The Undistracted Martha

An important story with important truths is found in Luke 10: 38-42. I’ll include it below so you also can read and glean from it.

Luke 10:38–42 (NLT): Jesus Visits Martha and Mary

38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.

39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.

40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details!

42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I like Martha. I think she and I would have similar personality traits. Traits such as task-oriented, sometimes distracted, pursuer of excellence, and people oriented.

Jesus loved Martha (Jn 11.5). And He loved her enough to be gentle with her, to speak to her affectionately, and to remind her there are times to take intentional pauses. There are times, Jesus reminds Martha and us, that choosing to stop something good in order to pursue something better, matters. And it probably matter more than we realize!

That day in Martha’s home, Jesus extended an invitation – and permission! – for Martha to come sit at His feet and leave unimportant things behind. Jesus encouraged Martha to come and learn from Him. And though it doesn’t say this in the text, I wonder if wrapped up in Jesus’ invitation to Martha is this: Your soul needs ministering to, Martha. Come, and allow me to speak life, truth, hope, and love.

We don’t get to hear about the rest of Martha’s journey and how she continued to grow as a faithful disciple of Jesus. We don’t get to hear about her undistracted times, but I am sure she had them! We may catch glimpses of her here and there, but we don’t fully know how the encounter that day with Jesus may have transformed her. Did she sit? Did she take Jesus up on his invitation to learn and to be ministered to that day? The text doesn’t tell us, but I suspect she did!

As I think beyond the story at Martha’s house, I’m curious to know how often Martha recalled Jesus’ words then stopped what she was doing. I am curious to know her inner dialogue and how she weighed her choices. I wonder after Pentecost how often she called upon the Holy Spirit to remind her of all the things Jesus said and taught? I’m eager to know how she treasured her time at Jesus’ feet, the things she pondered in her heart, and what nuggets of truth she shared with others.

What captivates you about Martha’s interaction with Jesus? Are you a person who is easily distracted? Who needs those those loving nudges from Jesus? If so, do you hear Jesus’ invitation to discover the better thing? Do you hear His permission to choose to be undistracted? To come? To be present with Him?

Let’s today not miss the opportunity to be with Jesus. Choose intentional pausing and undistracted over mindless busy and distracted.

Saying “yes” to sitting,

The sometimes distracted Carmen.

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