Luke 10:41  And Jesus answered and said to her “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.

Jesus had been invited into the home of Martha and Mary.  As Jesus taught Martha felt a responsibility for hospitality causing her to miss what Jesus was saying.  Mary was at Jesus feet listening.  Martha felt used and notice not just used by Mary.  Because she does not ask Mary to help her.  She asks Jesus to compell Mary to help.  Jesus has complicity in what is going on.

Before we judge Martha too harshly let us look at how Martha may have come to feel the pressure that she did.  According to an article on the Jewishgateway.com…”hospitality is nto simply a matter of good manners; it is a moral obligation.  Judaism defines hospitality as a sacred obligation…..dating back to the patriarch Abraham.”  At least in her mind she would be harshly judged by all in the home if the correct hospitality was not supplied, in the correct amounts at the correct time.  You can almost hear her as she talks to herself:  “I know they are thirsty and waiting for drink, there are asking where is the bread and the lamb, man is this place dusty.”

So as seen from her point of view, Martha being a devout woman, her actions in preparing for her guests was a demand, both for her and for Mary.  To Martha’s mind it may very be that Mary was being lazy and disrespectful not only to Martha but to Jesus as well.  And perhaps, just perhaps had Jesus just shown up and asked to come in, Martha might have a point.

Yet here, I believe is the key difference.  First and foremost, Martha and Mary invited Jesus into their home.  And then upon inviting Jesus in, as Jesus began to talk and teach, Mary focused on and received the message that Jesus was bringing.  Martha, on the other hand, invited Jesus in and then disregarded what Jesus was doing in order to meet a societal obligation:  an obligation placed on her by the world.  This is very similar to the parable of four soils where with the third soil, the seed of the word is sowed into the soil but the cares, needs and fears of the world come as weeds and chokes out the value of the word.

Two questions then come to mind.  First are you a part of the world that might be lumping “responsibilities and issues” upon the Marthas you know?  You may say I don’t expect much from my spouse, children, boss, subordinates, friends etc.  While that may be true, you may have expectations of your spouse, the kids have expectations, their employer has expectations, friends both in person and the 100’s on facebook have expectations and yes sadly sometimes the church heaps on responsibilities.  Before we know it, that one person is carrying an inconceavably heavy burden.  Are we a vehilce trying to help ease the journey to Christ or are we a pot hole or worse a dead end blocking that journey.

Second, and arguably most important, if you are going to invite Jesus in to your life, your day, do you then give him any time to interact with you.  Or do you ask Jesus in and then ask him to wait while you……work, play, send messages, answer phone calls, fret over the future, cry about the past and by the end of the day, there just wasn’t time for Jesus.

When we say; “Jesus, you don’t understand, there are not enough hours in the day.”  Jesus responds: “I know exactly how many hours there are in the day, remember I created the day, the planets, the orbits, the time of day and night, and I have made just enough for you to come to me.”  “But Jesus you don’t understand, I have car and house payments, we have to be able to eat, my kids have to go here and there.”  Jesus says:  “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto.”

This world and the ruler of this world wants nothing more than to come between us and our Savior Jesus Christ.  How reassuring it is to know that we can invite Jesus in and he expects first no hospitality or actions on our part; except to be open to him, to listen and to love.  May this find you at His feet looking and listening upon him.

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