The account of Mary and Martha is commonly divided into the traditions of the day and the women’s character traits.

  1. It highlights how Jesus was challenging the status quo of gender equality.
  2. There is a lesson to be found in the conflicting attitudes of Mary and Martha.

For followers of Jesus, it’s also about living a balanced life. Consider the actions of the two women:

Martha Mary
  • Welcomed Jesus into her home.
  • Eager to serve Jesus (and those around her).
  • Enjoying the presence of Jesus.
  • At the feet of the teacher listening to what he taught.

Both followers have welcomed Jesus but Mary has set her priorities straight.

There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her. 1

What has Mary discovered?

Serving Jesus requires His presence. Both go hand in hand. Otherwise, it’s like a person who regularly exercises without drinking water. Paul gives some similar advice to Timothy:

Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. 2

Even churches can end up with members concentrating all their time and energy on serving Jesus at the expense of spending time in His presence. If you’re not cultivating time with Jesus then spiritual growth will be limited.

Be both Mary and Martha.

Balance your time and energy between sitting at the feet of Jesus and serving Him.

How balanced is your life?
What might ‘sitting at the feet of Jesus’ and ‘serving Him’ look like?

1. Event recorded in Luke 10:39-42
2. Found in 1 Timothy 4:8


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