When we read the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10, we often read it as “Be more like Mary. Be less like Martha.” But, instead, what if we looked at it as “Be like Jesus.”
Speak to people as Jesus does.
Serve people as Jesus does.
Extend grace to people as Jesus does.
Love people as Jesus does.
What does speaking like Jesus look like? Well… Jesus doesn’t yell at Martha. Jesus gently corrects her: “Martha, Martha.” I imagine Jesus would speak to me the same way if He was correcting me face to face: “Hannah, Hannah, let it go and turn to me. I am all that matters sweet child.” We, too, can take this approach when practicing correction. Think about the radically different results we would obtain if we addressed others like Jesus addressed Martha- opposed to our normal accusatory, condescending, passive aggressive responses…
What does serving like Jesus look like? In the first place, Jesus was there to serve. He was traveling, teaching, preaching, and serving others. In the moment, He was serving the sisters by sharing His word with them. Today, and always, we can serve others in the same way. We can share the gospel with those around us.
What does extending grace like Jesus look like? To us, what Martha said about Mary and to Jesus could easily be offensive. But Jesus wasn’t offended and Martha’s words didn’t change the way Jesus felt about her. As we saw, He gently corrected her with a kind tone. He extended His overflowing well of grace and moved on. He loved her the same, He continued on in her home the same, He talked TO HER and ABOUT HER the same, and in the end He died for her the same. We need to mimic Christ’s response. We need to be quick to extend our hand in grace, and we most definitely need to watch how we talk to and about others.
What does loving like Jesus look like? Just as Jesus loved both sisters, He loves all sinners, despite their sin- despite their offensiveness- despite their messed up priorities and perspectives. Simply put, Jesus loved and loves people- intentionally and unconditionally. It isn’t easy in an imperfect world to love perfectly- it isn’t even possible. But it is worth the try, and it is what we’re called to.
Be more like Jesus.
“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42 KJV