Day #54: Choosing the Good Part

Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”

But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42, NASB


I love this story. I think that it shows one of the most human situations of Jesus' ministry. It involves two sisters who have invited Jesus to their home for a meal. One is busy trying to get everything just right for the meal, the other is seated at the feet of Jesus, listening to Him teach. We are told that the one who is doing all the work was distracted due to all of the preparations that went into the meal, while the other, according to Jesus Himself, chose what was better.


Now if that were you or I doing the work, we would have been on Martha's side! Why wasn't Mary helping? Why was she commended for doing nothing but sitting around and listening to Jesus speak? Hopefully, the reason that Jesus gave is sufficient: Mary chose the better part. But why?


Understanding this point will greatly assist us in understanding one of the key teachings of the Bible. So, what is that point?


The spiritual is more important than the physical.


Please don't misunderstand - we do have physical chores that must be done, otherwise everyone will go hungry. Still, we do tend to get worried and upset over the small things, while often missing out on the most important. In this case, the most important was taking the time to listen to Jesus. After that everything else will still get done, but when you have the opportunity to actually hear what Jesus has to say, you should take it. In many ways this event is a lesson in putting first things first.


Today's reading is from Luke chapter 10. It's a wonderful chapter, and we will all greatly benefit from its message, if we will only take the time to listen.