|MARTHA & Real Work
We used to joke in college that if we couldnt get a real job, we could always become preachers. Although it brought a smile and chuckle to most, it did so because society views worship and Bible study as optional, recreational activities. And anyone who leads such activities is not viewed as working.
From this Bible account, you can see that this perception is nothing new. Martha was trying very hard to prepare and serve food, drink, and other things for her Guest. Every time Martha came over to check up on the Master, there sat her sister, Mary, just
sitting. Why isnt she running around like a chicken with her head cut off
like me? I know she wants to hear what Hes saying but its not fair that I work this hard and she sits there doing nothing.
There seems to be two kinds of people in the world: Those who are task oriented and those who are relationship oriented. Martha was the former and Mary was the latter. Martha was working through her to do list. Mary was working through her to know list.
Maybe Martha figured that if Mary was hanging on Jesus every word, she could get HIM to straighten Mary out. Maybe she was peeved at Jesus for not taking the initiative to scold Mary for laziness. So she interrupted, Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore, tell her to help me.
Martha wasnt doing anything bad. Serving is good. She was very conscientious
or obsessive. She was worried
about many things. Jesus saw things differently.
one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that. Its a matter of priorities. Its also a matter of Heavens view of the real work.
Many people today are like Martha. They are trying to impress God with their good works. They mistakenly think they are earning their way to Heaven. It cant be done. And its not what God wants from us.
The only work that truly pleases God is the work of believing. Jesus said, This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent. (John 6:29) The word believe in original Greek meant trust in, rely on, cling to, glued to. Martha had not yet discovered the ultimate way to please her Guest. Mary, however, had found the secret. She had discovered the one thing needful. She was being a truly good host and her Guest was pleased, verily, verily.