Monday, February 9, 2015

Visit at Martha's House, part 8

Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord's feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him 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." (Luke 10:38-40 NASB)

I don't know that Martha was the older sister, but she was certainly bossy enough to be. What strikes me as remarkable is that Mary was able to sit down at the feet of Jesus and stay there, despite her sister's protest. Martha was clearly in charge and was scurrying about making the preparations needed for the visitors. The fact that Martha approached Jesus, asking Him to send Mary to help with preparations makes me think that she had already tried and failed to get Mary's attention and call her to the work as well. Mary was stuck like glue at the feet of Jesus.

What was Mary doing? She was sitting, worshipping, listening to every word. In fact, Mary was making preparations of her own, but neither she nor Martha likely knew that. At this point in Jesus' ministry, His time on earth was short and, if His followers were to be prepared for the hard times that would follow His death, the persecution that would follow, the sorrow followed by joy that would follow, they had to take advantage of time spent with Him while they could. Mary was savoring time with her Lord, spending it worshipping at His feet, and she was commended for it. 

Certainly she could have been whipping up something special for the meal, preparing something lovely to give Jesus, but her gift of time and attention pleased Him far more than the effort her sister expended. Martha gave Jesus a gift of service, but Mary gave Him a gift of love. It's easy to forget how important that love for our Lord is to Him, but a quick look at the greatest commandment should remind us. 

And he answered, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." (Luke 10:27 NASB)

All our service matters little if love is not at the root of it. Dear ones, in order to be prepared for whatever is ahead, in order to please our Lord, we must spend time at the feet of Jesus. We must choose that service of ready attention, of worship, first of all. Being the hands and feet of Jesus is important,  but we must also have the heart of Jesus, and that comes only by spending time with Him. We, too, must be like Mary, stuck like glue at the feet of our Lord, not distracted by the busyness the world offers. 

When it comes to service, we have a choice to make. Let us first choose love.