Luke 10:38,39 ¶ Now as they went on their way, 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.
One of the great stories in the Bible talks about the conflict between the two sisters, Martha and Mary. The Bible says that Martha was “distracted with much serving” while Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus. Martha was very upset with Mary and asked Jesus to correct her sister. What Martha failed to see was that Mary was not just sitting, avoiding the real work. Mary was sitting at Jesus feet. Jesus said to leave Mary alone, she had chosen the best part. There is a huge difference between just sitting and sitting at Jesus feet, Charles Spurgeon helps us see the difference in his comments on this passage.
“Mary was not praised for sitting still; but for her sitting at Jesus’ feet. Even so, Christians are not to be praised for neglecting duties under the pretense of having secret fellowship with Jesus: it is not sitting, but sitting at Jesus’ feet which is commendable. Do not think that activity is in itself an evil: it is a great blessing, and a means of grace to us. Paul called it a grace given to him to be allowed to preach; and every form of Christian service may become a personal blessing to those engaged in it. Those who have most fellowship with Christ are not recluses or hermits, who have much time to spare, but indefatigable laborers who are toiling for Jesus, and who, in their toil, have him side by side with them, so that they are workers together with God. Let us remember then, in anything we have to do for Jesus, that we can do it, and should do it in close communion with him.”
I often speak about the outpouring of the Spirit that happened in our church in 1994. In that outpouring the Lord redirected my main responsibility in ministry. Before that time I had been more involved in the business of the ministry, the Lord was calling me to a new job description. My new job was to spend the majority of my work focused on seeking God in study, listening to the Lord, and preparing to minister His Word. Don’t get me wrong, Martha’s work is very important. It’s just that the kingdom needs Mary’s work as well, not just sitting but sitting at His feet.