As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing.Luke 10:38-40
Have you ever been so busy that you missed something significant—right in front of you? I was on a flight to India, and our group missed a domestic connection from Mumbai to Nagpur, yet my baggage made the connection…in other words, my baggage would be sitting in the airport for hours in Nagpur before I got there. My companions and I got a later flight and, due to the fact that I had been up for about 32 hours, I was fatigued and unusually distracted about my luggage. But we finally arrived in Nagpur.
When we arrived, there was an extraordinarily large crowd of people just outside the passenger-only area at the airport. The crowd was cheering and jumping up to look over each other at the people coming off the plane. I wondered what all the commotion was about!
I found out later that a Bollywood star was on our flight (Bollywood is India’s equivalent of Hollywood in the US)! It was then that I remembered seeing the flight attendants paying special attention to a single row of seats on the plane just ahead of me, which I didn’t think much about in the moment…and I missed the opportunity to meet them!
Luke tells us that Jesus was in the house of Mary and Martha. Think of this: Jesus. Is. In. Their. Home.
And while Mary sat at his feet, listening to him teach, Luke tells us that Martha was distracted by her duties.
In the original language, this word distracted carries the idea that she was overburdened and anxious.
Sounds a lot like our time. Distracted. Overburdened. Anxious. Martha is so stressed and upset with her sister that she starts giving orders:
“Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”Luke 10:40
Martha is so stressed out that she’s making demands of Jesus!
“Of course,” she may have thought, “I’m doing it for the right reasons. I’m serving Jesus!” But, the truth is she is stressed out and overwhelmed by what she thinks is important.
Why is Martha overwhelmed? By the expectations she has placed on herself. Then Luke gives us Jesus’ response to her demand:
But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”Luke 10:41–42
Jesus tells her “Martha, you are burdened and stressed about things that are unnecessary! Instead of being concerned about the non-essential, be concerned for what is essential. Mary has discovered it. Join her. Spend time learning from me.”
While Martha is stressed, Mary is at rest. This is where peace is found. This is where hope is found. This is where reality is defined: at the feet of Jesus. Everything changes at the feet of Jesus.
Maybe you’re like me? I’ve been distracted and anxious several times this year.
Would you join me for a moment—right now—just to take a breath? Then, push away from whatever you’re doing to consider Jesus’ words. But instead of Martha’s name, put your own name here. Today, in your distracted-overwhelmed day, Jesus is saying:
“My dear _________, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Those who sit at my feet have discovered it, and it will not be taken away from them.”
Take this moment to thank him for his ongoing presence, his peace and his power to live His life through you. And, in those moments to come—when you are stressed and overwhelmed—remember: