Summary: This message focuses on the story of Mary and Martha and how moms are called on to make the right choices in raising children and in their own spiritual walk. This message affirms the role of motherhood and is preached in a very positive way.
The Best Part
Desperate Households Series
I think we would all agree that the role of Moms today has greatly changed. Expectations have changed....focus has changed and for some Moms today, fulfilling this role can be difficult at best. Many more appliances and conveniences ave been placed in the home with the goal of making household duties easier. Growing up we had no microwave oven, ice-maker or dishwasher, however in spite of all of these changes that supposedly add to our convenience, women today are than at any other point in history. Certainly expectations have changed as well. Even though she make work 40 hours or more, she is still expected to be the primary housekeeper. In addition to keeping house, she must cook, wash the clothes and be the primary care giver to the children. And for may Moms this schedule goes from sun up to sundown.
Then is recent years we have seen the entrance of the “super Mom.” This is the woman who tries to have it all....a good education, a great career and to be a great Mom as well. But regardless of time schedules, day timers, organizers...there are still only 24 hours in a day. With everything that is expected of Moms many women find it necessary to cut corners somewhere. The problem is that it usually affects us on a spiritual level because we simply fail to make time for God. And if Moms focus only on material things and neglect the spiritual then they will never feel fulfilled...they won’t be happy. And if Momma’s not happy, ain’t nobody happy.
I realize that the passage I read today is not about Moms. The scripture never mentions that Mary or Martha are Mothers. Tradition sees Martha as the older sister and the one who took care of her brother and sister. They lived in Bethany just outside Jerusalem. Jesus deeply cared about both of these women; they were close friends along with their brother Lazarus. We are told that Martha received Jesus into her house.
At this time Jesus was beginning to establish a following. No doubt Martha wanted everything to be just right in her home when this great preacher came to visit. So Martha was busy working, while Mary, her sister was listening to the words that Jesus taught. Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen the best part. This passage shows us three differences between Martha and Mary but you will find that this text applies to all Moms, all women as well as to all of our men today. See where you fit in.
1. There was a difference in their focus. Webster defines focus as the point where reflected rays of light come together..at the center. When we talk about focus we are talking about what is at the center of your life. The scripture tells us that Martha was concerned about serving. That is what she was focused on.
Jesus was the honored guest so it was customary to prepare a meal for the guest. And I’m sure that Martha put everything she had into it. She was busy serving her master.
Now let’s be clear....Martha’s service was not a bad thing. But Martha had allowed it to become the center of her attention. Much serving as the scripture says. All her energy, all her attention...al her focus was on serving. Think about this for a moment....you have the Lord of the universe in your home and you’re too busy to hear what He has to say. It still happens...we sit in church every Sunday in the presence of the Lord..our thoughts are 1,000 miles away. ..we’re too busy to hear what God has to say.
There are Moms out there who work hard on the job, trying to build a future for their children, working to build a good home but they never give thought to the spiritual needs of their children. This passage is telling us...be careful...be careful that you do not put all your energy into things that are temporary..that will not last. Mary was focused on Jesus; she chose the better part.
2. There was a difference in their fellowship.
Let’s look now at Mary. She was seated at the feet of Jesus. The Greek words here mean that she literally sat down right in front of the feet of Jesus. She wanted to get as close to him as she possibly could. She didn’t want to miss a word that He had to say.
Let me remind you this morning that you are as close to Jesus as you want to be. You determine your own level of experience with Jesus. You have all of God that you want. The question for all of us is how much do you want? In this passage it all comes down to priorities and for Mary her priority was spending time with Jesus.