LUKE 10:38 "Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

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Martha was a good, hardworking woman who loved Jesus perhaps more than anyone else in the Bible. She had but one fault that we know of: worrying about what others were doing. I have heard some say they thought Martha was jealous of Mary's devotion to Jesus. But if this was so, why did Martha go call Mary to come see Jesus when Lazarus died? (John 11:28)

In the above scripture we find Mary sitting at Jesus' feet listening to His every word while Martha was serving food to the guests. The scripture says Martha was "cumbered about much serving." To be cumbered is to be weighed down or burdened with something. Martha was distressed because she was having to spend the whole time in the kitchen while her sister sat and did nothing. She went to Jesus and asked Him if he didn't care that Mary had left her to serve alone. She wanted Jesus to tell Mary to get up and help her. But Jesus knew that what Mary was doing was also important. Notice He didn't tell Martha that she should do what her sister was doing, either. Both of them had a job to do and both jobs were important. Jesus told Martha that she was careful and troubled about many things. Most people would think that it wasn't fair that Martha should do all the work while Mary did nothing but Jesus was trying to get through to Martha that everyone has a work to do. Martha chose to wait on the men...serving. Mary chose to sit and hear the word... devotion. Each thing was needful. Each one had a job and should not be worried or troubled at what the other was doing. We call it "minding your own business" today.

JOHN 12:1 "Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. 2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. 3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. 4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, 5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. 7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. 8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always."

In this scripture we, once again, find Mary under the scrutiny of others. Seems she can't do anything right! Here she has anointed the feet of Jesus with a costly ointment of spikenard and is reprimanded by Judas Iscariot. He believed the ointment should be sold and the money given to the poor. Verse 5 and 6 says it all! Judas didn't care about the poor, he was a thief and wanted the money for himself. Once again, Jesus defended Mary saying that what Mary was doing was needful because she was anointing Him in preparation for His burial. No matter what we do for God, we will encounter people like Judas who are just waiting to find fault with our good works or people like Martha who think we should be doing something else. We must ignore these people and continue to work for God. It is so easy to let words of criticism discourage us and cause us to quit. But we must keep on working! We must not give up! In order to be a servant, we must serve! It doesn't matter what kind of servant you are, whether it is in cooking, cleaning, praying, teaching or just listening do everything you do for the Lord.



Martha came to the Lord and said,
"Lord, dost thou not care?
My sister hath left me to serve alone.
Lord, bid her to do her share."

Mary was sitting at Jesus' feet
Listening to every word.
He said, "Mary has chosen that good part,
Which shall not be taken from her."

Martha was cumbered about with serving.
Mary was humble and true.
Though each part was needful,
Only Mary was heedful.
Which one of these sisters are you?



There are many Marthas today. Many who are "cumbered about much serving and troubled about many things." We should each be willing to do our part and let our brothers and sisters do theirs!


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