Luke 10:38-42 Hearing The Word.
The Martha and Mary story is a very well known one. Perhaps if Martha had said nothing the story would never had been told. It is Martha who welcomed Jesus into her home (v. 38). Martha busied herself with serving her guests. This is one of the things which Jesus instructed His disciples to look for (9:1-6). However, Mary chose to sit at Jesus feet and hear His word (v. 39). This was the same Mary “who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair.” (Jn. 11:2) This was to prepare Jesus for His burial (Jn. 12:7). Clearly Mary had been paying attention to what Jesus was saying.
Martha wanted Jesus to rebuke her sister, but it was Martha who had her priorities wrong. More than the importance of food and lodging is the attention that needs to be paid to the word of the Lord (v. 42). Jesus doesn’t so much rebuke Martha, as he is concerned that she was “worried and troubled about many things,” when what she needed more than anything was the word. Martha was easily distracted by other things, like the seed planted among weeds which are the cares of this world which can crowd out the word, if we are not careful (8:14). Hospitality is important, but not more so than the word taught.