The Mary and Martha Mix | Olukokun K. Joseph

The Mary and Martha Mix

The clause, “I’ve been very busy”, is a familiar one, isn’t it? We’ve probably said it to someone and have also heard someone say it to us on a number of occasions. However, the question remains: are we truly busy?

I recently came across a quote attributed to John Piper, and it says: “One of the greatest uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove on the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time”.

One fact we have to face is that there’s a great difference between busyness and making progress, hence we must never confuse movement with progress.

The quest for more time and balancing life priorities isn’t only a 21st century challenge, as followers of Jesus in the first century had to contend with this issue as well. The home of one of Jesus’ friends named Lazarus was the centre stage, and the characters were Martha, Mary and Jesus. The main theme of the “drama” was the need to put first things first as taught by Jesus (Luke 10:38-42).

The question thus remains: how do we navigate through life without being caught in the ‘busy but guilty syndrome’ amidst the endless activities calling for our attention?

Martha’s problem was one of balance, of not holding life in the proper tension. God is not honored by shoddy work or the neglect of our necessary duties in life, thus we must be sure the necessary doesn’t get out of proportion and distort our lives. We can easily confuse means and ends. We must not take something that is not too important and make it primary in our lives. Otherwise, what is seemingly harmless becomes a stumbling block for us.

Is Martha totally wrong? Of course not! Martha’s work is necessary- in the church and in the home. But Mary gets the nimbus. All that Martha needs is a change of perspective. So as followers of Christ, we need to cultivate both the Martha and Mary in each of us.

Jesus did not only want Martha’s food; He wanted Martha herself. The food that would nurture her soul is the food she can never prepare in her kitchen. Our relationship with God does not develop in the midst of fretting busyness. The one thing needful is to hear God speak to us.

How can balance be struck? To achieve balance, Martha must be a Mary and a true Mary must be a Martha. Both are sisters. Therefore, to get our service and devotion right, we have to get our priorities right. We must let Jesus minister to us first before we go out to minister for Him, update our social media handles or get busy with our daily lives. That is God’s order. Many times, we equate our devotion to God in terms of what God wants us to do for Him. However, our devotion is shown as we become who God wants us to be.

The miracle you lost sight of

When we keep our priorities in line with God’s priorities, we will find out that God enables us to do what needs to be done with joy and satisfaction.

Author: Olukokun K. Joseph

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29 thoughts on “The Mary and Martha Mix | Olukokun K. Joseph

  1. It is good and incite full teaching on how to balance one’s life, am blessed. Thank you. Yes what Martha did was important but I believed she goes for the secondary while Mary goes for the primary. It is better to be with Jesus (having Jesus in me) than doing anything for him. Martha just guess that Jesus will be ok by giving him a good reception, but little did she know that Jesus comes to us to look for what He can do for us and not what we can do for him. The one that stay with Jesus more will know exactly what Jesus wants the most. Jesus wants us to work but He need our attention and relationship first.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting & expository. Balance & fruitful Christan life is required & will serve as evidence when sharing our faith with others.
    Nice write up.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The issue of balance has always been an hardwork for the believer. But it’s important to put God first, talk to Him and let Him minster to us first before we think of serving others.

    Great piece sir

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Martha and Mary Mix title is perfect for the write-up. While working hard to satisfy our physical needs(very important), we must prioritize our spiritual need which has eternal perspective. Just let no one suffer over the other. Our service to humanity should be 100% and our responsibility to God should be 100%. The challenge Martha had was her attitude towards Mary. It was an indirect attack on Mary somehow. She actually accused Jesus of not being sensitive to Mary’s inactivity to serve at that moment. Jesus understand the cold War she was cooking hence telling her the reality of worry about so many things. So her challenge was not only service. There must have been some element of sisterly jealousy. Imagine Mary and Matthew are Igala sisters in Abejukolo Kogi State. Martha will not walk to the visitor and cause him on account of Mary. She will rather signal Mary with style or cut eye kind of gesture to alert Mary to come and help.
    Secondly, there was no record to the best of my findings that says Mary use to escape from work or service. For our lessons, our service should not be eye service with some iota of jealousy….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve been guilty of the Martha syndrome too. Thank God for the balance He is bringing to our lives.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Please come again next time😊


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