Luke 10:40-42 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (NLT)
How many of you have a cell phone? I read an article recently that said six out of ten parents of children ages 8 to 12 have bought their child a cell phone. Wow! That’s more than half! I also read that nine out of ten adults have a cell phone. That is amazing, isn’t it? It seems that we think we can’t go anywhere without a phone anymore. I know that it will not be news to you that making phone calls isn’t the only thing we do with our smart phones. We send text messages, emails, take pictures, play games, listen to music, and look up things on the Internet—just to name a few!
Now I wouldn’t go so far as to say that cell phones are bad, but if we are not careful they can keep us from paying attention to some very important things that are going on around us. For example, have you ever seen someone talking on the phone while driving? Of course you have! That isn’t very safe, is it? Have you ever been talking to a friend when their phone rang? What happened? My guess is that they probably answered their phone. That isn’t very polite, is it? Have you ever seen a family enter a restaurant and just as soon as they sat down, everyone took out their cell phone? I have! That’s real quality family time, isn’t it?
Being distracted isn’t anything new and phones aren’t the only cause. In Jesus’ day, they didn’t even have phones, but that didn’t keep them from being distracted. Our Bible lesson today tells a story about a woman who became distracted when Jesus was a guest in her home.
Jesus was in the village of Bethany where his friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived. Jesus went to their home to visit and Martha invited him in and began to prepare dinner. Her sister Mary just sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to the words he had to say. The Bible says that Martha was distracted by all the preparation that had to be made. She became upset with her sister and went to Jesus and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” Jesus said, “you are worried and upset about many things. But there is one thing that is the most important and Mary has discovered it.” Martha was doing her best to make Jesus feel welcome in her home, but Mary had discovered something more important. What was that thing that Mary had discovered? It was sitting at the feet of Jesus and receiving his words into her heart.
It is important for you and me to be careful that we don’t get so busy “doing things for Jesus” that we forget to listen to his words and take them into our heart. That is the most important thing!