Summary: Worry is one of the problems that many Christians face. Worry is part of the tough stuff of life
When Worry Gets Tough
An average person's anxiety is focused on :
40% -- things that will never happen
30% -- things about the past that can't be changed
12% -- things about criticism by others, mostly untrue
10% -- about health, which gets worse with stress
8% -- about real problems that will be faced
The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.
38 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 only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:38-42
Martha was an incredibly giving person.
Martha lived in Bethany, a small village outside of Jerusalem. Martha had a close relationship with Jesus. John records that Jesus loved Martha, Mary and Lazarus. (John 11:5). Martha was likely the owner of the home in Bethany or at least the eldest woman of the house. Either way she had the responsibility of running the house. Martha opened her home to Jesus and the Apostles to provide both food and lodging for them. This was a large task and she took it on willingly.
Martha was a courageous person
There was a very real danger in being too closely associated with Jesus. The danger was magnified because of their geographic closeness to Jerusalem. The rejection of Jesus and the opposition to Jesus were growing at a rapid rate. Many of those who had been following Jesus had stopped being His disciples and the religious leadership was growing more and more hostile towards Jesus.
Martha was a caring person
Martha was caring for both Mary and Lazarus. No reason is given for this but it is clear that Martha loved them both greatly. Martha was caring for Jesus and the Apostles. Martha went out of her way to open her home and provide for their needs.
Mary was a humble woman
Mary had a deep devotion to Jesus. Her desire was to be with Him and nothing else would do. Mary could have placed herself anywhere she wanted to be. She could have given herself a place of honor next to Jesus or elsewhere in the room. Instead, Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and that was a place of humility
Mary was hungry
It is clear that Mary had a deep spiritual hunger. Mary listened to the words of Jesus and soaked it up. She was focused on learning from Jesus and drawing closer to Him.
Mary’s actions reveal an inner attitude and desire. She had a spiritual hunger, an openness to listen, a desire to surrender and a willingness to obey.
Worry tends to hit us when…
We get distracted
The word that Luke uses here for distracted is unique and this is only place that it is used in the entire New Testament. Luke describes Martha’s state of mind and behavior with the peripspao. Perispao means to draw away or to draw around. The impression is one that shows a person being forced in a direction or course of action that is not desired. Luke seems to be saying that the situation was drawing Martha away from her desired intent. The concept is a person who is driven mentally, to be over occupied and too busy. Martha allowed the situation to overwhelm her. The word describes a person who feels torn in two.
Martha was so focused on preparing things for her guests that she did not spend time with her guests. Sometimes Christians become so busy with church work that they fail to spend time with Christ. We allow busyness and activity to replace a genuine relationship. We become very busy but fail to develop spiritual depth.
What had Martha so preoccupied?
Martha was focused on serving those who came to her home. It is important to remember that this was not an expected visit. Jesus and the disciples came unexpectedly to visit, likely they were passing through the area. Martha opens her home to them. The immediate need is to serve and feed the guests. Martha jumps to work and starts making everyone feel comfortable and starts to prepare the meal.