That Good Part

It was ironing day, when I watch TV in the middle of the day.

After crying over that Surprise Home Makeover show, I watched two different Bible teacher shows, one right after the other. They both talked about Mary and Martha, so I figured I’d better pay attention. 😉

Martha was frantic. Jesus had come to visit and brought with him a few of his closest friends. There had to be food for the many guests, and she was becoming overwhelmed. She went looking for Mary to ask for help and found her sitting at Jesus’ feet, happily hanging on his every word. Martha no doubt motioned for her to come help, and Mary no doubt ignored her, or was simply oblivious. So Martha told Jesus, “Jesus, make Mary help me.” 

Jesus replied, “No, Martha. You are encumbered with too many things but Mary has chosen that good part, and it won’t be taken from her.”

He wouldn’t take it from her?

Photo by Polina Zimmerman on

Is it okay if I tell you that has always bothered me? As someone who is not a confident hostess at the best of times, I have always found myself on Martha’s side, fed up with Mary and a tad disappointed with Jesus’ response.

Obviously, feeding guests was expected; it wasn’t a bad thing. But, according to Jesus, it wasn’t “that good part”. I would like to think that if Jesus had came to my house I would have been like Mary, sitting at his feet, listening, learning, asking questions. I might not have, though, and I would have missed out. And that bothers me.

I’ve had to wonder what He was really saying to Martha—and what it should really mean to me. In thinking about this today, I thought he might be telling me that without that kind of personal engagement with him there will never be any rest in trying to do, do, do—whatever it is and for whatever reason. Perhaps he is saying that if there’s no rest or joy in it, then I have become weary in well doing, encumbered with too many things, and I can be assured I’ve missed the good part.

I have a feeling I am not alone in this personal conundrum. 😉

What would happen, I wonder, if we stopped trying to be either a Mary or a Martha, or even trying to be both. Maybe we could start from a place of fellowship with Jesus by the Word and prayer, and then do what we do, no matter what it is, from that sweet place. And done in his strength and with a whole heart.

The scripture below is often spoken to those who don’t yet know Jesus as Saviour and Lord, but it is an invitation to us all.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,’ (Matthew 11:28).