Sharon Wilharm Bible Storyteller

Mary and Martha

Jesus and his disciples entered the village of Bethany and were welcomed by a woman named Martha. She invited them into her house. 

Martha had a sister named Mary. While Martha busied herself taking care of the men, Mary sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. As we all know, there’s nothing more annoying to a busy person than a person who’s doing nothing. 

Martha complained to Jesus. 

“Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” (Luke 10:40)

It was a reasonable request, one Martha assumed would be answered in her favor. But Jesus surprised her. Instead of praising her for her hard work and chastising Mary for her laziness, Jesus told Martha she had her priorities wrong.

“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.”

Each of the sisters made a choice. It wasn’t that Martha’s desire to serve Jesus was wrong, but Mary’s decision to sit at the feet of Jesus and spend time listening to him, was better. 

How often do we make petitions to God assuming he’s going to answer us with the answer to our prayers, when instead, he flips it around and tells us we’re going after the wrong things? 

May we get our priorities in order. May we remember that though serving and hard work are good, learning from the Lord is even better.

Read about the sinful woman: Luke 10:38-41

Mary and Martha Bible story

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