It is easy to allow the things of this world to drag you down. So often I am focused on the huge list of things I need to get done in a day. What I am constantly reminded of is to settle down and sit at the feet of Christ. This has never been easy for me to do. A popular passage among Christians that this lesson is Luke 10:38-42. Luke writes:
38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house.
39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.
40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”
41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,
42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” -ESV
This is great imagery. We see a sibling rivalry that all of us with siblings can understand. We have the responsible sister who cooks, cleans, and does her best to host for her guest. Then we have the “lazy” sister. She doesn’t help her sister out with the job of the hostess. Instead she just sits at the feet of Jesus listening to the words that he is saying.
I think all of us can sympathize with the way that Martha felt. She knew that it was her role to bust her hump for her guests. That’s what being a great hostess was. That was the way the culture worked. Guests came over and the women would treat them with food. Mary broke that mold. She didn’t adhere to the culture that said, “you must do this or do that.” Yes, it is very possible that she was lazy but that was not her motivation on this occasion. Notice what Luke records in verse 39:
And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.
Mary wasn’t ditching out on her sister. She had found something better. She found the teaching of the prophet, the messiah, and God in flesh. She found that listening to her Lord was much more important than conforming to the social norms of her day. This is the same lesson that we, as Christians, need to learn. Yes, we all have responsibilities but the moment we let those take priority is the day we forsake the words of Jesus in verse 42 “Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her,” for his words in verse 41, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things.”
What is troubling you? What have you let become a distraction? What keeps you away from Jesus’ teachings? These are all questions that we need to ask ourselves on a consistent basis because sometimes its time to drop everything and listen to the voice of our Teacher.