What Martha Missed

Read: Luke 10:38-42

One thing is necessary. (v. 42)

“If you’ve come to see the house, come another time. If you want to visit Mom, make yourself at home.” That’s what Jenny’s daughter said nearly every time I visited. The house was by no means unkempt. They just marched to a different beat. Nearing 100, with eyes failing and her body weak, Jenny spent most of the day on her sofa listening to the Bible and the Words of Hope devotional. If ever I met a “Mary,” Jenny fit the bill. To visit her was to visit with one who had spent much time at Jesus’ feet.

To be clear, it is impossible for us to spend every moment of our lives like Mary listening at Jesus’ feet. And Jesus is not suggesting that Martha was a bad person for serving. What Martha missed was the point of Jesus being in her home: to spend time with him. This was the “one thing” that was necessary. Martha welcomed Jesus into her home (v. 38) but became distracted by all the doing.

We followers of Jesus can be so busy doing good for Jesus, we miss the joy of being with Jesus. We receive Jesus into our hearts as Savior and Lord but then occupy ourselves serving him and somehow miss being with him. In John 15, Jesus called his disciples friends rather than servants (v. 15) and invited them to abide in him (v. 7). Abiding results in the bearing of fruit. Before we do for Jesus, let us be with him. This is the “good portion” (Luke 10:42). —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, enjoy the presence of Jesus.

About the Author

jon opgenorth

Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.