Take the time to read all of Luke 10:38-41. There are many things that we can glean from this passage. As your read this, be aware of some of the emotions and attitudes that are present in the characters in this scene. Martha is obviously stressed. “Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.” The Greek word for “distracted” is defined by Vine’s Expository Dictionary as: “to be driven about mentally, to be distracted, to be over-occupied, too busy, about a thing.” Martha was so focused on “doing the ministry perfectly” that she took her focus off of Jesus. It is very easy to become distracted in this way. All our time, thoughts, and energy go into helping our family, others in need, our job, the church or a particular ministry. We want to do everything “just right” so that God and everyone will be pleased and ministered to.
Subtly our focus gets pulled off of listening and following Jesus and placed on “the work” we are doing. It is no longer being done through His power, in His way and timing, for His glory. When we take our acts of serving “into our own hands,” rather than first seeking Him as to “what to do, how to do it, with whom to do it, and when to do it,” we easily get worried and upset. Yes, Martha became angry at her sister and was judging her and being critical. When we do not consistently and daily meditate on God’s character and seek His will, power, wisdom, grace, and love, we too will become “distracted” and succumb to anger, bitterness, criticism and judgment, self-righteousness, self-pity, and worry.
Freedom from these attitudes and emotions comes when our focus is on Christ and not the ministry, our earthly needs, or what others are doing. Bring your “busy day” to God and ask Him what He has to teach you today. I am sure that if Martha had taken the time to ask the Lord if she should stay and listen or go prepare the meal, He would have encouraged her to join her sister and learn from Him. Then she would have gone into her ministry of preparing a meal for all of them with joy, peace, and strength.