Mary and Martha - Luke 10

Mary and Martha

Luke 10:1-42

Mary and Martha were sisters.  They also had a brother named Lazarus.  They lived in Bethany, a small village just east of Jerusalem.

When Jesus arrived at their house, He was welcomed by Martha.  She was the sister who first greeted the Lord.  After Jesus entered the house, Martha made an exit to the kitchen, where she labored to prepare a nice meal for their honored Guest.

While Martha was at work over the stove, Mary was together with the Lord.  She "sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word."  This was disturbing to Martha, who "was distracted with much serving."  Yes, Mary was sitting; Martha was serving.  That didn't seem fair when there was so much to do.

Somewhat frustrated Martha went to Jesus and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?  Therefore tell her to help me."  She knew that Mary would listen to Him.

Jesus had a wonderful way with words.  He answered, "Martha, Martha."  How warm and tender to repeat her name!  "You are worried and troubled about many things."  True.  Jesus understood her predicament.  Then He continued, "But one thing is needed."  One thing?  Only one thing?  It has been said, "If you can find a woman with only one thing needed, you better marry her."  But that one thing was what Mary had chosen, that is, to sit at Jesus' feet and hear His words.

Looking at John 11 we get another picture of Mary and Martha.  It's interesting that John wrote, "Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus."  After reading Luke's account you would think it should read, "Jesus loved Mary and her sister...."  But, of course, Jesus loved them both.

Their brother, Lazarus, had been sick and died.  Jesus waited a couple of days before heading to Bethany.  As soon as Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she "went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house."  It's Martha once again who initially has a dialogue with the Lord.

Shortly thereafter, Mary heard of Jesus' arrival, and when she "came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet...."  Once again, Mary is at the feet of Jesus.

There is another reference to Mary and Martha in John 12:2, 3.  "There they (plural) made Him a supper; and Martha served."  This time without rebuke.  "Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair."  Once again we have the sitter, and the server.

God uses all kinds of people.  However, there are those who do nothing but sit, and others who do nothing but serve.  We cannot serve well until we have learned to set at His feet, and listen to His Word.


Lord, we are all so different, and yet You love each of us.  We count it a privilege and joy to sit at your feet and serve You.  Teach us to use our time and our talents wisely.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!


Lord, Teach Us to Pray - Luke 11


All About God

Scripture taken from the
New King James Version.
Copyright ©
1979, 1980, 1982
by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by Permission.
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