Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

COMMENTARY

But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things
Martha was very dedicated to taking care of the business of her home and serving her guests. Furthermore, she was feeling flustered because her sister was seated at the feet of the Savior instead of being as busy as she was.
I have always felt that Jesus’s response to Marth is very compassionate. I do not know the actual tone of his voice in the moment, but the doubly-repeated name is often used in the scriptures when showing great care and affection to the one being addressed. Beyond that he also shows immediate recognition for the care she has been showing to her duties.

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part
But then Jesus makes a definitive statement that what Mary is choosing to do with her time is greater than what Martha is choosing to do with hers. The fact is Martha is preoccupied with her chores by choice. She could also be choosing to sit with her sister and Jesus.
Sometimes errands are the right thing to prioritize, but sometimes they are a distraction. Sometimes we need to work hard and clear out the clutter that is blocking God’s light from reaching us, but sometimes the light is already there and we need to stop agitating and just bask in it!

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