Martha was gently rebuked by Jesus, not because she worked hard to prepare His dinner but because she neglected a more important concern. She had been so busy making a perfect meal that she failed to nourish her soul with the spiritual food Mary was receiving through fellowship with Him. The fact that Martha was anxious about her work indicates that her priorities had gotten out of line. Mary, however, had “chosen that good part,” which would not be taken away from her (v. 42).
An unknown author has captured the lesson of Luke 10 in these poetic words:
Martha in the kitchen, serving with her hands,
Occupied for Jesus with her pots and pans.
Loving Him, yet fevered, burdened to the brim,
Careful, troubled Martha, occupied for Him.
Mary on the footstool, eyes upon her Lord,
Occupied with Jesus, drinking in His word.
This one thing was needful, all else strangely dim;
Loving, resting Mary, occupied with Him.
So may we, like Mary, choose the better part:
Resting in His presence, hands and feet and heart;
Drinking in His wisdom, strengthened by His grace;
Waiting for the summons, eyes upon His face.
When it comes, were ready, spirit, will, and nerve;
Marys heart to worship, Marthas hand to serve;
This the rightful order, as our lamps we trim:
Occupied WITH Jesus, then occupied FOR Him!”