Martha and Mary were sisters that were mentioned a few times in the bible. The most common story that is told about them is when Jesus visited their home. This story is often told in reference to the work that Martha completed while her sister sat.
Martha and Mary, hosting Jesus
Luke 10:38-42 38 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.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Martha, Mary, and their brother Lazarus
JOHN 11:1-19 1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” 4 When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” 12 Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.” 17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
I used to think that it was my goal (and should be most women's) to try to be a Martha. Hence my tagline "because we weren't all born a Martha".
It is important to know what housework needs to be done, and to actually do it. But what is more important?
I never paid much attention to what exactly it was that mary was doing. Do you know what she was doing in the story? Besides annointing Jesus with oil?
She was spending time with the Lord, and listening to Him.
I thought this story was a great story to share with those who have trouble with homemaking. Martha was so focused on what she was doing. Mary was just sitting there, and Martha was being the perfect hostess.
Even after reading what Jesus responded to Martha with, I thought we should still try to be like her.
And then I read the story of Lazaras, and for the first time noticed that these were the same sisters mentioned in Luke.
In Luke, Mary stayed home tending to her brother, while Martha went to seek the Lord. Role reversal? Changed priorities? Maybe they each knew what needed to be done, at different times.
It is my goal to learn from Martha and Mary. They are both focused on what needs to be done, and they both take time out to seek the Lord.
Join me as I attempt 28 Days to Martha and Mary, and learn how to prioritize my relationship with God, marriage, kids and housework...in a manner that fits me (and maybe you!)
We'll be throwing in the Proverbs 31 woman, and maybe a little bit of Titus 2 as well.