The Better Part I

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 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!”
 “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 away from her.”
Luke 10: 38-42

This has to be one of my favorite passages in the Bible. I don't know why, but I've fallen in love with the story of Mary and Martha more and more and ultimately the story of Jesus interacting with them. I've also been reading a book called "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" that has been really good and has so many points and things that have been challenging and just really good. So I'm going to dive into this passage as well as a few others in some upcoming posts and talk about things I've learned in the book, etc. 

Let's start with the beginning. Martha. Welcoming Jesus into her home and scurrying around with preparations.  Mary. Sitting attentively at his feet clinging to his every word. Martha, upset at her sister for not helping, comes scurrying into where they were reclining and quite boldly says "Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” I can imagine Martha really wanted Jesus to sympathize with her and say "Sure. Come on everybody, let's all pitch in and help" or at least "Go ahead Mary. I'll be fine." But that's not what Jesus said. He said "You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed." Let's stop there for a second. 

Worried and distracted. This can describe a lot of us. In the book "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" the author was talking about the difference between concern and worry. She said 

                                 "Concern draws us to God, but worry pulls us from Him" 

Concern will make us run to God with our fears and questions, but worry will make us focus on our situation instead of focusing on the One who is in control of it. It's something that is so easy to fall into...the habit of worry. 

Now, let's move on to another area of this passage. Martha's openness. This was something I had never thought of before. But I think it's something we can learn a lot from. 

"Martha spoke her secret fear aloud and we can too. But, like Martha, we must stick around long enough to hear the sweet reassurance of his answer."
-Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World

Martha was bold in her question. "Lord, don't you care?" and Jesus wasn't mad or upset that she was that bold with Him. He wasn't offended that she was that straightforward. His response shows his gentle care and correction. I think the same is true for us. In Psalm 62:8 it says 

"Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge. " 

Pour out your heart before Him. Don't be afraid to tell Him all those secret fears, secret longings, secret failings. Don't be afraid to tell Him exactly how you're feeling. Don't be afraid to tell Him if you're upset with Him or doubting his goodness and love. But wait around for the sweet reassurance. Be like Martha who boldly questioned Him, but stuck around long enough to hear his answer. Because he truly does care about what we are feeling and He truly wants us to be completely honest with Him.

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
1 Peter 5:7 

And this is another aspect of it, but can't you totally relate to Martha? She thought it was unfair that she was doing all this service for Jesus while her sister just sat at his feet.  I struggle with this often. How life is just not fair. Why do I have this struggle and they don't? Why does life seem so easy for this person and not me? Why doesn't God make life fair? After all he is a just God, right? And yet sometimes we need to accept it. We need to understand that he knows life is rarely fair. He was the King of Kings without any sin and yet he was brutally killed. How fair was that?? But He saw the bigger picture. What good would come out of the injustice. And when we want to just scream "Lord, don't you care?" we must step back and see the bigger picture. We must trust Him so much that we can say "Thy will be done" even when life is not fair. And how do we gain that trust in Him? I was so impacted by this quote

"We only trust people we know. If you're having a hard time trusting God it may be because you don't really know God."
-Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World

Wow. If we're struggling in the area of trust the best thing we can do is to fill our mind with truth about who God is. That was such a thought provoking quote for me! 

So I know this is such a jumbled post, but I hope you learned something from this story! I'm going to have a couple more posts on Martha and Mary stories and I hope these posts will encourage and challenge you like they have me! Have a wonderful week! 


         "The fact is until we stop doubting God's goodness we can't experience God's love."


  1. What a beautiful post, Hannah! I love the story of Mary and Martha and what it teaches, and your points are very helpful for understanding things better! It's so neat how we can keep on learning new things from the Bible, no matter how many times we read it. :)
    I'm looking forward to your next posts! <3

    1. Thank you, Emily! I love it too and it's so helpful for getting things in perspective. And yes! I've thought of that too. How amazing that certain passages that we've heard tons of times can speak to us in a whole new way. It's so wonderful!

      Aww, thank you! <3

  2. Yes! Time and time again I am disturbed by how much I tend to be like Martha in my choices between work and rest. But I hadn't considered your second point before. Thanks for bringing it up!

    1. Yes, same! I find that I tend to forget what comes first (time with Jesus) and instead focus more on serving Him. It's something that is so important to remember!

      Thank you for commenting, Jordy!

  3. Beautiful post, Hannah! You wrote this wonderfully - I loved it. Keep on shining His light, girl :).

    ~ Savannah

    1. Aww, thank you Savannah! That encouraged me! <3


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