by Veronne Carter
Luke 10:38-42 - “Martha, Martha…you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” - Jesus (NKJV)
I will admit right now. Oftentimes, I am Martha. Not that I’m ‘worried’ or ‘troubled’ (pastors don’t get worried or troubled…do they?). But…
The original Greek word translated worriedis “merimnaȯ” or to be anxious about or, troubled with cares. The original word translated totroubledin English is “tarassȯ” in Greek. It means to stir up, to agitate, to disturb, to put in motion what needs to remain still or at ease. OUCH!
Maybe you don’t fit into this box at all, but I admit I am guilty as charged. There are times when my mind is set on cares, and I feel that I must do something about it all. With enough effort, skill, and invested time, I can solve all problems. And I likely end up stirring up activity, agitating and disturbing peace, and setting into motions things that need to remain still. All in the name of doing a good thing.
So, Jesus essentially says to Martha, ‘You know, you’re doing a lot of serving and cleaning, and working – and it’s not that the things that you’re doing are bad. They’re good. Thank you. However, you seem to be troubled with cares about everything else for me, that you haven’t focused on me. Ultimately it’s causing you to put things into motion that could actually stand to be dormant for a while as you take time and simply focus on worshiping and honoring me.’
And then Jesus makes the dreaded comparison (for a sibling). “Look at your sister. I know you think she should be helping you with all of your activity, caring, and agitating, but in my view, she chose the better thing. She chose to just sit at my feet, focus on me, and hear what I have to say. If I were to compare the two, Martha, both are ok, but one is actually best. And out of the two things, only one of them is actually necessary: the sitting at my feet and hearing from me. And out of the two, it’s THAT which will not be taken away, because it is the only thing that has eternal value.”
Now, forgive me for putting words in the Lord’s mouth, but I hope to make a scriptural application that we can alllearn from using the simplicity of Jesus’ conversation in this Lukan encounter. If you’re anything like me, there are several things on your plate, or on your to-do list. How many times do you and I stir up things to do and care for in place of simply sitting at Jesus’ feet. Of all the things that we cando, there’s one thing that will not be taken away. Let’s commit to doing that!