Who is Martha and what can we learn from her not sitting at the feet of Jesus?

Martha, Mary and Lazarus' sister, has a lot of things to tell.Pixabay

The Bible contains accounts of people who have seen and heard the Lord in their lives.

One such person had the privilege to see the Lord Jesus make a miracle and serve Him personally. This person, a woman, is named Martha.

Who is Martha and what can we learn from her? 

A woman who was contented to welcome Jesus

Luke 10:38-42, probably one of the most famous Bible stories among many believers, tells us about Martha and her sister Mary and the time they welcomed the Lord Jesus Christ in their home.

We all know that in this account, Martha and Mary had different priorities:

"And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving." (see Luke 10:39-40)

While Martha was the one who welcomed Christ in her home (see Luke 10:38), Mary was the one who sat at His feet and listened to Him. Martha was busy serving Him and His disciples.

Friends, while it is good for us to invite Christ in our lives and even into our homes, we must always remember to go further and do more than just invite Him.

A sinner's prayer won't be enough. Sitting in church pews every Sunday won't be enough either. Even spending much time "serving God in ministry" won't do.

We've got to sit down at His feet, listen to Him, and do as He says. (see John 14:15)

A woman who was corrected

When God corrects us, the rebuke or correction may not seem pleasant or desirable, but when it bears fruit in us we will become increasingly Christ-like (see Romans 8:29; Revelation 3:19; Hebrews 12:7-11).

Martha received such a correction, one that lovingly went out of the Lord's lips:

"Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." (see Luke 10:41-42)

How many of us need such a correction! We tend to worry about many things: provisions, the future, problems, even the opinions of others.

Christ, however, wants us to know that only "one thing is necessary:"

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)

When God rebukes or corrects us, we should not be angry at Him nor resent the discipline He gives to us. These are meant to make us more Christ-like and free.

A woman who knew the Son of God

Martha was one of the privileged few who literally, personally, and physically, interacted with the Savior of the world. What a wonderful thing that is!

John 11:1-44 gives us the literally life-giving account of Christ calling Lazarus, Martha's brother, out from the grave.

This chapter tells us that "Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus" (see John 11:5).

This chapter tells us that although Mary once sat at Jesus' feet while Martha was busy serving, "when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house." (see John 11:20)

This chapter tells us that Jesus Himself assured Martha that He is the life:

"Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?" She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world."" (John 11:25-27)

This chapter also tells us that Jesus again corrected her faith:

"Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days." Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?"" (John 11:39-40)

Talk about having Jesus Christ as your teacher (in fact, He is the Teacher of us all through the Word and the Spirit (see John 16:13-15).

In closing

We may have known Martha as Mary's sister, one who didn't sit down at the feet of Jesus. We may have known her as one who was too concerned about public opinion and serving others.

We may have known her this way, but we should also know how much God loved her: that Jesus would correct her and teach her the right beliefs and priorities, and would continue loving her even when she wasn't like her sister Mary.