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  Mary And Martha

Woman of Priority And Woman of Service

Have you ever invited 13 hungry people to your house for dinner - a challenging proposition even with electric stove, gas stove or microwave?

But, this is precisely what Mary and Martha of Bethany did as they invited Jesus and his disciples into their home.

1. A woman of priorities

Luke 10:38-41
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.
39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said.
40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
41 "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things,

Instead of running around and making sure that things are well set, Mary chose to sit and listen to Jesus. Martha on the other hand was very busy in cooking.

Martha was surprised that Jesus was on Mary’s side.

Most of us would have to admit that we would think like Martha.

We would probably have thought Mary was insensitive towards her sister.

As a Jewish woman, Mary knew how important hospitality was and she understood that honouring the guest is the heart of hospitality.

Mary had decided to make Jesus the priority of her life.

Life is busy for women. Our days are filled with demands: marriage, children, making meals etc.

And yet the more Mary heard Jesus teaching, the more her mind and thinking were changed. She began to trust Him, as she had never trusted anyone before. She felt free.

In John 11:1-45, Mary’s relationship with Jesus was tested by a tragedy of her brother lazarus’ death.

She knew he loved Lazarus like his own brother. She had no doubt Jesus could have healed Lazarus if only He had come on time.

When Jesus finally arrived and saw Mary weeping, he was deeply moved and openly wept with her. This moment was a turning point of Mary’s faith.

She looked up to him as her teacher and a great rabbi.

John 12:1-8
1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.
3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected,
5 "Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages."
6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
7 "Leave her alone," Jesus replied. "It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.
8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."

In John 12:1-8, Mary wanted to express her overflowing greatfulness for raising Lazarus from the dead and reviving her own spiritual life.

Everyday she probably waited to see Jesus in Bethany so she could hear his word.

When he came and preached, she was always grateful.

Mark 14:8
She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.

In Mark 14:8, we see Mary doing her best to please Jesus. She did not worry about what others would think.

Today, how are we doing in the area of pleasing Jesus?

How can we be a friend of Jesus just like Mary?

Would we be busy with our own things or would we have time for him?

How are our morning times with Jesus?

Do we make time to listen to his word?

Let us decide to make Jesus our number one priority like Mary and not be distracter like Martha.

2. A Woman of Service

Being a woman of social standing, Martha’s opinion mattered to those around her.

She was respected for her ability to reach out and to meet the needs of others.

She was very hardworking and sincere.

Luke 10:40-42
40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
41 "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things,
42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

In Luke 10:40-42, Jesus like all of us needed good friends. He needed people he would feel comfortable with - people in whose home he would feel like a family.

Martha met this need for Jesus.

In John 11:1-44, she went to Jesus regarding the death of Lazarus.

She did not get carried away and be emotional or cut off her relationship with God because of Lazarus’ death.

Martha was willing to be discipled by Jesus and she cast her burdens on him.

She was not the kind who sat back and watched. But rather she stepped out to make things happen. That is why Jesus was impressed with her.

He was kind towards her. He helped her weakness become her strength. How are we in the area of serving today?

Would Jesus feel at home if he comes to your house?

Would you be willing to repent like Martha?

John 11:21
"Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died.

John 11:32
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."

In John 11:21 & John 11:32, both Mary and Martha waited four days after the death of Lazarus because they had incredible faith in Jesus and loved him.

Let us decide to be a man/woman of priority and a man/woman of service like Mary and Martha.