After all, a woman's place is in the kitchen. Her sister, Mary, should be helping prepare the meal. Martha realizes there is a cutting edge to her voice, but Jesus will understand. He, of all people, knows what it's like to carry the weight of the world. Now of course, you won't find all that in the Bible.
Luke tends to downplay the whole story, dedicating only four verses to an event that was destined to change Martha's life forever. And mine as well. And yours, if you will let the simple truth of this passage soak deep into your heart. Instead of applauding Martha, Jesus gently rebukes her, telling her Mary has chosen "what is better.
I have to do more? Jesus' words in Luke 10 are incredibly freeing to those of us on the performance treadmill of life. It isn't "more" he requires of us. In fact, it may be less. They are mentioned by name only three times in Scripture: But from these brief accounts, a fascinating picture develops of what life must have been like at the house in Bethany--and what life is often like for us. They say variety is the spice of life. Perhaps that's why God so often puts people of such different personalities in the same family.
Either that, or he's trying to prepare us for marriage! Mary was the sunlight to Martha's thunder. She was the caboose to Martha's locomotive. Mary's bent was to meander through life, pausing to smell the roses. Martha was more likely to pick the roses, quickly cut the stems at an angle, and arrange them in a vase with baby's breath and ferns.
That is not to say one is right and one is wrong. We are all different, and that is just as God made us to be. Each gifting and personality has its own strengths and weaknesses, its glories and temptations. I find it interesting that when Jesus corrected Martha, he didn't say, "Why can't you be more like your sister, Mary? But when the two were faced with the same choiceto work or to worship--Jesus said, "Mary has chosen the better part. And it's available to each one of us, regardless of our gifting or personality. It's a choice we each can make. It is true that, personality-wise, the choice may have come easier to Mary than it did to Martha.
Mary does seem more mellow by nature, more prone to walk in the dew of the morning than to get caught up in the "dos" of the day. I'm sure when Jesus dropped by unexpectedly that afternoon, Mary probably began the visit by serving, just as she had many times before. I can see her taking walking staffs and sleeping rolls as the disciples spill into her sister's well-ordered home.
Buried beneath cloaks and backpacks, she watches the man who has taken the heart of Israel captive by his words. There is such joy and winsomeness about him, she can't help but be drawn to this man. Could Jesus be the Messiah the people say he is? She knows he's a great teacher, but could this actually be the Son of God admiring the tapestry she wove, drawing her out of her shyness and into the circle of his closest friends? She drops the disciples' belongings in a corner and hurries to pour wine for the thirsty crew.
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World: Finding Intimacy with God in the Busyness of Life
There is an ease about them, a true camaraderie. The men laugh at each other's jokes as they wash down the dust of the road with the liquid she provides. Then they settle on low couches around the room, and Jesus begins to teach. He speaks as none she ever heard before. There is a magnetism about his words, as though they contain breath and life--breath and life Mary hasn't known she needed until this day.
She creeps closer and stands in a dark corner listening to Jesus, her arms wrapped around the empty pitcher. She's aware of movement around her. Several servants busy themselves washing dirty feet, while another sets the table at the other end of the room for the meal to come. Mary knows there is plenty to do.
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And yet she is unable to move--except closer. It isn't customary for a woman to sit with a group of men, but his words welcome her. Despite her natural reticence, she gradually moves forward until she's kneeling at his feet. His teaching envelops her, revealing truth to her hungry heart. The Bible isn't clear whether or not this was Jesus' first visit to the home in Bethany.
Martha's openness with Christ seems to indicate a prior acquaintance, but whatever the case, this day Mary chose to let someone else do the serving so she could do some listening.
Lesson Friendship With God (Genesis ) | tevopaleqopi.tk
It isn't every day God visits your house. So she ignores tradition, she breaks social etiquette, and she presses closer. As close to Jesus as possible. It doesn't matter that she might be misunderstood. She cares little that the disciples look at her strangely. Somewhere in the distance she hears her name, but it is drowned by the call of her Master.
The call to come. The call to listen. And listen she does. A Tale of Every Woman Against this Bethany backdrop of unexpected guests, I see the struggle I face every day when work and worship collide. Part of me is Mary. I want to worship extravagantly. I want to sit at his feet. But part of me is Martha--and there's just so much to do! So many legitimate needs surround me, compelling me to work.
Suddenly all of my good intentions about worship disappear, swallowed up by what Charles Hummel calls "the tyranny of the urgent. Extra hours of prayer and Bible study can wait. But the urgent tasks call for instant action--endless demands pressure every hour and day. It does to me.
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The twenty-four hours allotted to each day rarely stretch far enough to meet all the obligations I face. I have a household to run, a husband to love, children to care for, and a dog to feed. I have church commitments, writing deadlines, lunch engagements to keep. And very little of this is what I would call deadwood. Long ago I tried to cut out what I thought was extraneous. This is my lifeand the hours are packed full. Not long ago, Today's Christian Woman magazine sponsored a survey of more than a thousand Christian women. Over 60 percent indicated they work full time outside the home.
Add housework and errands to a forty-hour-a-week career, and you have a recipe for weariness. Women who choose to stay at home find their lives just as full. Chasing toddlers, carpooling to soccer, volunteering at school, baby-sitting the neighbor kids--life seems hectic at every level. So where do we find the time to follow Mary to the feet of Jesus?
Where do we find the energy to serve him? How do we choose the Better Part and still get done what really has to get done? Jesus is our supreme example. He was never in a hurry. He knew who he was and where he was going. He wasn't held hostage to the world's demands or even its desperate needs. Someone has said that Jesus went from place of prayer to place of prayer and did miracles in between. How incredible to be so in tune with God that not one action is wasted, not one word falls to the ground! That is the intimacy that Jesus invites us to share.
