Martha, The Anxious Homemaker

Luke 10:41 “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

 
     Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus. They were all friends of Jesus and lived in Bethany which was about two miles east of Jerusalem. Apparently, Jesus visited them regularly and the Bible says, “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” John 11:5.  She was a believer as John 11:27 records her statement of faith: Martha said to Jesus, “Yes, Lord: I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.’ “
     It appears that she may have been the older of the three, and the one most responsible.  As I read this account of the two sisters, I have often had compassion on Martha.  Certainly she was a gracious hostess as Luke 10:38 reports, “Martha welcomed Him (Jesus) into her home.”  Certainly she was pleased to have Jesus, and most likely His disciples, visit.  Certainly she was more than pleased to prepare a meal for them.  But there was a responsibility for preparing the food and she was shouldering that responsibility alone and felt like the burden was all on her.  She said in Luke 10:40, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone?  Then tell her to help me.”   Let’s examine this responsibility more carefully to fully understand the reprimand she received from Jesus as stated in our opening Bible verse.  Why did Jesus not encourage Mary to assist Martha in the needed tasks?  After all, Martha’s work was commendable.  Proverbs 31:27 says a woman is to “look well to the ways of their household.”
     First of all, Martha was “distracted with all her preparations.”  Luke 10:40.  She wanted “splendid entertaining,–great plenty, great variety, great exactness” (Matthew Henry) when much less would do.  Have you ever overdone your entertaining?  Have you ever put yourself under pressure and anxiety preparing special dishes, having the proper table setting, trying to make things just so, etc, and then becoming irritable and exhausted?
      Jesus was here.  In her home.  In person.  Expounding the truth and teaching.  Here was on opportunity to fellowship, to learn and to grow, but Martha was stressed and upset about details that were not necessary and did not have eternal consequences.  If our earthly activities cause us to become highly stressed and overwhelmed, so that we are not acting Christ-like, then we are not doing God’s Will.
Ask yourself, do you needlessly place yourself under pressure by overextending?  Does worldly business hinder you from serving God and getting good for your soul?  Martha asked Jesus to tell Mary to help her in her selfish work of preparing an elaborate meal when much less fuss would do.  He lovingly and gently reproved her.  Martha expected Jesus to reprimand Mary for not doing as she was doing.  Instead, He reprimanded her for not doing as Mary did.  Mary chose to be with Christ.  She chose a better way of honoring Christ and pleasing Him by listening to His words and receiving them into her heart.
Let us combine the commendable qualities of Martha and Mary—— Let us seek to have a serving spirit like Martha with a listening heart like Mary.
 
The Better Way: Serving Christ Is Good: Spending Time In God’s Word And Praying Along With Serving Is Better
 
See also:  Joy in Work
See also:  The Unnamed Woman
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About Gail Slawson

I am a 68 year old wife, mother and grandmother. After 48 years of marriage, my husband and I have been richly blessed with 4 wonderful children and their wonderful mates and 19 precious grandchildren, five of whom are already with the Lord and 2 great-grandchildren. My husband and I are busy retirees and reside in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where we serve the Lord Jesus Christ through Bible Studies, as mentors and greeters in our church and telling others about Him "as we go." Mark 16:15
This entry was posted in Guidance for Wives, Guidance for Women, Women of the Bible. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Martha, The Anxious Homemaker

  1. Anita Williamson Archer says:

    Amen and amen!

  2. Linda says:

    Wow! This one sure hit home, Gail. Thank you. Keep up the good work. I really appreciate you.Love, Linda

  3. Christina says:

    “Thank you, Mrs. Gail! This paragraph hit me the hardest: “Jesus was here. In her home. In person. Expounding the truth and teaching. Here was on opportunity to fellowship, to learn and to grow, but Martha was stressed and upset about details that were not necessary and did not have eternal consequences. If our earthly activities cause us to become highly stressed and overwhelmed, so that we are not acting Christ-like, then we are not doing God’s Will.” AMEN!”

  4. Mindy says:

    Thanks for this, Mrs. Gail. Soaking it up!

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