Last week’s Scripture was about a man who knew the Bible’s teachings, but he didn’t do what it said. This week’s Scripture is about a woman who does lots of things, but doesn’t read the Bible (at least not as much as Jesus thought she should).
Jesus had three friends in one family: Lazarus, Mary and Martha. Mary and Martha were sisters and Lazarus was their brother (they were all grownups). One day Jesus came to their house for dinner. But before dinner everyone went into the living room to hear what Jesus had to say. Well, everyone but Martha. Jesus was an important guest so she thought that she should be out in the kitchen whipping up a few of her special recipes, maybe along with a selection of desserts. This would show Jesus that she knew he was special.
Well, it was hot in the kitchen as Martha just kept cooking and cooking. The kitchen was a mess and no one––not even her own sister Mary––was helping. She was in the living room with everyone else, listening to Jesus.
“Well, “Martha may have thought, “It’s time Mary did the right thing and help me in the kitchen.” So, guess what Martha did! She marched right into the living room, she interrupted Jesus and said “ Lord, don’t you care that my sister left me to serve alone? Ask her, therefore, to help me.”
What kind of voice do you think Martha used when she said to Jesus, : “Ask her to help me.” Was it a sweet voice like this? [Say it in a loving voice, then let two or three children say it in the kind of voice they think she used.]
Jesus could have been angry at Martha––she was rude to Jesus and she may have embarrassed her sister. But Jesus wasn’t angry. He told Martha that she worried about too many things (like all those recipes in the kitchen maybe). “ Let’s just have sandwiches,” Jesus might have said. The food wasn’t the important thing. Making things fancy was not important. Listening to what Jesus was saying, now THAT was important.
Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen to do the important thing––she was learning what Jesus was teaching. Jesus said that he would not take that away from Mary.
And I bet I can guess what Jesus did next––I bet that he made a special place for Martha to sit, right next to him, and finished his teaching.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2013, Richard Niell Donovan