Prepare to Listen. As you wait in silence and stillness, pray: Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.
Prayerfully Read Luke 10:38-42
38Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. 40But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.’ 41But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.’
Immediately after Jesus’ groundbreaking teaching that expanded the concept of neighbor to include anyone and everyone, Luke turns to a story of two women who gave hospitality to Jesus. They made Jesus their neighbor, inviting him, no doubt with his disciples, into their home. This story is as groundbreaking in its teaching as the parable of the Good Samaritan!
Martha’s compliant sounds like a child doing dishes while her siblings are goofing off. But she wasn’t upset because Mary left her to do all the work. Mary, as N. T. Wright points out, was sitting in the “male space” of the house, “behaving as if she were a man.” She sat at Jesus’ feet, not to adore but to learn from him. She was a student, seated at the feet of a rabbi to learn so she could one day become a rabbi herself, a preacher and teacher of God’s kingdom. Mary had crossed an uncrossable boundary. Martha was upset, but Mary believed Jesus had broken all barriers and dared to follow him. And Jesus affirmed her courageous, scandalous act, calling it “the better part.”
This isn’t call to a contemplative over an active lifestyle. It’s a call to follow his boundary-breaking way. We learn this way by recognizing his presence and taking time to sit at his feet, learning in that way that transforms us from inside out.
How do you feel about Jesus’ affirmation of Mary’s desire to sit at the Rabbi’s feet?
Respond to Jesus
Lord you affirmed someone others would reject. Help me choose the better part by doing the same today where needed. Amen.
Live obediently. Live with this picture of Jesus today.
 Wright, N. T. Luke for Everyone. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. 2001, p. 131.
I began reading my Bible when I was 8 years old. I loved it then (albeit didn't understand much) and I still love reading and studying it. I may understand a little more but I keep learning new stuff, seeing things I missed for years. This journey with Luke during Lent has been another new learning experience for me, deepening my relationship with Jesus. I pray it will do the same for you.