Friday, March 16, 2012

The danger zone of service

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. Luke 10:38-->

Most of the time we focus on the fact that Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus in this passage. But I love the contrast between the two women, sisters who are as different as can be. It makes me think of me and my sister. My sister is tall, blonde curly hair, fair skin, and blue eyes. I am short, dark brown straight hair, slightly darker skin and dark hazel eyes. We are very different. Most people don't even think we are related when they see us together. We also think very differently. She is in the moment, free spirited, and a bit air headed at times, whereas I am thinking ahead constantly, more reserved and have my head firmly attached to my shoulders! This is the frame of reference I use when reading this story, they're different but yet somewhat alike. They have the same goal, to serve Jesus, but they go about it completely differently.

Martha wants to care for Jesus and those that were with him by making dinner and meeting their physical needs. I can see Martha in the kitchen chopping vegetables and cooking up a feast for them all, sweat beads on her forehead and her hands working diligently.
Mary, on the other hand, is more interested in sitting and worshiping Jesus, hanging on his every word. She is more focused on the emotional aspect of serving Jesus. She wants to know more about Him and what He is teaching.
Martha gets mad at her sister and comes complaining to Jesus to have Him make her help in the kitchen. Jesus lovingly corrects her and reminds her of the priorities of following Jesus. 

It is also important to remember when looking at this passage to recognize what Jesus said and not look at what may be implied. Jesus says "Mary has chosen the good portion..." He never says that Martha picked the "bad portion" only that Mary picked the "good portion". It's almost like the better of the two. It is important to sit at the feet of Jesus, but there is work to be done too. If we only sit at the feet, nothing will ever get done. There has to be a good balance of the two. The danger zone of serving is where Martha is. The bible says "But Martha was distracted with much serving." She didn't have that balance. She was working her fingers to the bone and forgetting that King of kings was sitting in her living room. It is important to sit and learn from Jesus and then get up and serve. Be with Jesus first and then get out there and do what He is calling you to do for His Kingdom.

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