Jesus and His disciples came to a village where Martha and her sister Mary opened their home to them. Here we learn about genuine hospitality. The questions that could make any of us ask for emergency responses are as follows:
1. Why did Martha invite them to their home?
2. What did Jesus mean to them and to us today?
3. Should distractions of preparations mean more than listening to the teachings of Jesus?
4. Does Jesus care about our physical labor for Him more than He does about our spiritual growth?
Jesus said that Mary had chosen what was better and it would not be taken from her! Sometimes good works can take us away from better tasks that God has for us. Being a good host, Martha prepared the meal for her guests which took prime time she might have used to listen to the teachings of Jesus. Did the Lord credit Mary for being more spiritual than Martha? On this occasion, Martha seemed to have shown a great deal of trust in Jesus because she honored Him with her resources. Mary and Martha became an “Emergency Response Team” to serve the Lord.
What impressed Jesus as He visited these sisters? Jesus undoubtedly longs for our time with Him. He did not criticize Martha for her time spent looking after their physical needs, rather the Lord warned Martha that even our service takes time, but listening to Him is the most important event.
While we listen to others, we should spend more time listening to God, through His Son, the Christ, and hearing what He has to say. Studying His word alone is also most beneficial spiritually. Jesus brings justice, restores hope and gives us peace beyond our greatest needs. Sometimes it can be difficult to patiently wait for the goodness of the Lord. We can also ask for forgiveness for complaining, but we can always thank Him for new opportunities during new days in the future.
As it was with Mary and Martha, an attitude of gratitude will help us to remember our abundant blessings every day. God’s presence and love are our constant companions. Without Jesus Christ as the master of our lives, we cannot make our homes inviting to Him who is able to give us everlasting joy and peace. Trust Him and believe that He is greater than our problems, for He knows how and when to help us. We also know that real changes and progress in our lives originate with the Lord! Let us continue to humble ourselves before our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in our daily prayers.
Mary and Martha faced emotional and physical challenges. We can ask ourselves: where has God placed us to serve Him? How can we become more faithful? Work that is assigned to us may be more difficult than known to others, but with confidence we rely on God’s strength. We also know that God gives us special abilities to give back to Him as much as much as He allows. We are pleasing Him in many ways by being generous. We see love in action with Martha’s use of many skills, as she prepared the meal for Jesus and His disciples. Mary and Martha trusted the Master enough to do challenging activities. Jesus commands us to do things that may be difficult, but will advance His Kingdom. Think of times when we have trusted God to lead and walk with us. Showing hospitality demands a generous heart and willing spirit to accomplish great things as we continue to focus on Christ. Though we may celebrate the Lord in different ways, we remain in control of choosing the measure of service we give Him. Service to the Lord is always important, but it can never replace our fellowship with Him. While desiring more time with Him, He will always defend our choice to sit at His feet!
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion.