Summary: What is a Martha? A Martha is a type of person who wants to serve the Lord without getting to know the Lord personally. Let's take a closer look at the sisters Martha and Mary and their interaction with Jesus.

In today’s culture, we hear the term Karen, used to describe white women who perceive to be entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is appropriate or necessary. Karen is a common stereotype associated with white women who won't hesitate to use their "privilege" at the expense of others.

As I was praying asking the Lord for this week’s Bible Study, it came in my spirit, “Are you a Martha?” After saying in my spirit, “Are You A Martha?” The Lord began impressing upon me how there are many Martha’s in the Church today, and fewer Mary’s.

What Is a Martha?

Luke 10:38-42

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 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!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Martha opened her home to Jesus. To open your home to someone means the same thing today as it did then. It is receiving someone into your personal space, your personal life, with endearment. Martha received Jesus into her home, her personal space, her personal life with endearment.

However, it says Martha was distracted or cumbered by all the preparation that had to be made. The Greek word for distracted or the KJV says “troubled” is pe??sp?? perispaó; meaning, to be driven about mentally about a thing or with cares.

The phrase “all the preparations” or as the KJV puts it, “much serving” is the Greek word d?a????a, a?, ? diakonia; which means, service, ministry done with a willing attitude.

Basically, it tells us that Martha was driven about mentally doing service, ministry willing for Jesus and His disciples. Please don’t miss that!

Now, Martha’s sister Mary did nothing but sit at Jesus feet, and Martha was bothered by it. Actually, she was a little angry about it, and even implied that Jesus should be bothered as well, vs. 40b“Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” The phrase “don’t care” is the Greek word µ??e? meló; which not only implies concern but anxiety, tension and apprehension. So, Martha was basically saying, that Jesus should have felt the same way she did about her sister not helping her. Martha assumed that Jesus should be concerned that Mary was not engaged in the distraction of ministering to Jesus and His disciples, but simply sat at Jesus feet listening to what He had to say.

Throughout history, nations and cultures, setting at someone’s feet always represents the humble posture of disciples, apprentice, learners, learning from the teacher. Paul tells us that he sat at the feet of the wise Pharisee Gamliel.

“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as all of you are this day” (Acts 22:3)

So, Mary seating at Jesus' feet, represents her assuming a humble poster of "a disciple"; listening attentively, learning the Lord’s doctrine and His instructions given to those who want to follow Him. However, Martha was not only distracted with service and ministering to Jesus and His disciples, she was also bothered at her sister Mary for not helping her, and wanted Jesus to reprimand Mary; but instead, Jesus says to Martha; Martha, Martha,” {He calls her name twice, the first to engage her, and the second to make sure He had her attention} then He says, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

The phrase “you are worried” is the Greek word µe??µ??? merimnaó; which means, to be anxious about; divide in parts; to go to pieces. And, the word “upset” or the KJV says, “troubled” is the Greek word ????ß?? thorube; which means, disturbed or thrown into confusion. Martha was divided in parts, going to pieces, disturbed and thrown into confusion; Jesus says, “About many things”. Jesus slightly reproofs Martha about her anxiousness about those things she believed she needed to do to minister to Him. Jesus points out to Martha that she should have chosen to be like her sister Mary, who choose to get to know Him, learn of Him the heavenly wisdom He imparts. Jesus was not rebuking Martha's activity, but her anxiety and distraction through her activity.

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