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, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
I must have been stuck on verse 42 for at least a month, that Jesus, the better thing, will never be taken away. We can so easily choose things above Jesus that can be taken away and it’s often in the loss of these things that we discover that we had invested too much in the “many things” and not enough in the better thing.
I like that Martha wasn’t doing anything extra or unnecessary, yet Luke calls her “distracted”. Is it possible that we can become distracted by the things that really are essential: jobs, finances, social life, or even ministry itself? She was doing what was expected, appropriate and usually required… yet Jesus still calls us in the middle of everything to just sit down and receive, to learn and become, FIRST. It’s from the life and grace that we receive from him, that we can do the necessary things. It’s interesting because Jesus never says the things Martha is doing don’t need to be done, he just makes it clear what priorities should be in place.
The reality is, there will always be things to do, but Jesus is the priority, the better thing, and will never be removed from our life. Even into Eternity we can never lose his presence and relationship. Let’s not allow ourselves to be so buried in doing everything for him, that we lose sight of the privilege of being with him. May we develop an unquenchable hunger for the bread of life that satisfies for longer than a meal that we were able to perfectly prepare for him.