Updated: Jul 22, 2021
Good morning. It is Wednesday, July 21, 2021
I love the story of Mary and Martha, sisters. We do not know much about them, but I know enough to draw some parallel lines.
Luke and John are the only books in the Bible where you will see them mentioned. They also had a brother; we will talk about that tomorrow.
What do we know about this trio of siblings?
We know that Mary probably was the oldest, at least she seems to be the one in charge.
We know they were well off, although no occupation is mentioned.
They had a large enough home to accommodate Jesus and his disciples, and Mary brought very expensive perfume to anoint the head and feet of Jesus.
John 12:3 tells us, ”Mary therefore took a pound (about 11 ½ ounces) of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” ESV
Wikipedia says Nard is a class of aromatic, amber-colored essential oil derived from a flowering plant in the honeysuckle family. Nard can also be essential oils derived from valerian and Spanish lavender.
It must have smelled lovely!
There are two stories I want to focus on. The first story is found in Luke 10:38-42.
Jesus is invited into the home of the three siblings. Martha gets busy in the kitchen preparing a meal, while Mary sits at the feet of Jesus, listening. This bothers Martha. She would much rather her sister help her. I like The Message Version of this story:
“As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.” The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”
While Martha is busy trying to prepare a meal for everyone; Mary is being fed by the word of God. Mary chose ‘the main course’ and Jesus let Martha know, in a loving tone, that Mary was in the right.
What would you do? Which would you be? Are you a Mary, or are you a Martha?
I must confess, I love busy work in the kitchen when I have company coming over. It brings me great joy to prep and mix and bake for guests. I love getting out my serving bowls and arranging everything just right. Getting out the plates and napkins, silverware, and glasses. Positioning everything so it makes sense. Drinks with glasses of ice on one counter. Desserts on another. The Main course on the kitchen island for easy dishing up. I guess in a sense I would be a Martha. However, if Jesus was in my house, I am sure I would much rather sit at His feet and listen to him speak. So, maybe I am a Mary.
The point of this story is that being fed by the Bread of Life is better than being fed by a bowl of lentil soup.
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. John 6:35 ESV
When we are fed by a friend or family member, we are typically hungry again within a few hours. But Jesus says when He feeds us; we will never be hungry again. I want that kind of main course!
The second story is about the brother. See you tomorrow 😊