Journal Luke 10 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village.
And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And (Martha) had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.
But Martha was distracted with much serving. And (Martha) went up to (Jesus) and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha: You are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
Observation: I’ll bet this section of scripture gets written about a lot, probably because the scene is so prevalent in real life. It is so easy to be caught up with “doing things” than “being still.”
Analysis: Did anyone see at the beginning of this chapter the reference of “the 72?” These guys don’t get talked about much. Wonder why?
Martha and Mary: Out of all the things that are possible to write about in Luke 10, these two girls may catch the eye the most. Probably because of the polar opposites of attitude they display and because it is so prevalent in the life of the church that I see.
Do, do, do: Martha. Hear, hear, hear: Mary. This isn’t just to pick on the women because men do the same thing. Ever see a guy willing to work, but not necessarily willing to be still and learn? So the attitude is gender equal.
Stretch this out into the life of a family where hospitality is being done. How much happiness is there in preparations because of a certain expectation of hearing from the Lord? Preparations can sap all expectations.
Stretch this out to the life of a local church. A broad definition of a local church can be, “are they inward focused, or outward focused? Do they do a lot of work (purportedly for the Lord) or are they buried in dry learning or worse yet, overbearing flesh-centered religion (you know, like a Pharisee)?”
No matter how it is looked at, it still comes down to evaluating the face in the mirror. It is no good to assign these characteristics to others before contemplating where I end up between them. Where am I supposed to be?
Jesus says, “Mary has chosen the good portion…” Where does that leave Martha? That Martha-type should take it before the Holy Spirit for that answer, with this understanding of self-examination: I can play the victim; I can play “don’t you see how hard I work? Make it just, Lord. Bring justice to the (my) situation. Regard my plight…”
Martha: “Don’t you care about me?” Mary cares about the Lord. Harsh distinction. Sometimes the distinction is questionable. In every situation though, the question needs to be asked personally…
Prayer: Lord, when the distinctions of the spirit need to be examined closely, my mind needs to be right. Right how? In line with the Scriptures, fully (or even partially) renewed (Ro 12:2). I can be fragile. Personal toughness isn’t good enough, being tough with the mind of Christ is what I need. Make me see Your will for stuff like this, brush aside my so-called “needs” and fully embrace You. Make Your will my will. AMEN.