Mary, Martha and What’s Necessary
Pastor Shannon Hurley, a missionary in
Luke 10:38-42 38 Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. 40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42 there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Martha did a good thing. She invited Christ into her home for a meal. But she was anxious and worried because of all the work that involved. She was distracted and pulled away from what should have been her priority and it caused her to sin. She got angry. She was also resentful that her sister was sitting at Christ’s feet instead of helping her. So she acted in an unbecoming way in front of her guests.
Mary’s priority was listening to Jesus. Sitting right at His feet was going against all cultural norms. Rabbis didn’t teach women! But she didn’t care because she was eager to learn.
When Martha complained to Jesus about Mary, Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42 there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
There is need of only one thing! Only one thing is necessary. Meaning we must do it! And that’s to sit down and listen to the Word of God. Read and study the Bible. It’s necessary!
In the passage right before this one a man asks Jesus how to have eternal life and Jesus tells him to love God with all your heart and soul and mind. And love your neighbor as yourself. The man skips the part about God and asks who his neighbor is. (Which Jesus answers with the parable of the Good Samaritan.)
Pastor Hurley thinks the Mary, Martha story is inserted right after this to show how we are to love God with all our heart and soul and mind.
Prioritize Him! Sit at His feet! Listen to Him! Spend time in His Word!
One thing is necessary!