Proper Perspective: Martha & Mary (Luke 10:38-42)


In all likelihood, most if not all of you have hosted others in your home for an informal gathering. Some of you have even hosted formal gatherings in your home. In either case, there was one common thing happening shortly before the guests arrived. A last-minute flurry of activity to make sure everything is in order. Food, check. Drinks, check. Silverware, check. Glassware, check… You know the drill.

If you have experienced that situation then you know exactly what I’m talking about. We all want to put our best foot forward to ensure our guests feel welcomed and loved. But, for some of us, the spring is wound so tight by the time the guests arrive that it’s hard to relax and enjoy the party.

And then, when the joyous festivities are over, the flurry of activity starts all over again with the clean-up. Well that is for some of us it does. In my family there was one person, who shall remain nameless, who always seemed to disappear when it came time to clean up.  Even when the party was at her house! I can remember many car rides home after family gathers with my mom expressing frustration about the famous disappearing aunt who had a phobia for clean-up. I’m guessing that some of you have a mental picture in your mind’s eye right now of a famous Houdini in your family.

How did it make you feel to be slaving away while others scampered off scot-free, without carrying any of the burden for what should have been shared duties? I know, you probably would have given them a piece of your mind if you could, but you didn’t.  You saved the venting for the car ride home…

Well, believe it or not, there is an event much like that in the Bible. Luke 10:38-42 to be exact. The setting is a dinner gathering in the home of two sisters.  They and their brother are close personal friends of Jesus who happens to drop in for dinner on his way to Jerusalem. One of the sisters carried all the burden of preparation and service and the other was a “slacker,” or so the elder sister thought. The elder sister toiled away with food preparation and service while the younger shunned those duties and lounged leisurely at the feet of her guest. Enamored by His stories and oblivious to her sisters growing sense of frustration and indignation that eventually resulted in a passionate appeal to Jesus for help.

What does this have to do with out study of Luke’s gospel, you ask? Plenty. As is often the case, Jesus takes advantage of an everyday life situation to teach us a powerful lesson about proper priorities and perspective. How does it turn out? Which side does Jesus choose? Who does he affirm and who does he tenderly correct?  Come, join us this week for the Bible study and found it. I promise, you won’t get stuck with the dishes.

If you are unable to join us in person for this study, please feel free to download the Bible study materials for your personal use by following one of these links: PowerPoint Slides, PDF File.  For more information about this Bible study series please see Doubtless Living: The Gospel of Luke.