I always feel sorry for Martha in the biblical story as she seemed to be doing the right thing with the right motive but somehow got it wrong.
Her beloved Lord and Master had come to visit. As a result, she was very, very busy being hospitable in serving Him and the others present. So busy was she, she had become ‘distracted with much serving’. You can almost see the flush on her face and feel the tension in her neck along with the racing heartbeat as she tried to get everything prepared. Many of you can identify with that feeling of mild panic!
And to make it worse, Mary, her sister, was just sitting there apparently doing nothing. You will recognize the frustration that comes when you are left to do everything while nobody helps! Poor Martha couldn’t stop herself; the frustration boiled over and she went straight to the Lord and suggested He didn’t care about her.
At this point of exasperation Martha was to learn a life-changing lesson about priorities. Mary had actually done the right thing and had chosen ‘that good part’. Sitting at the feet of Jesus and hearing His words was better than rushing about serving. That was a surprise!
Can the lesson Martha learned come down the corridor of time and challenge your priorities? Are your to-do lists encroaching on your time with the Lord? Are you rushing straight into the day without even a thought for God?
When it comes to priorities, this verse teaches us time spent with the Lord must come first. This simply means making time every day to read the Bible, meditate on its meaning, and spend time in prayer. This involves slowing down for a part of every day to make time for God.
I don’t think for a minute the Lord did not value Martha’s service. Of course He appreciated everything she did for Him. But He needed her to get her priorities right. Although she had a wonderful opportunity to sit at His feet and drink in His teaching, she missed it. The ‘to-do’ list could have waited.
So can yours. Take time with Jesus every day. Sit at His feet, learn of Him and worship. First be a Mary, and then see how much better you can be as a Martha.