This is devotion one from our Draw in Nearer workbook which is available for purchase on Amazon.
Luke 10:38-42 (NKJV)
Mary and Martha
38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore, tell her to help me.”
41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Jesus and his disciples often traveled. As they traveled, they would often stay at the homes of fellow believers. During each visit, Jesus would fellowship with the families He stayed with. Jesus had stayed with Mary and Martha on other travels before. He cared for their family very much. Earlier in His ministry Jesus had actually raised their brother Lazarus from the dead.
Mary and Martha both loved Jesus very deeply.
Meaning behind their names: Martha means ‘lady of the house’ Mary means ‘wise woman’ or ‘lady’; it is a Greek form of the Hebrew Miriam or Mariam.
You may find it is interesting that the sister with the "wise" name was the one who showed true wisdom in this situation when she chose to sit at the feet of Jesus.
Thoughts from Leslie
It is important to note that God deeply desires for each one of us to draw nearer to Him. We saw this as we read the story of Mary and Martha. Our Heavenly Father truly does LOVE us. He sincerely wants to be close to us. This may seem like a small detail at first, but it is not. This is a HUGE and VITAL realization! Think about it, why would any of us choose to move closer to someone that does not care about us? I don't know about you, but I never want to intentionally move closer to someone if they do not want me near to them. I never want to feel like I am a burden or imposition on anyone. Knowing that my Lord and Savior truly does want me near to Him helps me be both willing and eager to spiritually move closer to Him.
Let's reflect upon the story of Mary and Martha
Reflection Number One:
God WANTS us near to Him.
Jesus has come to the home of Mary and Martha.
What is His purpose in being there? Let's look closely to find the answer.
Jesus and His disciples are traveling. They do not own houses in the different towns in which they travel, so they choose to stay with other believers.
It is important to note that Jesus does not NEED to stay with anyone as He travels. He is the Son of God! He actually created the entire world and everything in it simply by speaking it into existence. Reflecting on this fact helps us to realize that
Jesus could have chosen to simply speak the words and He could have provided food and shelter for both Himself and His companions at any time without needing to stay with anyone.
Not long before arriving at the home of Mary and Martha, Jesus had fed 5,000 people with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. This should prove to us that He definitely had the ability to personally provide everything that He and His disciples would ever need during their travels in the same exact way.
It is imperative that we understand that Jesus chose to abide with others not because He NEEDED to, but because He WANTED to. He invites us to abide with Him today for the same reason.
This fact should help us realize that Jesus truly does DESIRE to STAY CLOSE to us.
Reflection Number Two:
We do not need to "earn our spot" before we draw nearer to God.
Jesus wants for us to stay close to Him not because He needs our hands, but simply because He desires our heart.
It is important for us to realize that there is nothing that we can do to earn our spot near Jesus. This realization is sometimes difficult for us to believe. In this crazy world, we begin to believe that LOVE is something we must earn. This warped thinking tricks us into believing that the one who works the hardest for Jesus is the one who will be chosen to abide in His presence.
It is this thinking that makes most of us relate to Martha in this story. As we read these verses many of us find ourselves feeling sorry for hard working Martha and maybe even a little angry at her sister Mary.
Isn't it sad that as women we tend to believe that acts earn love? Women, as a whole, grow up thinking that that the best way to make someone love them is by serving them more and more.
Serving others is definitely important. The problem comes when we try to base and grow a relationship simply through works. Relationships are built through quality time spent with another. Doing things for people should never replace quality time spent with them. This is the big takeaway from the story of Mary and Martha. Serving will never move us closer to someone, it will only make us feel more needed. God doesn't need any of us. He desires for each of us to abide with Him, because He loves us not because He needs us! Because of this, drawing closer to Jesus can only be accomplished by becoming less like Martha and more like Mary.
As we continue in this study let's focus our attention on reflecting upon the beliefs and actions of Mary. Like Mary, we must first believe that Jesus truly does desire to be near to us. She believed that Jesus wanted to spend time with her so she intentionally chose to move closer to Him.
Next, let's take note that Mary did not try to earn her spot at the feet of Jesus. We must realize the same. To truly be near to Jesus, we must focus less on work and more on fellowship. It is important that each of us truly understand that it is God's LOVE that calls and allows us to come to Him. We do not earn our new spot by the work of our hands!
Our God longs to have a personal relationship with each one of us just as He did so many years ago with Mary and Martha. He is reaching out for us to come closer. Isn't this AMAZING!!!!
Now let's sit and color as we reflect upon God's great love for us.
Jesus is calling you to draw near...
Will you sit quietly at his feet and absorb his love?