“Mary had chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42, NIV).
Martha had been making preparations for entertaining her guest, Jesus. The preparations were many, I am sure. With such an important guest, there was need to have the house in order. Everything needed to be dusted; after all, the open faced windows nearest the street had been allowing all the dust from the passerby’s sandals to rise up into the windows and settle in the house. The laundry was wet and need laid out in the sun to dry. And of course there was the meal that had to be prepared for the Lord’s pleasure, along with the rest of the family that was sure to come over for dinner to meet with him. After all, this was the biggest thing that had ever happened in Mary’s life – Jesus was in her house.
I can only imagine how she must have felt. After all, Mary had just been sitting there. She had been visiting with the Lord while Martha was left with all the work to do. So when Martha pleads her case before the Lord, certainly he will understand and be in agreement with her.
Surprisingly, the Lord redirects Martha. It was Mary that the Lord praised. Martha was all about appearances and the matters of this world; even if they were somehow connected to impressing Jesus. But Mary, she just wanted to sit at the feet of her Master and learn from him, further getting to know him, and have a deeper relationship with him. She had chosen what was better.
Certainly, there are tasks in the house of God that must be performed; but if they are performed outside of developing a closer relationship with Jesus – it may be that we have missed the point. God’s goal for us in not cleaning the house, it is getting to know one another while we do; and in so doing, we get to know Him better!
Keith C. Brown