The better part: encounter

marthamarybyheqichinaThe Encounters with Jesus. “She [Martha] had a sister named Mary (who) sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Mary was listening to Jesus’ word or message (logos in the singular) when “Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”

From the welcome of hospitality, we move to this scene. Culpepper simply states it: “Martha presumes to tell Jesus what he should do; Mary lets Jesus tell her what she should do.” Is that a bad thing?  As we shall see next week (Luke 11:1-13), Jesus is clear about the importance of persistence in prayer, e.g., the friend at midnight (11:5-8), the widow before the judge (18:1-8). Telling God repeatedly what we want God to do is not necessarily bad! However, Martha’s words, like the Pharisee’s prayer in Luke 18:9-14, indicate flaws in their motivations. Continue reading