Summary: A comment my mother made frequently when we were kids with this: “a woman’s work is never done.” My mother worked in a doctor’s office all day, took care of our home and paid most of our bills on her own.
“Making Better Choices”
A comment my mother made frequently when we were kids with this: “a woman’s work is never done.” My mother worked in a doctor’s office all day, took care of our home and paid most of our bills on her own. So she had a right to say that. Things have certainly changed since I was a child but that statement is as true as ever. Even with all of the conveniences we find in the home today women are probably busier than ever.
Expectations for women have also changed. Balancing a career and the role of mom at the same time has become very difficult. For a Mom her day is often from sun-up to sundown. With everything that is expected of moms today many women are forced to cut corners in order to make time to get everything done. But here’s the problem. It is usually the spiritual side of things that gets left out. Or overlooked. And many women…. and men as well fail to make time for God.
Someone once said it’s the woman who sets the mood for the home. Today’s version of that is “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” The Scripture never mentions either Mary or Martha as being mothers. We can only speculate. Tradition sees Martha as the older sister who was widowed and took care of her brother Lazarus and her sister Mary. What we do know about them was that they lived in Bethany, just outside Jerusalem.
We are told that Martha received Jesus into her house. Jesus traveled through this area frequently and we believe he stopped there numerous times to stay with Mary and Martha and Lazarus. This is the same Lazarus of course that Jesus brought back from death. They were friends. Jesus was very close friends with this family. This is the only time they are mentioned in the gospel of Luke.
So Martha receives Jesus into her house. If I told you today that Jesus was going to visit your home this afternoon what would you do? Run home now to clean up? I imagine Martha wanted everything to be just right. So she was busy working while Mary, her sister was sitting down listening to the words that Jesus taught. Jesus then told Martha something she probably didn’t want to hear. Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen the better part. And what we see in this passage are several ways Mary and Martha were different and these differences apply to all of us.
First of all there was a difference in focus. Focus is defined as the center of interest or activity. Ask yourself this morning, what is at the very center of your life? Notice what Mary and Martha were paying attention to. The Bible tells us that Martha was focused on serving. No doubt she was excited. Jesus was coming to her house. She wanted everything to be just right.
Let me ask you something... Did you know that you can become so busy that eventually you will be too busy for the Lord? And let me phrase it another way as well. Did you know that you can become so busy working for the Lord that eventually you will also be too busy for the Lord? Is not a bad thing to be involved in church work. In fact it’s a good thing. We have classes that must be taught, teams that must do ministry-it is not a small operation to keep a church moving. A study was conducted several years ago and it found that regardless of the size of the church, whether it was 20 or 2000 and anywhere in between, roughly only 10% of those who attend are working in some area of the church. One out of 10. No wonder so many people suffer burnout and no wonder some people are doing so much work for the Lord that they don’t have time to do anything with the Lord. And there’s a difference. It’s focus. And this is not just confined to work in the church. There are mothers who work hard on the job, working to build a future for their children, working to build a good home for their family but never give thought to the spiritual needs of their children. Thank God for every mother who takes time to teach her children about God’s Word.
Jesus instructed us to not put all of our focus on things that are temporary. Mary was focused on Jesus. Mary was focused on his word. Focus makes a difference.
2. There was a difference in their fellowship with Jesus. Let’s look at Mary now. Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus. She wanted to get as close to him as she possibly could. She knew there was something special about his words and she didn’t want to miss any of them. Let me tell you something this morning. You are as close to Jesus as you want to be. You have all of Jesus that you want. And if we don’t have a closeness with him it’s because we have moved. You see, it all comes down to priorities and for Mary fellowship with Jesus was her priority.