“The story of Mary and Martha, Luke Chapter Ten, Verses 38-42,” by Andrew J. Schatkin
My dear friends and thinkers and Christians and non-Christians and you of all faiths and views and opinions, I bid and ask you to join with me in another voyage of intellectual discovery where those who may wish to engage in critical thinking and do not choose to engage in and accept media lies falsehoods and political code words and hype can join with me in the effort to gain truth and facts amid the barrage of corruption and virtual darkness we are confronted with and befuddled and made effective fools of. I welcome you in this quest and task of attaining and coming to know intellectual honesty and honest discernment Join with me in this voyage of discovery to get at and find what is valid and authentic in this world of confusion and I ask you to come with me in tearing apart the curtain of lies and darkness that hides from us what is truth and facts.
I now propose to attempt to interpret and explain and perhaps seek to understand one of the most familiar of the gospel stories and narratives the story of Mary and Martha as they function and relate to the visit of Jesus to their abode. The story is found in the gospel of Luke chapter ten verses 38-42 as follows: “Now as they went on their way he entered a village and a woman named Martha received him into her house and she had a sister called Mary who sat at the lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was much distracted with much serving and she went to him and said, ‘lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion which shall not be taken away from her.’”
What are we to make of and understand of this event and incident in the life and ministry of Jesus? First, I think the proper interpretation is that Jesus, the son of god and savior and redeemer of the world, was present on the earth and among humanity for a very short period of time and Mary recognized his divinity mission and his divine calling nature and mission and so took the right course of sitting at his feet and listening to his teachings coming from the mind of god. Thus Mary in seizing the privilege of coming to know and listen to the words of the eternal god the savior and redeemer of all humanity recognized the truth she was presented in Christ and one might say took advantage of the opportunity she was presented with. Her decision and perception here was her seizing the moment of the divine truth of seeing and knowing the Christ and hearing the wisdom of god a once in a life time opportunity.
And what of Martha? Martha is annoyed at getting no help in serving and sees her sister having it easy while she is doomed to be a servant. She feels she is being treated badly by her sister who offers no help and complains to Jesus about it. She could be seen as jealous here. Jesus, however, corrects her and says and explains that Mary at sitting at the feet of god and listening to his words has taken the right course or rather her choice came from her proper recognition that when the son of god is and was present, all other matters are to be cast aside to sit at the feet of the living god and listen to his words of wisdom. Mary, Jesus teaches here, made the right choice and only possible choice and all things in the presence of the son of god and Christ must and will be set aside and the jealous annoyance of Martha that she has no help and is fated to be a server in this visit of god incarnate should not provoke this reaction of jealous anger and annoyance.
The presence of the son of god and his teaching and wisdom is not to be ignored and Mary took upon herself the correct priority. Jesus rebukes Martha’s value system. Jesus approves Mary’s choice of listening to god’s words of wisdom, or rather seizing the moment when this is possible. Jesus compares Mary’s choice with Martha’s choice of unnecessary hospitality. The house here is the church hosted by women in their houses. Jesus the guest here becomes the dominant figure or host. What is the lesson here? I think it is listening to Jesus’s words, the calling and vocation of all Christians.
I do hope that I have provided some understanding and grasp of the meaning and import of this passage from the gospel of Luke and do see it as an honor and privilege to have been given the opportunity to comment and provide some form of elucidation of the words of the living and true god and I urge you all to go back to the biblical text and read and reread the deep and profound words of the savior and redeemer of the world and the king of creation.