I remember as a young mom thinking “ I would LOVE to be a Mary but life demands Martha!” “There was way too much stuff to do and who had time to sit at Jesus’s feet and listen! Who was going to bathe the babies, change diapers, run to soccer practice, teach your child to drive, do the grocery shopping, laundry, clean house and cook dinner?” Certainly not a Mary! No see’s over there soaking up truth!
Mary, sweet Mary, sitting there listening to her Lord. Taking in every word, every syllable. Intently watching His face, His eyes and seeing His heart. Oh, how often did I long for that? How my heart ached for it!
What I didn’t realize then is that I don’t think that the story of Mary and Martha was every meant to put us into the mold of one or the other. While it’s true that our personality often tends to identify with one more than the other, I don’t think Jesus ever meant for us to be one or the other.
As I’ve grown and studied God’s word I see a bigger message, one that I wish I have known in my twenties instead of just figuring it out in my late forties. (Better late than never I guess!)
Martha was distracted. She was worried about all the stuff that needed to be done. She is like so many women I see today. Among the women I come into contact with the common thing I hear is how tired they are, they are just plain weary. They go from one activity to another, whether it be care taking, working, serving, Bible studies on they go running from here to there. Goodness I am tired just THINKING about it!
My mind returns to Mary. Jesus says that she “only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” I am sure it wasn’t that Mary didn’t have things that needed to be done, but what had she chosen? She had chosen the one thing that was necessary.
Both women had things to do. Both women loved their Lord. Only one had chosen the good part. What exactly is the one thing necessary? What is the good part? I believe, no, I know, it was taking the time to know Jesus.
Mary chose to put other things aside, regardless of what was on her “to do list” and spend time getting to know the Lord intimately. Mary wanted a deeper relationship with Jesus. She wanted to hear His heart and know the truth of His words. Mary knew her list would still be there after Jesus was gone.
Mary understood the truth of Hosea 6:3 “so let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.” and the truth of Psalms 119:102-104 that God is the one that teaches us through His word. His word is sweeter than honey and from them we gain understanding. She knew that taking time to know God, not just about Him but to know Him intimately and deeply was the only way she could have the energy, the heart, the want to, to do whatever it was that her Lord might call her to do.
2 Peter 1:3 reminds us that “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us…” If this is true, and we know it is, then why do we insist on going about our life doing before we have taken the time to do the one thing necessary?
Remember Jesus said Mary chose to do the “good part”. Martha could have chosen the good part also, but she didn’t. Instead she went about her chores thinking that serving Jesus was better than knowing Him.
Let me conclude by saying that most likely when Jesus left that day, Martha was exhausted and maybe even ready for a nap! Mary on the other hand probably felt refreshed and strengthened, able to go about the rest of her day
What have you chosen? What will you choose today?
So join us at Chats With an Old Lady to see what precious truths God is revealing!