“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 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)


            There are different ways people have their relationship with Jesus.  Some relate to Jesus out of a sense of obligation and duty and just to fulfill a commitment.  While others really are out of a sense of relationship and enjoying the journey even if all you have to do is just sit and enjoy the relationship.  Relationships must never be done out of a sense of duty, compulsivity, pressure, or constraint.  Relationships must always have a sense of communication, connectedness, and conversation, which, with it, has no sense of obligation to do anything because a person feels compelled to do it in response to love and gratitude for the relationship. 

            Martha felt obligated and distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.  Martha was distracted from the most important thing to Jesus.  Distraction will result in the loss of priority, purpose, and the pleasure of being with Jesus.  Like Marsha, many are distracted from the most important thing to Jesus, and that is to sit with him and learn from him.  Jesus said, Mary has chosen WHAT IS BETTER, and IT WILL NOT BE TAKEN AWAY FROM HER. 

            I am reminded today that Jesus does not need anything from me other than choosing to sit and be with him.  Choosing my priority is important and a key thing in my relationship with Jesus.  Martha responds with a slave mindset to her ability and to what has always been her tradition.  She thinks that Jesus needs my hospitality.  While hospitality is a good thing, there is a time for everything.  If I just serve Jesus only without sitting first before him, then I will start to dictate how I serve him. 

            Martha’s attitude is like that of a believer who has a relationship with Jesus yet serves him with a volunteer mindset.  When Jesus doesn’t seem to pay attention, she complains.  Martha dictates to others her availability and murmurs that Mary isn’t doing her part.  This is a volunteering mindset.  Mary, on the other hand, chose the best thing that Jesus praised her for.  See, out of a healthy relationship and feeding from Jesus’ words, we will naturally want to do things for Jesus.   A healthy relationship is not predicated on a sense of obligation but responds to serve the other person out of pure love, willingness, and, yes, sacrifice.  Many believers love Jesus but do not want to serve. 

            One of the blessings of doing devotions is really allowing time with Jesus in his word to hear him, teach, inspire, challenge, correct, rebuke, and help me to change my attitude.  Only then and then will I be able to serve not out of obligation and volunteerism but because my Lord has spoken to me.   And the more I do devotion, the more I see what Jesus’ heart is and what he wants me to do and accomplish.   When we are not filled with Jesus’ words, desire, and purpose, he will reveal to us what he wants to do. 


            As wonderful Martha’s ministry was, she was a distracted person from what was the best.  I want to serve Jesus like Mary, to know what Jesus wants to do first, rather than offering to Jesus what I think I can do for him.  I want to make my devotional life with Jesus my top priority because out of that relationship flows the power to do his will and fulfill my role in ministry.


            Jesus, thank you for reminding me again that I am not called to volunteer myself to serve you.  I am called to give myself and to surrender my life to your service.  Please teach me to be a child of yours like Mary to choose the best thing.  I look to you this year to guide and lead me to fulfill your plans.  I pray that you keep me from a spirit of complaining and murmuring.  Please help me to see how amazing and powerful it is to learn from you and to be guided by you in 2024.  Amen!