Scripture: Luke 10:39-42
Text: “…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.” (Luke 10:42)
This text depicts the original state of Martha’s Christianity, as it does our own today.
Martha started out naturally anxious because of what she considered to be her many responsibilities of taking care of the family. However, balancing her life became an issue that she could not handle, until Jesus taught her how to set her priorities right. We know that eldership or leadership comes with its own responsibilities and pressure. Martha too felt the pressure to serve, but focused more on the responsibilities of service than her soul. Thank God, after such teaching, Martha broke forth into a new life as head of her household.
Let’s begin by examining some of the words that make up the topic set before us.
Breaking Forth: To emerge, to spring up, to come out of …
New Life: A life that is found only in Jesus Christ, when He makes old things to pass away and makes everything new. Before we call something new, it means that thing was in a old state before.
Head of Household: The person who is saddled with the responsibility of leading the family, either by the reason of being the eldest or virtue of situations.
“Commentators suggest that Martha was the oldest of the siblings. Martha presided as hostess in Luke’s account. She attended to serving the meal. She expressed a sense of disappointment that her sister had not been helpful enough in getting the meal together.
“The narrative seems to suggest the home belonged to Martha and being older than Mary and Lazarus, she carried out the responsibility of all connected with household affairs….””
“Some psychologists believe a person’s personality is influenced by his/her order of birth. Their studies suggest that first-born children tend to be more responsible and conscientious than siblings born later. First-born children tend to be socially dominant and perfectionists. Psychologists surmise that early in life, first-born children are given responsibility for younger siblings and they’d maintain favor with their parents by performing their duties.”
This is where Martha (as head of household), ministry leaders and all heaven-bound Christians need to be very careful, so as to avoid being so engrossed in taking care of other people and things but to the point of self-neglect. Our General Overseer, Dr. Paul Obadare said, “Martha had a lot of outward activities but without inner fulfillment. Christ sees this as worry for much but void of the needful. Hence He taught Martha that the attention we give Jesus is more worthwhile than any activity.”
Take wives and mothers for instance, they work so strenuously to purchase and prepare meals, then serve their husbands and children first before taking care of themselves. Often by the time they finally are ready to eat, they either have lost appetite or no longer able to enjoy the meal.
This is what happens to Christian leaders who apportion more time and attention to the ministry of works than the work of ministry. WeThis is done day after day until Saturday night, then one starts looking for what to preach on Sunday. This is not only a disservice to God’s people, it is surely detrimental to our own spiritual growth. We need to break forth from this state.
As an administrator, has people or office management taken more of your attention than your own spiritual management? Jesus said that Mary chose a better thing – paying attention and listening to the word of God, than catering more to the temporary and fleshly forms of satisfaction. This is not to say that hospitality is unnecessary, but Jesus wanted Martha to understand that there is time for everything.
Speaking of “Breaking Forth In A New Life As The Head of Household,” one must assume that Martha broke forth into a new life of putting her priorities straight as far as her soul was concerned, after Jesus said to her that, “…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.” (Luke 10:42) It seemed that Martha from that time on began to exhibit so much faith in Christ Jesus, as shown in her statement when her brother Lazarus died, that her faith was rewarded right away by Jesus bringing her brother back to life. She said, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask…” (John 11:21–27).
A good example of someone who broke into a new life was Paul the Apostle who started as a persecutor but ended as a proclaimer of the gospel (1 Timothy 1:12-15). Notice that Paul was not spending his time on stealing or fornicating. He actually was doing something that he thought was worthwhile, but to God, He was doing contrary to godliness. I pray that you too will receive a new life in Jesus name.
It is clear that Apostle Paul understood what Jesus was telling Martha. That was why he wrote, “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” Hebrews 6:1-2 NKJV
This is the same sense he portrays in 2 Cor. 3:16-18 saying, “But whensoever it shall turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 ASV
This is what Jesus expects from all His followers: that we harken unto His voice and make the necessary changes in our lives. Martha has now learnt that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of our Lord (Matt. 4:4).
Jesus would say, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matt. 6:33. Here He teaches us to set priorities, noting that the kingdom of God is first among them.
When you begin to set priorities, you begin to break forth into new life of productivity and fruitfulness.
Begin to write down what you want to achieve per day,but ensure you begin with the Lord, asking Him to lead you in your endeavors.
One of the biggest struggles in the modern workplace is knowing how to prioritize work. Workloads are ballooning and everything feels important. However, the truth is that a lot of the work we do every day doesn’t really need to be done. At least not right away…
Learning how to prioritize means getting more out of the limited time you have each day. It’s one of the cornerstones of productivity and once you know how to properly prioritize, it can help with everything from your time management to work life balance…
When you prioritize your work properly, you’re guaranteed to have a good day. Hitting the end of the day and seeing that you’ve knocked out some important work is an amazing feeling.
Dr. Paul said we should note that “Jesus was not saying that Martha was not doing the right thing, but informed her that at that particular time, she needed was to pursue and sit at the master’s feet.
Though we are saturated with practical activities, we must pursue to balance our relationship with Jesus, to ensure that we are spending time with Him as His servants. When we do this, the practical aspects of our lives will become simple.”
For one to break into a new life
1) One must accept teaching / instruction
2) One must know that there is always a new way of doing things
3) One must be willing to change and grow
Mary knew from the onset what was more important, but thank God, Martha later learnt it and broke forth into new life. It is never too late for you to change, act now.
God bless you.
 Mary Hendren, “Birth-Order Reasoning: Martha and Mary,” WomenFromThe BookBlog, September 4, 2012, https://womenfromthebook.com/2012/09/04/birth-order-reasoning-martha-and-mary/.
 Jory Mackay, “The “everything Is Important” Paradox: 7 Practical Methods for How to Prioritize Work,” RescueTime:Blog, July 17, 2018, https://blog.rescuetime.com/how-to-prioritize/.