Martha or Mary – Who Are You?

martha mary jesus

Bible Study Topic on Luke 10: 38-42

We often host many international students from the University at our home. My wife usually prepares a wonderful, delicious and hot meal that all students would relish. But one thing that always bothers me is the time she would spend in the kitchen preparing for the food, snacks, coffee or tea, when the students are over. She has a wonderful personality, along with great leadership and communication skills. She can bring many insights in our conversations which I usually have with students. But because of her work in the kitchen she would miss out on all these opportunities.

Similar story was played out during Jesus’ visit to Martha and Mary’s home. It seems likely that Martha was the elder sister, and she being the host was busy with all the preparations that needed to be done.

Distracted, Dissatisfied, Disturbed

Martha was disturbed that she was doing all the hard work while her sister was idly sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to him. So she went to Jesus and complained to Jesus about her. She thought that Jesus would tell Mary to get up and do some real work!

 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40)

Better Choice

What was Jesus’ reply? Jesus did not take Mary’s side. He lovingly asked Martha to set her priority right. He answered.

“few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10: 42)

Today, we live in an extremely busy life style. We have to constantly juggle between work pressures, home projects, church responsibilities, Kids schedules and many more. And in all these, we often compromise (or sacrifice) our daily time with the Lord. We often think that God knows what we are going through, He understands our pressures.

Surely, God knows an understands everything. But this story is a reminder that we need to set our priorities right. Our first and foremost choice must be our daily quiet time with God, everything else can come after that. Everything else can wait. This is not some legalistic thing that we need to follow. But we need to do so because it is a “better choice”.

Time spent at the feet of Jesus is never wasted time. It is an incredibly invested time. It is my own personal experience, when I allocate time with the Lord from my busy schedule, Lord always returns back even more time. All of sudden, I seem to have that little extra time for other chores. The clock seems to be ticking little slower! The problems or issues that I am working on, gets fixed quickly. It might just be my perception or a coincidence, but I have noticed that more time I spend with God, more of these coincidences happen! Jesus emphasized the similar approach in Matthew 6:33.

Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”


What about you? Are you ‘distracted’ by the work for the Lord, that you don’t have time to sit at his feet and listen to him? Will you take time from your busy schedule daily to be with God in his words?


  1. La Tawng LASHUN says

    Bible society Group
    thank you very much for this opportunity.
    But, no time and very difficult Net connection in my country.
    So, how should i continue to learn bible and give me your ideas please.

    Thanks a lot,

    La Tawng

  2. pastor kingsley chinedu says

    God bless & more years ahead! Am really enjoying all your topics, they really makes sense.

  3. emoni cleansman says

    it ia a great joy to sit at the feet of Jesus. i am blessed with the message. i love you.

  4. Franca says

    I thank God richly for what i have learnt from bibleseo. I used it for my house fellowship meetings. Thanks and remain blessed in the Lord.

  5. REDENNA TATE says


  6. Cynthia says

    This is a amazing story and request. God is able and I want more than ever to be able to put God first in evwrything I do .I know that getting up in the mornings and thanking him for sparing my life once again isnt enough i want to be able to sit at the foot of Jeus and talk a lil long with him, he’s my all and all. Hallelujah!

  7. Pamela says

    Thanks so much for reminding me of the lesson Jesus taught Martha. His word is food for my soul and I get so weak when I am not reading the word. Not only does it lift me up it gives me strength to carry on. God Bless!

  8. Angie Clevenger says

    Just last night i prayed for disernment that god would show how to deal with the distractions of my day so i could spend time with him, then this morning he lead me to you, Thank you all may God bless your work as you help us

  9. Sunny says

    Very thankful that you are doing this study. Jesus is our life and I am so thankful I found your site. I love the Word, and reading the Bible, but alas I don’t read it daily as I should. By not reading the Bible more I lose out on so much. Joy, thanksgiving, discernment, these are just some of the thinks I miss out on. Your message on Martha and Mary, is most diffidently an eye opener. I am more like Martha. We need to LEARN how to be more like Mary.
    Thank you and God bless you beyond your dreams

  10. joy nsofor says

    Thanks God for this message, I’ve learn enough lessons. The Lord will continue to increase you in Jesus name

  11. Daniel Munu says

    I thak all those who put these study materials together and those who one way or the other are supporting the continity of this website, may God Almighty continue to bless you and your generation. These study materials have been a blessing to me, my family and my church.

  12. Cynthia brown says

    Spending quiet time with God without distraction is most rewarding. The word seems so much clearer and the Holy Spirit will give us understanding. If we just read just to say I read a scripture, that word is soon forgotten. If we dig deeper the more we want to know and that word stays as we meditate on it and apply to our lives. Thank God for the word and giving us understanding.

  13. Kenetha says

    Wow I certainly hope I am more like Mary I have worked so hard almost all my life Married at 18 by the time I was 26 I had six children And you know it requires a lot of work raising children and family . But after reading Mary or Martha I will be sitting at the feet of Jesus more often. Be blessed

  14. Amit Christian says

    Wow. You had your hands full. It truly is a great work to raise children and family, it is a ministry in itself.

  15. Amit Christian says


    It is so true, and yet many of us (including myself) put aside personal daily quiet time, for more ‘urgent’ and ‘important’ things!

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