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Mary and Martha were both right: A Devotion from Luke 10:38-42

By Rob Connelly
April 17, 2012 2:22 pm EST

Topics: Devotions for Church Technical Servants

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Are you the get ‘er done person for your church? Or are you more the introspective thoughtful type? Does the other type of person grate on your nerves? Does your love for Christ have both expressions? Jesus teaches us that his disciples are to be both active servants and reflective learners.

Read Luke 10:38-42

38 While they were traveling, He entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet and was listening to what He said.

The first thing to note here is the invitation by Martha to Jesus into her home. It seems that Martha has taken the initiative in service from the beginning in this way by offering Jesus hospitality as he was in a new place. It is interesting that this is the first mention of the two sisters who both “sat at the Lord’s feet”, so it is difficult to know how they came to know about Jesus, though it is possible that they knew him by reputation before he entered their village. Either way, both sisters evidently wasted little time placing themselves under Jesus as his disciple.

40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.”

Apparently, the two sisters took differing approaches to following the Lord, at least on this occasion. While Mary sits at the feet of Jesus, Martha was “distracted” by what she saw as those things that “had to be done” in order for the day to go correctly. She then directly compares her own service to what she sees as laziness on the part of her sister Mary – even going so far as to demand that Jesus rebuke Mary!

Application: In church technology there are many tasks, and they are all “urgent” and they can easily distract us from the main thing – following Jesus.

41 The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Application: Jesus is by no means teaching here that servant is not of extreme value to the kingdom. However he is instructing us:

Discipleship should be marked by both service and stillness; doing and being.

While we should encourage one another towards the balance of these two facets of discipleship, Jesus is very clear that when faced with the choice between serving God and showing him our adoration by being “at His feet”, the later is the correct choice.

We must be careful not to judge differing personalities of others (which will manifest themselves in the form discipleship takes for each person) within our church, staff, or ministry. While we are to address sin redemptively according to the Scriptures, we must not, as Martha does, look down upon the form discipleship takes in the lives of others. Martha’s accusatory tone also shows that the motive for her service may be less than pure.

In church technology it is our role to get things done: prepare, execute, administrate, create, maintain, repair, train, etc. This passage is in no way refuting this type of service in the church. However, Jesus is teaching us clearly that these functions are not valuable apart from a personal devotion to Christ as his disciple – which requires that we take time to sit at his feet, listen, and be still.

Discussion Questions:

1) If your Christian life (public and private) were to be recorded, how much of the content would center on things you did for Jesus, and how much would center on who you were as his follower (i.e. time you spent in stillness, mediation, Bible absorption, prayer, and study)?

2) How can our technology team(s) be better structured to help us strive for this balance in our personal walks with Christ?


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I love this article about Mary and Mary. I don't understand the "text messages" please translate them for me.

By Erma Reid | January 07, 2015


All entries for this blog:

  Mary and Martha were both right: A Devotion from Luke 10:38-42

  Gear Worship:  A Devotion from Deuteronomy 4:25-31

  The Power of Faith: a Devotion from Luke 8:40-56

  Starting The New Year Right in Technology Ministry

  The Awe of Christmas

  Working Out Our Salvation in Technology Ministry:  A Devotion from Philippians 2:12-13

  A Thanksgiving Primer For Church Tech Servants

  How Does Christ Impact Your Technology Ministry? A Devotion from Philippians 2:5-11

  Thorny Issues: Whether or Not to Pay Audio, Video, and Lighting Techs

  Unity Of The Body Via Humility of Its Members: A Devotion From Philippians 2:1-4

  On Leading and Being Lead: Leading Difficult People

  Mistakes Small Churches Make: Unhealthy and Unhelpful Comparisons With Others

  On Leading and Being Lead: Five Ways to Cultivate Trust and Communication

  Servant-hood as Greatness

  Mistakes Small Churches Make (A Series): The Panic-Driven Band-Aid

  Putting on the Gospel: A Devotion From Colossians 3:12-17

  Dealing With Negative Feedback From The Congregation

  Bread, Fish, and Church Technology Matthew 14:13-21

  Serving The Body of Christ Romans 12:3-8

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