Was Martha wrong?

Prioritising God in a busy world.

Photo by Alyson McPhee on Unsplash

I was in a discussion many years ago with a group of friends. We spoke mainly about relationships and breakups. A guy from the group mentioned he will likely break up with his girlfriend because she was often in the kitchen cooking for him anytime he visits her. We believed the guy was simply weird and not appreciative of his girlfriend. We argued with him that his girlfriend’s act was simply a kind gesture towards the love of her life. What man on planet earth won’t love a woman that can cook? We all wondered.

The guy spoke up bitterly…

“ I am not visiting my girlfriend because I am hungry. If I needed food, I could cook and eat at home. I am visiting her, simply because I missed her, and I wanted us to be together. All I want is for us to spend quality time sitting close together and talking about our future”

The scriptures in Luke 10:38–41 illustrates the popular story of two sisters whom Jesus loved so much, Mary & Martha. We understand from the story that Mary was commended for doing the rightful thing of sitting at Jesus' feet and listening to him teach, rather than helping her sister care for their guest. Suffice to say that Jesus Christ was the main guest here.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” But the lord said to her , “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about . Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her” Mat 10:38–41

The question is; Was Martha wrong for wanting to take care of Jesus? What would anyone do in this regard? I doubt if anyone will have Jesus in their home and not dash into the kitchen to prepare a seven-course meal. I am pretty sure I will do the same. While I know it is easier for us to look down on Martha and celebrate Mary. However, we need to know that falling into Martha’s shoes is very likely. This will often be most people’s standard response to any important guest, talk less of JESUS CHRIST.

Martha did the right thing

  • She invited Jesus into her home

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. Mat 10:38

Most people don’t realise that it was Martha and not Mary that took the initiative to invite Jesus into their home. If she did not, Jesus might not be there, and If he wasn’t there, Mary won’t have had the opportunity she had by Jesus’ feet.

  • She was caring enough to know that Jesus needed to eat

The Bible recalls that Jesus and his disciples were on their way from somewhere to Jerusalem. Though not much detail was given about how far Jesus and his disciples had travelled on foot, it is possible that they were also tired, for them to accept to stay a while in Martha’s home. Knowing this, Martha’s first instinct would have been to feed her guest first before anything. When you have visitors coming on a journey to your home, what will be the first thing to do? Allow them rest & feed them, or stress them more by making them talk to you?

  • She was open enough to speak up

40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

Martha looks like someone who did not want to bear a grudge. She felt the need for her sister to join her in the kitchen and she spoke up. She could have done the cooking alone and pick up a quarrel with her sister after Jesus left. Her openness allowed her to be taught by the lord.

Where did Martha go wrong?

I believe Martha did just one thing wrong; She failed to understand what her guest wanted. She assumed all tired guests coming from a long journey wanted a sumptuous dinner and she dived straight into that. She did not understand that this visitor in her home was different from others. She failed to realise that Jesus Christ is the saviour of the world and his food is to spend quality time with people, heal the sick, mend the broken heart and invariably save their souls. To Jesus Christ, food is good, but not at the expense of a lost soul.

Thinking back to the story of the young man who will rather spend quality time with his girlfriend, than have her sweat it out in the kitchen all day, and linking that to the story of Martha and Mary, it is important to understand the needs of our important guests and provide exactly that, rather than what we think they need.

As Christians, we are called to prioritise building an intimate relationship with Jesus, as well pursue kingdom activities above all other pursuits of life. This is what our heavenly Father desires.

Mat 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”

God knows about all our ambitions and aspirations, and he desires above all things that we prosper. However, his promise to us is that if we seek him first, then he will feed us directly from his kitchen.

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Aderonke Awonusi

Aderonke Awonusi

Godlover, Unashamed of the Gospel of Christ. HR Pro & Writer. I am passionate about sharing the gospel of christ through STORYTELLING..