Are You a Mary or a Martha?

Women were prominent in the ministry of Christ. They often supported Jesus out of their substance (Luke 8:1-3). In this group, Mary Magdalen is listed. In our post-Puritan age, she is often falsely said to be a mistress of Christ. It is sad but in today's world, Platonic relationships are no longer considered possible. A male and a female can no longer be just friends -- they must be friends with benefits. Two males batching together today, once considered normal, would today, be instantly suspected of being homosexuals. A white wedding dress can no longer imply a virgin is being married. Although being "sexually active" before marriage seems to be considered "normal" - it does not change the fact that sex outside of marriage is fornication and that such shall not inherit the Kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21). Although this sad picture of immorality painted by TV and Media may well be false -- this is the perception presented to our young people. Sincere followers of Christ will in truth follow the high standards presented in the Gospel by preachers of righteousness in the 21st century as they did in the 1stcentury.

 Let us consider two sisters in the New Testament, Mary and Martha. They lived in Bethany, about two miles East of Jerusalem. They had a brother named Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead (John 11). This raising of Lazarus was shortly before His own resurrection and convinced the multitudes of His claim to be the Messiah and Son of God. Jesus, as well as His apostles often visited their home (Luke 10:38-42).

 As was His custom, Jesus was teaching about His coming kingdom or church (Matthew 16:18). Mary had slipped away from her duties and was absorbing the spiritual truths being taught by Christ (Luke 10:38-42). Martha, as was normal for women, was concerned about serving her guests. She approached Jesus, expecting Him to chide her sister, Mary, for leaving it all to her. Jesus takes the opportunity, as He often does, to point out the difference between the material and the spiritual things in this life (verses 39-41). In His great Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus emphasized this same truth (chapter 6:24-34). He starts the segment by pointing out we cannot serve two masters -- God and Mammon (wealth or riches); He then points out we are not to be concerned about food and clothing (verse 31); and concludes by admonishing, "seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (verse 33).

 Jesus points out, Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:42). In other words, make sure you are laying up for yourselves treasures in heaven -- for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:20-21). Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 sums up life, "Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." In conclusion, are you a Mary or a Martha?

 Dale I. Royal, Elk City OK