Luke 10:38-42, Elucidated Pastoral Version 🙂
38) Now Jesus had come from achieving some great feats, and the buzz in the town was of the man Jesus who had 12 apostles and 72 other disciples working wonders in His name. ( Feeding five thousand men! That had to be some guy!) On seeing the whole team walk down, dusty sneakers and sweaty track pants, Martha welcomes them in and provides an opportunity for rest. What a heart, for the lady to have opened up her home to a whole bunch of men who couldn’t care less about spoiling the carpet with crumbs of bread, or keeping the bathroom floor dry! Martha gets busy with her work. She does it because she loved Jesus.
39) Mary, on the other hand, found a convenient spot right under the feet of Jesus, completely oblivious to the fact that she was the only woman among a bunch of men or that tradition binds her to the confines of the courtyard, listening to every word that dropped from Jesus’ mouth.
The responses of the women were different, but they had one main intention: to express their love for the Man, and to pursue a friendship with Him.
40) Our hardworking lady Martha, who was torn between her pile of housework and excited chattering from the living room, found it frustrating that Mary was being so careless and insensitive to both her and the men! “Hasn’t Mum taught her anything at all? Doesn’t she know that a woman ought to sacrificially love by belonging to the kitchen? How else would you serve the Master?” she muttered.
Grumpily, she goes out to pull her lazy sister by her ear and bring her in. At least that’s what she intended to, but not wanting to create a scene, she asks Jesus to send Mary in. It was unfair for her to not join in to finish the tiresome work.
41) “Hey Martha!”, Jesus said. “I know this is your way of expressing your love for me. But guess what? You’re just so engrossed in trying to please me with your works. You’ve gone by what the world defines as love. You’ve chosen the conventional, legalistic way out, and trust me, I’m fine with it.
42) But listen, I don’t keep a checklist to see if you’ve scored points, for me to accept you by all your works. And neither would it be right for you to impose those same restrictions and rules that you think are required to woo me. I love you as you are, you don’t have to impress me. All that I need is a relationship with you.
While convention confused you to think and respond in a certain manner, your sister Mary didn’t let such material things spell out her love for me. She did what my heart craved for, by being my disciple, by submitting to me, by forgetting about everything else like traditions, etiquette, personal choices, public opinion etc, to follow me.
You pursue me for acceptance, but Mary pursues me for a relationship. Do you think I should take that away from her?”
“Be my follower, not my fan!”
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Taken from the Bible, New Living Translation, Luke 10:38-42,
38. As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” 41. But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42. There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”