“But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’” (Luke 10:40, ESV).
I have written on these verses in a previous post. In reading again through my previous post and this story from Dr. Luke’s gospel, I think I may have overlooked an important point.
It’s not that my former exposition was inaccurate. It’s not that my theology was incorrect.
It’s that there is just another element to the story that I need to emphasize….
Martha was taking care of Jesus and His entourage while they were visiting in her home, but her sister Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to His teaching. When Martha complained to Jesus about Mary’s irresponsible behavior, Jesus responded that Mary was doing what’s really important (vs. 42).
Although we want to be spiritual Mary’s, we’re really superficial Martha’s. We busy ourselves in doing good works and then don’t have have the time or energy to fulfill our spiritual calling.
“To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice” (Proverbs 21:3, NIV).
Sometimes we don’t behave consistently with what we believe–or we claim to believe. What we purport is not how we comport!
Our behavior is defined by our beliefs–what we really, really believe, not what we say we believe.
It’s called ethics.
When we are more concerned with pleasing others, going along, or not standing out from the crowd than we are about doing the right thing, then we compromise what we believe. We behave unethically.
And, it begs the question: If you don’t behave it, do you really believe it?
“So you talk, but you keep on doing all the evil you can” (Jeremiah 3: 5, NLT).
At the time of Jeremiah’s ministry, the northern kingdom of Israel had been captured and exiled by the Assyrians, and now over 100 years later, the southern kingdom, Judah, was about to be conquered by the Babylonians.