Mary, Martha and Lazarus welcomed Jesus and his disciples into their home as guests. In Luke 10:38 we follow the story:
"As Jesus and his disciples went on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha welcomed him in her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat down at the feet of the Lord and listened to his teaching. Martha was upset over all the work she had to do, so she came and said, Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself. Tell her to come and help me!"
As a general comment, most women will be able to relate to this train of thought. But how much do we really understand what this story is saying to us? And if we do understand it, are we willing to do it? There is always so much to do! And, we can always find something to do!
Martha was the eldest. Her name means 'Lady of the house'. She was a capable young woman who ran a household. Mary was a thinker, interested in learning and ideas, which seemed to go against the culture of that time.
After Martha's request of her sister to help and pleading to her via Jesus, the story in the book of Luke continues; "The Lord answered her, Martha, Martha! You are worried and troubled over so many things, but just one is needed. Mary has chosen the right thing, and it will not be taken away from her."
What I have come to understand about Jesus is that he had previously encouraged the idea of service among his followers. Therefore, he was not discounting Martha's role of service as being unimportant. This would have gone against all his other teaching. What he made clear was the fact that becoming a disciple is more important.
I have found the concept of 'rest' very difficult. I was a single Mum for 11 years, also working, serving and was the Lady of My Home. I recognised all the pressing and urgent needs in my life. Mostly I missed Jesus gentle whispers that asked, " Sit with me? Just for a time. I will teach you, lead you, guide you and give you rest."
Recently, my cool, calm and collected husband told me I have to rest. I didn't take that advice very well. Rest? REST?! Anxiety set in and my brain started running through the list of things I needed to do and I had every excuse as to why I couldn't stop and rest for half an hour.
I have realised that resting at the foot of Jesus is not necessarily about diving into a 2,000 page theological excerpt on divine powers, or praying fervently or worrying about the 'waste of time'.. I just need to 'sit' or 'lay' at the feet of Jesus. I don't have to DO anything.
The Bible clearly lays out the need for us to rest. Not just women, but men, children....everyone. In Exodus 33:14, the LORD says, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
Can we put aside some time? And ask Him to give us rest? The Bible promises that God will give us rest.
Belinda Croft is married to Russell and she has a son BJ, 11 years. She has a heart and passion for God, mission and social justice. Belinda is a part of Katalyst Church in Victoria and serves on the leadership team.
Belinda's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/belinda-croft.html