Encouragement to live in God's sweet and empowering grace every day.

Encouragement to live in God's sweet and empowering grace every day.

The One Thing!

The One Thing!


In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus and His Disciples are traveling through a small village when His friend Martha welcomes Him into her home.

Martha joyfully whistles as she begins the preparations.

But quickly her mind turns dark as she starts to take her focus off Jesus and puts it on all the overwhelming tasks at hand.

Add to that her annoying sister who appears to have abandoned her in the kitchen and it becomes way too much to bear.

Martha’s heart becomes distracted.

The joyful event is now turning into a nightmare.

The Greek word for “distracted” used in verse 40 is “Parispao,” which means to “Draw away. Be driven about mentally. To be over-occupied about a thing.

There is nothing wrong with Martha being the busy hostess.

“Acts of Service” may be her love language.

 But sometimes we can allow a legitimate or pressing ‘need’ trump our priorities and that’s where she finds herself.

Martha lets her mind get distracted and she forgets that her heart’s first desire is to abide with Jesus and enjoy Him.

As Martha’s frustrations grow, the Lord’s voice begins to fade as her own thoughts swirl unchecked in her mind.

Perhaps jealousy sets in as she presumes her sister is purposely rebelling against the culture of the day and sitting at Jesus’ feet as if she is one of His Disciples.

Desperation and anxiety start to set in.

She drops everything and marches straight into the living room and cries, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

Martha acknowledges Jesus as Lord but then rebukes Him.

The Lord responds kindly, “Martha, Martha! You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42 NIV

It isn’t Martha’s busyness that the Lord is addressing.

She has taken her mind off the best thing and is now frustrated at everyone around her.

It is no longer about Jesus.

It is more about her own agenda.

Whenever it becomes all about us, we can become confused and frustrated!

We can start to place unfair expectations on others and even question our faithful Lord about His priorities.

But in His gentle way, Jesus doesn’t embarrass her in front of all her guests.

Instead He commends Mary’s choice to put Him first.

Jesus Himself seeks out His Father’s will with all His heart.

He never does anything that He didn’t first see His Father doing.

In John 5:19-20, He said “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son does also. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all He does.”

Jesus completely relied on the Holy Spirit to guide Him.

Mary pleases Jesus with her faith and worship.

She isn’t being lazy.

She is keeping her eyes on her Master and is ready to do whatever she sees Him doing.

She discerns in her spirit that at this moment, it is time for her to be still and just ‘listen’ to Jesus … to learn as His Disciple.

Jesus isn’t against preparing and eating food, but remember there’s a time for action and a time to listen … to just ‘be’ and know He is God.

We can join Him in His work and serve with Him and remain in His peace.

Now … we can be tempted to think that Mary is the more spiritual sister but that’s not true!

Martha is Jesus’ friend and a Believer.

In John 11:26, Jesus asks Martha “I Am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in Me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in Me and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this, Martha?” To which I can see her smiling as she replies in verse 27 “Yes, Lord! I have always believed that You are the Messiah, the Son of God, the One Who has come into the world from God.”

Another clue that Mary and Martha are both just ordinary girls with similar battles is found in Verse 39 where Luke writes: “She had a sister called Mary…”

She was ‘called’ Mary.

Which means it wasn’t her name right?

Nicknames often describe a person, their personality or character.

In Hebrew, the name Mary means ‘rebellious or bitter.’

Now isn’t that what we just witnessed in Martha?

We don’t know what Mary is bitter about but she is obviously finding relief for her soul in Jesus.

She chooses to ‘feed’ on Jesus and drink from His cup.

She has chosen the ‘best thing!’

Even if we are strong believers in Jesus Christ, we are always just a few thoughts away from losing our peace.

Let’s pray for each other today to keep our priorities straight and to make the right choices to keep the best thing first place in our hearts and minds.


11 thoughts on “The One Thing!”

  • I used to be so distracted by all the things that needed to get done…add to that all the people in my life that demanded perfection-my grandmother commenting on the fact that my bed wasn’t made and how she would never let that happen- my mom, sister and women from church- I felt like I was supposed to be super woman with a smile. It was the same in Martha’s day. She had a culture that demanded women to be in their place and so things a certain way. It took me a while to realize that not only was I killing myself but I was harming my family and my relationships. I began making daily lists of things that needed to be done and project lists with lists of what was involved in each project. Each Sunday I write out my weekly schedule with what needs to be done and then I pick a project that I want to get done and take from the list of each thing that needs to be done under that project and spread it out in my spare time…leaving spare time in my week for the unexpected. With a schedule I have time to get done what needs to be done, get projects that need to be done finished and time for the things I enjoy…all with time at Jesus’s feet every morning.

    • Terri, I’m glad to hear you have found the balance you need and are able to sit with Jesus in the mornings! That’s awesome! ❤️

  • I have always been the busybody and the person who couldn’t say no. I have learned to say “no” though and my life has slowed down some (I’m still pretty busy though with work and church activities, exercising/walking with friends, etc.). I enjoy my First 5 app every morning and my online bible study but feel sometimes I get too busy with things I forget to take time to put Jesus front and center.

  • How I can relate! I have always been a Martha, but I’m thankful that God is growing me into a Mary, too! I agree that it’s so easy to get distracted when we need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. He keeps reminding me just to BE with Him. Thanks!

    • Thank you Trish for sharing your heart! I apologize for the delayed response! I have always been a Martha too! I am praying right now for Jesus to help us keep our eyes on Him this year! To stay focused on Him and trust that He will take care of all the details! Blessings to you sweet lady!! XO Donna

    • Patrice thank you so much for stopping by! I apologize for my delayed response! Thank you for your sweet encouragement! Be blessed this year! XO Donna

  • I love how you pointed out Jesus was not necessarily saying Mary was more spiritual than Martha. However, she chose to be at Jesus feet at that moment which was need. She didn’t get wrapped up in merely serving and forget that it’s ultimately about Jesus. If Jesus is present I want to be at his feet listen too. It’s okay to choose service over worship but we don’t want to compare ourselves and think one make us more spiritual than the other.

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