Summary: Lessons of life from the lives of two sisters in terms of making the right choice commendable by the Lord.
Choosing the Best…?
Life is full of choices, and we have to make decisions concerning the choices. We cannot afford to make a mistake when we choose. I can recall an incident that took place in my life when I first joined college after school. In order to graduate from the college there were few criteria among which social activity was also one. I had the choice of selecting from three options like the National Cadet Corps (NCC), National Service Scheme (NSS) or Community Social Service (CSS). Among the three I decided to choose NCC – since it had another three choices to select from they were Air Wing, Naval Wing and Infantry. I decided on the Naval wing for the simple reason that it had an amazing uniform and a lovely cap. My choice was based on my own criteria, of good looks. Many make choices based on different grounds, but what is God’s choice for us and what does God expect us to choose. I want bring this idea of God’s choice for us from the life of two sisters in the Bible – Martha and Mary.
I don’t know how many of you have felt that Jesus was very partial in supporting Mary and not Martha for what she did. I have felt it that way many times till one day when I understood it when God gave me an insight when I had a dispute with my wife. I will share three important lessons from the lives of these amazing sisters. Before that let us take a look at few scriptures and then carry with the lessons for life.
Let us first read a passage in 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
God chose the uninfluential, the ignoble, the lowly, the weak, the foolish and the despised, be happy and shout a big hallelujah cause I am very sure God is talking about us. Let us also read the incident of Martha and Mary in the book of Luke chapter 10 verses 38-42.
38As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40But 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, 42but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Jesus’ comment on Mary was an affirming one but that does not mean that He was condemning Martha but He was actually trying to help her understand the priority in her life. Let me bring the lessons for you now:
The first lesson is:
Martha opened her house whereas Mary opened her heart:
We read in verse 38 that “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.” It was Martha who initiated the process of inviting Jesus to her home. The bible does not clearly explain the reason for why Martha invited Jesus to her home, but I am making a guess and bringing few points as to why Martha must have invited. May be Martha must have thought that Jesus was gaining popularity for his teachings and the many miracles he did, so she probably wanted to let the world know that she had the great man visit them home and ate with them. Or may be she genuinely out of love and concern invited him or probably she wanted to show off. But whatever the reason she was the one who decided and also made it a point to have Jesus home and He was there in their house. On the contrary verse 39 says Mary sat down at the feet of Jesus and listened to what He said. Let me pause a while and ask how many of us would be willing to listen – listening is one of the painful tasks that is why today in post modern churches the sermon is shortened to just 20 minutes or even less, what I mean is listening to someone was not a pleasant one until we know who we listen to and what we listen too, but I think Mary made the right choice to listen to Jesus than do anything cause she knew He was source of great wisdom and knowledge. This led for her transformation from her old ways of living. Surely Mary opened her heart. What about us…many of us have opened our house for cell group meetings or prayer meetings have we earnestly opened our hearts to Jesus that we could live God aloud. Just check on that, while we move to the second lesson.