THE STORY OF MARTHA & MARY
Distraction In The Presence of The Lord
This is a short study about two sisters with different perspectives and orientations. In the Book of Luke 10, it was written in verse 38, “Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.” From here we could see that Sister Martha was a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Jesus knew her house. Moreover, Martha had a sister with her, called Mary, she was also a disciple of Jesus, “And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.” Luke 10:39.
When Jesus visited these two sisters in their house, they displayed different attitudes towards Him; while Mary diligently sat at the feet of Jesus Christ to learn the Word of God, Martha was busy with other stuffs. “And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” Luke 10:39, 40.
Why would Martha get herself distracted right in the presence of Jesus while her younger sister was diligently learning at the feet of Jesus? Could she be doing something reasonable? Maybe was a very hospitable woman, busy preparing food for Jesus and His disciples? She was so busy with what she was doing that she couldn’t cope alone, and she was not happy with her sister leaving her alone to the plenty works, so she had to report Mary to Jesus and requested that Mary should come to join her.
As many others would say that Martha was busy preparing food for Jesus Christ to eat. So can we say Martha was wrong to have been busy preparing food for Jesus and His disciples? No! that would not be a wrong thing for Martha to do, but could that have cause her to be distracted? To human eyes, we may justify and excuse people for their actions; people may hide under justified activity to excuse themselves, but God see beyond the outward. To human eyes, we can say Martha was busy doing the right thing, but Jesus sees beyond the outward.
Can we blame Martha for being busy for the welfare of Jesus? Was that the cause of her busyness? The true picture was revealed in verse 41, “And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.” The issue with Martha was not not being busy for Jesus, she was not busy about preparing something for Jesus, but she was worried and troubled about “many things.” Many things? Where did she get many things in the name of serving? And why was she worried, even to the point of being troubled while her sister was hearing the Word of God? It was as a result of distraction from Jesus.
DEVOTED OR DISTRACTED?
Many Christians and ministers of God today claim to be devoted to God’s work while they are actually distracted from God in the real sense. Here are common distractions mistaken to be devotion to God:
Busy But No Fruit Bearing.
You are a worker, leader or minister in your church, you are so committed to God’s work that you don’t have enough time for your personal life. You are really busy for God’s work and many appreciate it, but what about your personal relationship with Jesus? Are you bearing the fruit of holiness and righteousness as you are busy working for God? Can your spouse, parents, friends, family members, workers, fellow students, co-workers, neighbors and maids at home see the fruit of godliness and holiness in your life? Or you are just busy without bearing fruit worthy of repentance? Busy working for God without bearing fruit worthy of your calling is a plain distraction and self deception. Until others see Christ in you, you cannot see Christ at the end.
Busy But Not Building.
Martha was so busy serving that she did not have time to learn at the feet of Jesus. If you are a worker or minister of God in your church or anywhere, and you are so busy with different programs, preparations and meetings that you don’t have good time for personal Bible reading, Bible Study and good time to pray, because many things are in your care, and many people are waiting for you, it means you are distracted and not devoted. It is of necessity to build yourself up daily in the Lord with good time for personal Bible Study and prayer, before you can build others in the kingdom of God. The day you get so busy that you skip your personal devotional time in order to serve, is a day of distraction from God, even if people are blessed mightily in your ministration or serving.
Busy But Guilty
The system of many churches today has turned to mere serving without caring if the services are acceptable by God. Many Christians work from Monday to Friday, they don’t have time for their family throughout the week, and Saturday and Sunday which they need to spend time with their family, they get themselves busy with several activities and meetings in their churches. As a godly woman, how will you be so busy in your church that you forget to go home early to prepare food for your husband and kids? As a godly man, how will you be too busy and indispensable in your church that you don’t have time for your wife and with your children on Sunday? Sunday is a day meant to (i) serve God, (ii) rest, and (iii) have time with family and friends. That was the original purpose of Sabbath. Exodus 31:15. When we are too busy to fulfill these, then we have become distracted.
DEDICATED OR DISTRACTED?
You have a career or a business; you have children to cater for, these are good, but when you are too busy serving at work or at home that you don’t have good time for God in daily Bible reading and prayer, then you have been distracted. People may say you are a dedicated mother, others may see you as a diligent business person or career person, but before God, you a distracted person, as long you don’t have time with God before you rush out in the morning, and you are too weak and sleepy in the evening.
Whatever our professions, our positions, or our places, what we must daily put as priority is our personal time with God before anything. No matter how busy the schedule or situation, do not be distracted from your daily reading of God’s word and good time to pray. A day you rush time without time with God is a distracted day which can lead to spiritual destruction.
When you take God first in your day, your day is secured with God. People observed John Wesley that the days he would have a lot to do were the days he would spend more time in his quiet time in the morning; because he knew without the help of God, nothing would be achieved. What can we achieve from the day without God’s help? What can you receive if God does not give you?
Your personal relationship with God is more important than anything. You will be wise to care for your eternal soul more than your temporal business, job, or whatever. Because you can survive if all those things are taken from you, but one things is very important that should not be taken away from you, and that is your personal relationship with God for eternal life.
Luke 10:41, 42, “And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”