Read Luke 10:38-42 with your family.
The story of Mary & Martha has often been seen as a housework story, because people in past decades and centuries thought that was what “women’s work” meant. They were wrong, so we have a history of not understanding either Mary or Martha.
Mary and Martha were sisters, and were friends and disciples of Jesus. Martha set up a ‘house church’, which meant people gathered to worship in her home (they didn’t have church buildings at the time), and she had some responsibility for that worship. In Greek (not translated into the English versions of the Bible, unfortunately), her work was called ‘Diakonos‘ which meant ministry. Martha was a minister in the church that met in her house.
Mary, we are told ‘sat at the feet of Jesus’, which was an idiom that meant she was a student or disciple of Jesus and went with Jesus wherever he was, continuing to study and work with him on the road.
Martha was stressed about the work of her church and wanted Mary’s help, so she asked Jesus to intervene. Jesus said no… Mary had her calling, which was different than Martha’s, but just as important.
Anyone who tells you this is a story of Martha wanting Mary’s help in the kitchen does not know the real story.
Read John 12:108 with your family.
Have you ever heard on the news or around town, people saying we shouldn’t help people we don’t know, those in other countries for example, we should help those here at home? And did you realize these complainers really didn’t want to help the people at home either, they just wanted a distraction.
Judas gives us that distraction in this lesson. He wasn’t really interested in helping the poor.
Mary and Jesus were very close friends, and she knew what Jesus was facing when he went into Jerusalem. She knew he would probably die. So together they shared a moment of friendship, a moment of relaxation where she made his tired feet feel and smell better. She wants Jesus to know he mattered.
Mary reminds us not to wait until after someone is gone to show them how important they are to us.