Friday, March 26, 2010

Convivial Contrast

Jesus wants intimates, not inmates

We see this truth proved out and personified in the lives of Jesus' loved ones, Mary and Martha.  Our first peek into their home reveals a jarring juxtapostion: 

         Martha, scrambling around, sweating over "Sunday dinner", setting the table, seeing to the guests...

         ...and Mary, seeing to Jesus.

Martha had allowed her focus to become diffused and diluted until Jesus was nothing more than another party guest in the periphery (how often do we allow this in our lives, or worse yet, in our churches?), while Mary was mesmerized by her Master, thoroughly enraptured, seeming to sense the sacred intimation of the moment, hanging on every word...

...For her, there was nothing but Jesus.

Jesus met Martha's aggravation at her sister's seemingly sedentary behaviour with affirmation of Mary's choice and an implied invitation for Martha to opt for the same singlemindedness her sibling had found.

Fast forward to another feast, also at the home of the two sisters, six days before the Passover, six days before Jesus' execution:

Martha is still serving, and again, Mary's uncanny sense of the sacred steals the show.  She knows somehow that time is short; devotion displaces decorum and protocol is pushed aside by passionate love for her Lord.  She produces a pound of pure nard, worth a year's wages, and pours out this, her most precious possesion, to Jesus.

Once again, Jesus chastises those present for chiding Mary, not wanting this moment between them diminished in any way by the pettiness of paltry objections.

In both scenarios, Martha offered service to Jesus, