Mary & Martha

Luke 10:38-42

Mary’s Godly Priorities

…a certain woman named Martha (10:38) …a sister called Mary (10:39)

  • Martha is not carnal because the work she is doing is carnal or unspiritual, she is unspiritual because of the priorities she has.  Compare them with Mary’s priorities.
  • Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
  • Mary understood when Jesus Christ comes in to a home, He is there to change things!
  • Mary understood that Jesus Christ is not an ornament.  He offers an opportunity that cannot be offered or obtained by any other means other than His personal presence.  It is a chance to hear the very words of eternal life and fellowship with your Creator.

Fellowship with Jesus Christ Must Precede Service

…but Martha was cumbered about much serving (10:40)

  • Martha does not understand that the burdens she carries are in proportion to the lack of fellowship she has with Jesus Christ.
  • To Martha, Jesus is an ornament: Martha likes having Jesus around, but really needs him to stay out of the way.  And if she does need Him, it is to tell somebody else what they should be doing.
  • To Martha Jesus is an inconvenience: Martha doesn’t want Jesus to inconvenience the day to day schedule.

Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: (10:41)

  • Martha has never connected the fact that her care and trouble is the result of the position Jesus Christ occupies in her life.
  • It is not that you have more work than someone else or less time than someone else.
  • Service before fellowship will cause the following problems:
    • Vanity – Nothing gets accomplished in a stampede.
    • Ignorance – Busyness will cause you to miss some things Jesus says
    • Bitterness – hath left me to serve alone? Busyness will make you bitter
    • Damnation – but Lord I did this and that in your name, depart from me I never KNEW you.  Fellowship must precede service.
    • Burn out – Christian laborers will find themselves becoming mechanical in their duties as the fellowship slowly evaporates.

Consider Mary’s Wisdom

But one thing is needful: (10:42)

  • Needful, not wants or desires.  The Lord Jesus Christ said one thing was needful
  • You get everything you need from fellowship with God.
    • seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you
    • Luke 12:24, 27 Consider the lilies, consider the ravens
    • Fellowship with Jesus Christ is like your spiritual energy or a battery.  You cannot go in your own strength very long without catastrophic failure.

Mary hath chosen that good part …(10:42)

  • Danger in finding the middle ground.  If you have the Martha syndrome you know what Mary is doing is right, but you’ll add the “Yea but who’s gonna get such and such done?”  Jesus didn’t find any middle ground.
  • Work is an endless cycle.  You don’t ever finish it.  It’s not that Mary never got anything done, its that she chose that good part
  • Error: Your attitude about fellowship with God is that it is distraction, but the truth is that it is necessary.
  • Martha is the one trying to fit God in the “To Do” list of day to day activity, but Mary understands that there is no life apart from Jesus Christ.

which shall not be taken away from her. (10:42)

  • Time spent with Jesus is not wasted time, in fact its the opposite of vanity
  • And more than that, it is life eternal, John 17:3
  • Martha never believes the words of God and they never affect her.  John 11:18-46.  Martha and Mary say the exact same thing, but with a different spirit and Jesus Christ responds to Mary.