Mary and Martha: two sisters, two personalities, both serving the Lord. Martha had their home warm and welcoming for Jesus when he arrived. I wonder if Mary helped her. Jesus entered their house and Mary sat down with him. She spent time with him. Martha carried on preparing the meal without the help of her sister. Martha got annoyed. I know the feeling.
Jesus appreciated Mary’s presence and her attention to what he had to say. That’s why he came to see them, to be with them. He wasn’t really upset with Martha when she asked for Mary’s help. THE MESSAGE puts it this way, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing.” This is the Jesus I know. When I’m doing something that does not please him, he doesn’t turn me into a pillar of salt but gently turns me in the right direction. And he’s very patient.
I used to wonder what they would’ve eaten if Martha hadn’t busied herself getting the meal ready. But the dinner isn’t important. The fact that Jesus is at their house is important. And it’s the same with any visitor. People don’t come over to eat your food and inspect your house, they come to see you and spend time with you. If Martha didn’t get a meal prepared, Jesus could have multiplied whatever they had on hand and turned water into wine.
Martha missed out on being with Jesus. Jesus was in her house and she chose to work instead. There’s a lesson here for us. We need to be in the presence of our Lord and not be worried and bothered about so many unimportant things. Easier said than done.