Are you familiar with Martha? She was a friend of Jesus and entertained Him in her home. Jesus in the house. The Son of God, the Light of the world, Immanuel. And what was Martha doing? The Amplified Bible says in Luke 10:40 that she was “overly occupied and too busy…distracted….”.
Verse 38 says “Now while they (Jesus & the disciples) were on their way, it occurred that Jesus entered a certain village, and a woman named Martha received and welcomed Him into her house.” Jesus decided along the way to drop by and see Martha and Mary. No email to secure the date, no phone call to say He’s in town, no prior notice. From this text all I can gather is He just showed up. And poor Martha? Perhaps she was like I might be…..
“Jesus! I didn’t know you were in town! Come in, come in! Oh wait, let me move this stack of projects I’ve been working on, I just haven’t gotten them finished yet. Just push that other box in the corner. Oh, haha, those sweet children have left popcorn all over the sofa. Let me just brush that off for you. There you go, just have a seat right there – it’s the most comfortable. I am so glad you stopped by! Oh, and you brought your disciples – hhhowww many?? Let me get you all some refreshment….” I smile at them happily as I gracefully walk away.
Once around the corner and out of His sight, the smile is replaced by a frown and the low growl begins: “VIVIAN!! Come get the broom and sweep up the remains of last night’s dinner that are under the table. JOHN!! Run in the TV room and pick up that mess; yes I know you didn’t make it all by yourself. I don’t care – get it done! Did you get your rooms clean? Change your clothes, brush your teeth, comb your hair. C’mon, get a move on – JESUS IS HERE!”
I head to the kitchen and frantically check the fridge for what I could possibly prepare that would be suitable for such a wonderful guest – surely He expects something special. Oh no, I didn’t get the dishes done last night! Now I’ve got to wash the dishes before I can even get started on the meal. Mark! Mark! Where is Mark? I need him to run to the store. He was just here a minute ago…
I stick my head around the corner just to let Jesus know I haven’t forgotten about Him and what do I see? Mark and Viv and John all just sitting with Jesus laughing and talking! Seriously??? Didn’t anyone hear me? Doesn’t anyone care that I have so much to do and I need help?
Back to Martha. She’s upset that Mary, her sister, isn’t participating in all the “to-do’s”, all the responsibilities that must be taken care of when guests arrive. She sees Mary just hanging out with Jesus, listening to Him, enjoying His presence. And she marches up to Jesus to complain. Complain to Jesus? I would never!! …..oh wait……I do that too…..
Martha was a “doer”. As am I. We like being productive and there’s always so much to be done. It’s easy for us to feel that our accomplishments define us and give us value. How can it not be as important to everyone else, as it is to us, that these things get done? No one was noticing all that Martha or (insert name here) _____________ was trying to get done. No “way to go”, and especially no “let me help you” to be heard. And “doers” that are highly productive are accustomed to being recognized for all they can get done…. There’s nothing worse for the ego of a “doer” than to be unappreciated, to go unnoticed.
“But the Lord replied to her by saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things. There is need of only one. Mary has chosen the good portion which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
Jesus is in the house. It may go against your nature to let the dishes go undone, beds unmade, laundry overflowing while you find a quiet place to sit with Him, listen to Him, and enjoy His presence. Tell your inner Martha it’s ok, Jesus doesn’t mind because He IS the good portion and it can’t be taken away from you. He’s waiting….