Mary Chose the Better Way
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. Luke 10:38 (NIV)
Imagine inviting the Messiah to your house! If I invited the Son of God to stay at my house, I’d clean for a week, make meals ahead, weed the flower beds, do my hair, lecture my children about being on their best behavior, etc. But in the days of Martha, hospitality was a given. If guests showed up in town, someone opened their home to them—in this case, it was Martha (the sister of Mary and Lazarus).
Luke doesn’t tell us anything about Jesus’ prior relationship with Martha’s family or their relationships with one another, he simply states, “She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.” Luke 10:39-40a (NIV)
Two simple sentences and my mind conjures up the entire scene. I can see Martha frantically sweeping, arranging, and preparing for the guests, while Mary sits on the floor beside Jesus totally unaware of her sister’s fussing. Exasperated, Martha takes her case up with Jesus himself.
“Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” Luke 10: 40b (NIV)
Don’t you care?
I hadn’t slept through the night in weeks, the baby was colicky, our two-year-old was teething, my husband was away on business, and our four-year-old threw up in the middle of the night! This was my life—before we added homeschooling.
Life gets busy. We balance work, children, chores, and relationships. Some seasons feel as though they will never end. The pace is exhausting. There is no peace, no rest, no recognition. No time for Jesus or reading the Bible—or is there?
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 (NIV)
When I first read these verses, I thought Jesus’ rebuke was harsh, but Jesus is never harsh. He’s compassionate, loving, and merciful. Can you hear his voice with me, like a gentle embrace? “Martha, Martha.” Can you see him shaking his head? “Nicole, Nicole.”
Jesus sees us. He knows the burdens we carry, the responsibilities we bear. But in his infinite wisdom, he also knows exactly what will ease our burden. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV) “Seek first his (God’s) kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
Sisters, sometimes the tasks at hand can’t wait, but this passage provides wisdom for a way to balance the responsibilities well and to order our lives so we can find contentment—even in the busiest of seasons. Although it may seem counterintuitive, making time with Jesus a priority doesn’t add to our burden, it actually lightens it. Prioritizing the reading of God’s word and prayer in a daily quiet time brings comfort and the recognition we crave. God’s love is poured out in our lives and we become better mothers, sisters, daughters, and workers. It takes personal sacrifice—but God blesses the offering.
“Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her…”
If you’re in a busy season of life and need some support or guidance for spending time with Jesus, Wholehearted Quiet Time Companion | A Christian planner has resources to help.
- Monday Mercies—weekly quiet time guides
- Quiet Time Planning Sheets
- Prayer List Handouts
- Bible Reading Plans
- Quiet by Naomi Vacaro
- Quiet Time Companion journals
Retired homeschool mother who loves to travel, bake bread, read, and spend time with her kids and grandkids.www.nicolelisamaria.com