There are many things in life that aren’t necessarily good or evil. I mean one person eats pork and another doesn’t. The one might think pork isn’t good for you but you can’t say it is evil, in itself. Some people don’t like men or women to have long or short hair but neither one is good or evil it is simply a preference.
Jesus stayed in the home of two sisters that had quite the difference of opinion about what was necessary, or most important. Mary and Martha were there names and they apparently had two very different opinions on priorities.
Martha was a servant. She thought serving was the most important thing to do and simply could not understand how her sister Mary could just sit in the living room while she did all the work. Martha came to Jesus 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.” Jesus answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
While it isn’t wrong to work in the kitchen or be a servant it isn’t the primary thing. Martha was distracted from Jesus even in the midst of being a servant to him. Mary on the other hand had determined there was absolutely nothing that was going to tear her away from her Lord. She was going to sit at Jesus’ feet even if it did send Martha into a spin.
We can all have those moments when we are most like Martha. We get frustrated at work and feel like we are the only ones doing anything significant. We think, “why doesn’t so and so get over here and help” or “why do I have to do it all?”
When we do get those times to be like Mary we cherish them immensely. We find ourselves not wanting to ever go back into the kitchen again. We just want to stay at Jesus feet forever. Somehow we have to come to a place where we realize while doing the Martha stuff isn’t always fun it may be the only way we can do the Mary stuff. I for one think of my “work” as the Martha part that enables me to do the Mary part. I work until 4 P.M. and have two days off a week. Since I work during the day I am able to minister in the jail at night and attend church services on the Weekends. If it wasn’t for having those hours I may not get to do these things I love. If I can just remember the Martha work is what allows me to have the time to sit at Jesus’ feet it is much more tolerable. Once we see the listening part is the most important part we start to understand all the other stuff is only a means to an end.
Apparently the Apostle Paul was a tent maker. Even though he could receive monetary help from those he ministered to he worked with his own hands instead. He made tents so he could fund his own ministerial needs. This way he put no strain on anyone else’s pockets and therefore never had to rely on others to pay his bills. In fact at one point he said, “It would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one.” Paul was boasting in the fact that he could give out the gospel free of charge to remove any false accusations or entanglements. While it isn’t wrong for someone to make their living sharing the gospel it can create problems. Paul chose to be a tent-maker in order to be able to present the gospel free of charge. It was freely given to him and he was going to freely give it to any that would receive it.
When it comes to Martha I think she was feeling trapped in the kitchen. The revelation she needs is sitting at Jesus’ feet is the most important part. While serving others is part of the Christian life. I have found that if I spend a little time sitting with Jesus; the time I have to spend making tents or cooking in the kitchen goes much smoother. Once I get my priorities in order things tend to get accomplished with much less strain and frustration.
Written by Louie