By Mendi Behnen

Whenever I read Luke 10:38-42, I always feel like Martha gets the bum rap. Being a little Martha-like myself, I want to complain that if the Martha’s of the world did not get busy and look after the details, nothing would ever get done! Ok, maybe she had a bit of an attitude problem, but I find myself asking, If she was created to be detail-oriented, why would Jesus rebuke her for being concerned about the details? You might think I am taking this a little personally, but I think the Bible was intended to be taken personally.

I read this passage again and noticed something for the first time. Look again at verses 38 and 39. Maybe Martha invited Jesus into her home while Mary invited Him into her heart. Martha was not just attending to the details; she was worried about all the outer things while Mary was genuinely enjoying a heart relationship with Jesus.

It makes me wonder how many times I welcome Jesus into my busy activities, even ministries that I am doing for Him …while Jesus would rather be welcomed into my heart, where He can shape and mold me through genuine relationship to do all that I do with Him, not for Him. This might sound like a subtle difference, but read the passage again. It seems like there is a big difference from Jesus’ viewpoint.

My dear Martha friends, I can hear you saying, But …isn’t it good to do something ‘for’ Jesus? Of course it is but this is not really a question of good versus bad; it is really a matter of good versus best. Martha was making preparations for a guest; that’s a good thing. Mary was making a friend; that’s a better thing. In fact, in this case it is the best thing as Jesus says it is the one necessary thing.

Am I satisfied with welcoming Jesus to be my guest throughout life, treating Him with hospitality as I worry about putting all the outward appearances in order …or am I ready to do the one thing that is necessary, truly welcoming Jesus into my heart, making time to sit at His feet and learn from his Word? Jesus says this is the good part that can never be taken away!

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