By Ken Blue
“But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.” Luke 10:40.
I’ve seen hundreds of Marthas during my ministry. We quietly thank God for them; but they do make us feel somewhat uneasy. Maybe the word “guilty” would better describe our feelings. Whatever it is about the Marthas, they appear to be driven by some unseen force to constantly stay busy.
Jesus loved to visit in the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. They loved Him and He loved them. But, whenever Martha heard that He was coming, she worked herself into a state of exhaustion, preparing for His visits. Once He arrived, she could not sit down or relax; she always saw some article out of place or the need to pour another cup of tea. Marthas are anxious about every detail, and can’t understand how others can refuse to help in the work. Perhaps others have discovered that whatever they do, it isn’t quite good enough for the Marthas.
You can always spot the Marthas. They serve in the cleanup ministries around the church. Whatever the task, you can count on them. Watch them at church dinners and picnics. Usually they wear an apron and carry a cleaning cloth while others visit and fellowship. Marthas are the worker bees of the hive.
The Lord is not rebuking Martha for her attention to detail or her desire to serve. The issue in this situation was one of priority. Jesus was teaching things she needed to hear, and He would also be returning to heaven shortly. While Martha sits in church, she has a difficult time keeping her mind on the sermon. She is thinking about what she must do after church or worrying about what she many have forgotten and left undone at home. This was the time for Martha to sit down and listen.
There are times when we should get up and help the Marthas, and there are times when the Marthas should lay aside the cleaning cloth and sit down. The key for all of us is to know the priorities of the day.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.