He invites us to know him, to see him so clearly that when we look upon him, we see the face of God as well. Just as he welcomed Mary to sit at his feet in the living room, just as he invited Martha to leave the kitchen for a while and share in the Better Part, Jesus bids us to come.
In obedience to his invitation, we find the key to our longings, the secret to living beyond the daily pressures that would otherwise tear us apart. For as we learn what it means to choose the Better Part of intimacy with Christ, we begin to be changed. This is no cookie-cutter conversion. This is a Savior who accepts us just the way we are--Mary or Martha or a combination of both--but loves us too much to leave us that way.
He is the one who can give us a Mary heart in a Martha world. This transformation is exactly what we see in the continuing stories of Mary and Martha in the Gospels. Martha, as we will discover, doesn't lay aside her personality, give up her hobbies, and burn her cookbooks in order to worship Jesus. She doesn't try to mimic Mary the Little Lamb; she simply obeys.
She receives Jesus' rebuke and learns that while there is a time for work, there is also a time for worship. The Martha we see later in the Gospels is no longer frantic and resentful, but full of faith and trust. The kind of faith and trust that come only from spending time at Jesus' feet. Mary does some changing too. For although her contemplative nature makes her a natural worshiper, it also leaves her vulnerable to despair, as we'll see later in the Gospels.
When disaster strikes, Mary's tendency is to be swamped with sorrow and paralyzed with questions. But in the end, when she realizes Jesus' time is short, Mary puts into action what she has learned in worship. She steps forward and seizes the opportunity to serve both beautifully and sacrificially.
That's what I see in the biblical portraits of the two sisters of Bethany. Two completely different women undergo a transformation right before our eyes: The bold one becomes meek, the mild one courageous. For it is impossible to be in the presence of Jesus and not be changed. As you read the following chapters, I pray you will allow the Holy Spirit access to all the hidden corners of your life. Whether you tend to be a bit driven, like Martha, or more contemplative, like Mary, God is calling you to intimacy with him through Jesus Christ.
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The choice he offered to these two very different sisters--and the transformation they experienced--is exactly what he offers to each of us as well. Busyness, by itself, breeds distraction. Martha opened her home to Jesus, but that doesn't automatically mean she opened her heart. In her eagerness to serve Jesus, she almost missed the opportunity to know Jesus. Luke tells us that "Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. In Martha's mind, nothing less than the very best would do. She had to go all out for Jesus.
We can get caught in the same performance trap, feeling as though we must prove our love for God by doing great things for him. So we rush past the intimacy of the Living Room to get busy for him in the Kitchen--implementing great ministries and wonderful projects, all in an effort to spread the good news. We do all our works in his name. We call him "Lord, Lord. Will we know him? The kingdom of God, you see, is a paradox. While the world applauds achievement, God desires companionship. The world clamors, "Do more! He steadies our hearts and helps us to trust Him. My friend called me one late night during her cancer treatment.
Grieved by her uncontrollable sobs, I soon added my own tears and a silent prayer.
What am I supposed to do, Lord? Her wails squeezed my heart. But I knew who could help. Her cries quieted to sniffs and whimpers, until her breathing slowed. The apostle Mark shares a story of another person who wanted to help his loved one. A desperate father brought his suffering son to Jesus Mark 9: Doubt clung to his plea, as he reiterated the impossibility of their circumstances vv.
The father and son experienced freedom, hope, and peace when Jesus stepped in and took control vv. But Christ is the only One who can truly help us. When we call on the name of Jesus, He can enable us to believe and rely on the power of His presence. Due to an injury that occurred in , I suffer from chronic pain in my upper back, shoulders, and neck. He strengthens me and reassures me of His unchanging goodness, limitless power, and sustaining grace.
They worshipped God and trusted He was with them, even when their situation seemed hopeless. They never doubted the Lord was worthy of their worship v. We can rely on His constant and loving presence. My daughter and I were arranging to attend an extended family gathering. Because she was nervous about the trip, I offered to drive.
But I feel safer in my car. Can you drive it? Somehow I feel protected there. Certain physical places promise longed-for safety in moments that seem dangerous. A sturdy roof overhead in the midst of a storm. A hospital offering medical care. The embrace of a loved one. When her pain became unbearable, Betty and her husband took her to the emergency room. She realized that while she hovered over her daughter anxiously, the Lord is the perfect parent who nurtures His children, comforting them in difficult times.
In the book of Deuteronomy, the Lord reminded His people how when they were wandering in the desert, He cared for them as a loving parent who hovers over its young. We too may face challenges of many kinds, but we can take comfort and courage in this reminder that our God will never leave us. When we feel that we are falling, the Lord like an eagle will spread His wings to catch us v. Even on her hardest days, she read Scripture and prayed for others before getting out of bed. She spent time with Jesus daily, expressing her faith through her dependence on God, her kind deeds, and her desire to encourage and pray for others.
After Moses spent forty days and forty nights communing with God Ex. He had no idea his intimate connection with the Lord actually changed his appearance v. But the Israelites could tell Moses had spoken with the Lord vv. He continued meeting with God and influencing the lives of those around him vv. We might not be able to see how our experience with God changes us over time. But as we spend time with God and surrender our lives to Him more and more each day, we can reflect His love.
God can draw others closer to Him as the evidence of His presence shows in and through us. She was facing hospitalization and a series of procedures in a city three hours from home and anxiously waited as doctors tried to discover the source of some serious medical problems she was experiencing. Who of us, in youth or later years, has not felt similar fears when facing unwanted life events that are truly frightening? And where can we turn for help?
Related Friendship With Jesus: THe Way to Intimacy With God: Stories from Catching Gods Heart
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