Mary or Martha?

By Gerry Wakeland

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her.” Luke 11:41 – 42

There were so many great illustrations in this section of Luke that it was hard for me to choose just one that had impacted my life, but the story of Mary and Martha really hits home for me.

For the first half of my life I was a textbook Martha. My husband and I entertained a lot. We hosted large family gatherings, parties for his clients, and numerous block parties for the neighbors. I was the one that planned and prepared and he was the more social of the two of us. He was far more interested in relationships and I was far more concerned about hosting the perfect party.

Following a gathering one night I was in the kitchen unloading the third load of dishes. He came in, leaned against the door frame and said, “You didn’t come out of the kitchen all night.” To which I responded, “Someone has to keep food on the table and the mess under control.” He looked at me oddly and replied, “People don’t come to our house just for food and drinks. They want to visit with us, with you.”

That night I learned that loving and caring for others is more than just feeding them. It means spending time with them, giving them your undivided attention.

In a way that was what Jesus was saying in Luke 11:41-42. He was not interested in Martha’s to do list. He did not care about the cleanliness of her house or the banquet she had planned. All He wanted was to have a loving relationship with her. Mary got it. Martha didn’t.

Some of us spend too much time worrying about what we are going to say to Jesus and when and where we are going to spend time with Him.

In reality, we need to stop planning and preparing and just come and sit at His feet.

Can you do that? Will you do that? It might actually change your life. It did mine.

Learn more about NT8 at AFBC here.


  1. I agree Gerry. We (I) spend a lot of time preparing, planning time with Christ, trying to imagine what it should look like. This is a great reminder not to miss the party while planning it.

  2. I had so much peace today when I read this post. I worry a great deal about spending time with God. It is a need I can trust Him to take care of and provide for. I just need to come to Him. Thank you, Gerry.

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