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Summary: In Christian life, it is easy to be distracted. As we consider the story of Jesus at Mary and Martha's, we see the causes and cure for distraction.

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Introductory Considerations

1. Opening dialogue from person of Martha showing anticipation and excitement of Jesus coming to town, desire to give best, the work and the anger she felt - the story from her perspective.

Teaching

1. I wonder if Martha were here to today, would this be how she would tell her side of story? I like Martha - in some ways it seems she got a raw deal. I can easily put myself in her place. I often feel like a Martha, many of us have - at home, at work, at school, at church. "Why do I have to be the one who always does the work?"

2. To be a Martha is to be a person on the go, to see a job that needs to be done, we dig in and do it. We love to serve the Lord, we like being busy and gives us joy to see things getting done - - at least most of the time. Sometimes we do get tired of the work. Can’t others see what needs to be done? What about Tim or Gertrude - can’t they do some work?

3. Why then does Jesus not take her side? After all, Jesus just told the parable of the Good Samaritan in which He told us to "go and do likewise". Now he seems to say that we should not be busy doing things.

4. Tonight, we look at what, if anything, Martha did wrong.

5. Her intentions were good. She was sensitive to needs of Jesus and disciples. She could have spent more time listening, but hoped to do that later. She tried to be a good hostess.

6. Some people , even commentators, think that Martha overdid it. He didn’t need an elaborate meal - a simple one would have been enough. But vs. 30 doesn’t talk about the preparations she wanted to make but

those she HAD to make.

a. Also. Jesus did not mind people showing devotion to Him by going to extremes.

b. In John 12, even Mary did something extreme - she took a pint of pure nard, an expensive (cost a year’s wages) perfume, and she poured it on Jesus’ feet.

7. The problem was that she was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. (vs. 40). She probably tried to listen to Jesus as she worked but could not do both at the sane time.

8. Have you ever visited someone for dinner and hostess so worried about meal, not relaxing at all - couldn’t get into a good talk about anything. That’s the situation in the story.

9. Greek for distracted could literally be translated "to be drawn or pulled in every direction". Martha was being pulled into 2 directions.

10. Her need to be care for and be hospitable had become obsessive and exhausting for her. She could have easily asked Mary to help - but she felt responsible to do it all herself.

11. She was being pulled one way - because she felt compelled to do the work and pulled other way - wanted to be with Jesus. She may have even been mad with herself for taking on too much responsibility.

12. How many of us are not like that? Its just as easy to go ahead and do the work ourselves. Why go thru all the hassle of soliciting volunteers, training them, and then wondering whether or not they will do a good job?

13. So we do it ourselves. Then we burn out and blame others for not doing their part. The result is blame and anger.


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