Jesus had great affection for Martha, her sister Mary, and her brother Lazarus (John 11:5). One day He sent word to them that He and His disciples were coming to visit. The women started preparing their home, as there was a lot to accomplish before the men arrived. Martha, however, in all her busyness, lost sight of the importance of spending time with the Lord.
But let us not be quick to judge her. We know that in our relationship with Jesus, He is to have first place above all else in life. Thoughts, attitudes, and actions are to flow out of our intimate connection with Him. But, as we have all no doubt discovered, this is not easy to do. Our own selfish nature clamors for supremacy, and the world with all its temptations encourages us to indulge ourselves. Even while carrying out the Lord’s work, we can lose sight of our first priority—deepening our intimacy with Christ.
When Jesus arrived, Mary stopped what she was doing so she could listen to His words and learn from Him. Martha, distracted by all that was still to be done, kept working. The Lord affirmed Mary’s choice to be with Him and urged Martha to follow her sister’s example. Both women expressed their love and care for Jesus through their actions, but Mary chose the better way.
Nothing should supersede the believer’s relationship with Christ; both character and conduct should reflect His likeness (Eph. 4:24). During Jesus’ visit, Martha—with the best of intentions—let her service for Him become more important than time with Him. If friends observed your life, what would they say matters most to you?