I admit to having a lot of sympathy for Martha, who did the household chores and made dinner while her sister Mary sat listening at Jesus’ feet (see Luke 10:38–42). If, like me, you’ve been a working mother of three young children, without help at home, you know that meals must be cooked, clothes must be washed, and the house must be cleaned. And it can sometimes seem burdensome and unfair, especially if you see someone like Mary, sitting around talking and listening, and not helping with the chores.
Martha must have thought that she was doing what was right, in bringing up this seeming inequity to Jesus. But he replied, “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” (Luke 10:41, 42).
Surely, Jesus loved Martha as much as he loved Mary. He could not have been rebuking Martha’s sense of duty, responsibility, and helpfulness, nor could he have been condoning any sense of selfishness, thoughtlessness, or laziness that Martha perceived as Mary’s behavior.