Lessons from Jesus

Take Time

Luke 10:38,39 – Jesus entered a village and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house and she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.

I just love these two sisters and their very different personalities. Every time I read about them, I have particular images in my head of what they look like, their mannerisms and how they sound. To me, Martha is strong and sturdy and takes no nonsense from anyone. Her hands are rough from constant work, she has flour in her hair, a cloth tucked in her skirt and a broom is never far away; with hands on her hips, she considers the next job to be done. She is also homely and kind, with laughter lines on her face. She rises early and goes to bed late, ensuring that her household is cared for. She loves the LORD and she longs to serve him in all that she does.

Mary, I see, as almost the complete opposite. She in fine and fragile in appearance with beautiful long dark hair. Her hands are softer than Martha’s although she helps with the baking and getting the food that Martha needs for the meals. She is wistful and can be heard singing as she walks through the market. She stops to talk to each stall holder and sees the good in everyone. She watches the children play and laughs along with them. She is often found in the Court of the Women listening to the reading of the Scripture. She loves the LORD and she longs to serve him in all that she does.

Jesus had been travelling from town to town and had now arrived at Bethany. When Jesus had sent out the twelve and the 72, he had instructed them saying, “Whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart.” Jesus had found Lazarus and his sisters during his travels and now stayed with them each time he came to their village. Martha was the epitome of hospitality. She would have a basin of water and a towel ready for the Master’s feet; bread would be baking on the stones and a stew would be in the pot over the fire.

We are not told how many people had come to join for the meal but it certainly wasn’t just the four of them because we are told, Martha was distracted with much serving. So much so, in fact, that she went to Jesus to implore him to send Mary to help her. I can visualize the gentle smile and soft tone as he looks at her, saying, ‘my dear Martha, there is so much that you let trouble you…. let your cares go and focus only on what is truly needed. Mary’s need right now is me, so her choice is good and I cannot take that from her.’

There is a bit of Martha and a bit of Mary in each one of us. Life is constantly swirling all around us and most days we are just trying to keep up. We long for those moments of calm to sit at the feet of Jesus and be refreshed by his teaching. Jesus knows every detail of your life, the responsibilities, the cares and concerns, but he also knows your needs. The world won’t stop just because you do and the house won’t fall down when you take time out.

Come, sit at his feet, soak-in his presence and let Him minister to your needs.

Psalm 73:26 – My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

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