We too often do not listen deeply to another person’s soul, because we think we already have a “good enough” understanding. Husbands and wives sometimes grow apart because they are not listening to the other. This is a skill to be practiced but never mastered, because we can always improve. This skill is hindered when we are so full of our own ideas and thoughts we do not listen. Mary had an unassuming attitude, she was listening. “… Mary, who was also seated at the Lord’s feet, and was listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do the serving by myself? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “ Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; but only one thing is necessary; for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:39-42).
Martha’s attitude is one of getting things done for the Lord. After all, any women who invites over 13 preachers to dinner has her hands full! If she is cooking chicken, she has her work cut out for her. She obviously thought she was in the right, because she complained to the Lord about about Mary. The reader of Luke’s gospel is rather stunned that Jesus took Mary’s side of the argument. Surely Martha was a bit stunned too. But Luke leaves out of the story the specific reason at hand, why Martha was so distracted. It seems to me, the exact cause was left out on purpose to illustrate one main point. What does Jesus want? Please stop. Please ask this question like you never asked this question before now. What does Jesus want? Really? What does the Lord desire of us as a person or a church? If Martha became a church and Mary became a church what would they look like? Would not Martha’s church assume they know what the Lord wants, plus be overly critical of Mary’s church who was focusing “too much time” deeply listening to the words of Jesus. So let us determine to sit quietly like Mary, unassumingly, intently, without distractions, to find out what Jesus truly wants. Isn’t this choosing the “good part”? Paul said, “trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.” (Eph. 5:10). Help us Lord, to be better listeners. Let us practice with our spouses, children, parents, and friends. Then when it comes time to listen to Jesus, we will use this skill when it counts the most.