make Jesus on her side and he will see that it wasn’t fair. That she was doing all the work by serving and preparing. However, Jesus saw it the other way around. Jesus put Martha in her place. Jesus told her where she was wrong. Jesus told Martha how she was anxious and worried about many things. Jesus told Martha that whatever Mary is doing was right. Remember that when Jesus came, Mary dropped everything and sat at his feet, listening to his teachings.

While reading this, I can see myself in Martha’s shoes. There are times I am anxious and worried about many things. My brain always have more than three tabs open. I worry about things that shouldn’t matter and find myself being distracted from the most important task. However, Jesus doesn’t want that for our lives. Instead, he wants us to spend our time at his feet, to “seek first the kingdom of God..” (Matthew 6:33). This is what Mary was doing and Jesus praised her for that. Jesus told Martha that Mary has the advantage and that it will not be taken away from her.

So, from reading about Martha and Mary, I know who I need to be like. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with Martha, but Jesus recommends us to be like Mary and not to worry about the wrong things. I can definitely improve on being less distracted by wordly things. Spending more time at Jesus’s feet I  will learn his ways and more about him. I will learn to have more JOY and being present rather than being discouraged and distant.

I pray this encourages someone as it allowed me to examine what it is I need to do more.

Peace & Joy



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