Yesterday I had my toes stepped on…. twice. First, by my husband, who stubbed my freshly-painted red toenail which I then had to rush and touch up before it dried. The second time was when we went to Bible study last night. After class someone led a short devotional/invitation and the passage he read really stuck out to me and made me think, “Ouch!”
Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)
This happened just after Jesus told the men who said they wanted to follow Him, but only after doing something else first, that, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” He then chose seventy people to go out and heal the sick and teach and tell that the kingdom of God had come near to them. Just after telling the lawyer that we are to be a friend to everyone, He stops in a village and visits with Martha and Mary.
Now, being the the oldest of my siblings, and assuming that Martha is most likely the oldest of the two sisters, I can see how she would feel if she had company and her sister was not helping. Can you just imagine what it would be like to have the Son of God in your very own home? I think I’d probably also be running about the house frantically getting things cleaned and the food prepared just right. There was nothing wrong with Martha serving Jesus in this way, (being a servant and friend to her Neighbor), for He probably was very tired and hungry, but that wasn’t why He was there. He had important things to say and do, and this was the time Martha needed to take a breather and just listen to Him.
When Jesus said she was “worried and bothered about so many things,” He wasn’t telling her she was wrong in doing them, but that “only one thing is NECESSARY.” Yes, He probably needed a place to rest and something good to eat, but those things could wait. NOW was the time to sit at His feet and soak up the Word from the Word Himself. (Again, just imagine!)
Jesus wasn’t telling Martha that her homemaking was annoying or not needed; He just simply and very lovingly told her that her chores could wait and that she needed to be still.
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” (Colossians 3:23) Martha was literally serving the Lord Christ, but what He had in mind was what she needed to be doing at that moment: “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2) “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:20-21)
I know I’ve been guilty of the same as Martha a lot, so this lesson really “stepped on my toes,” so to speak. Instead of worrying SO much about washing the dishes, doing the laundry, making sure grocery shopping and meals get done on time, and all of the other things that have to be done, I need to take a breather in this life more often than I have been, and just soak up the words of my Lord and lose myself in prayer with God.
Because, hey–the dishes may need washed, but if Jesus came to my house today, I would’t have any reason at all to worry with them just yet.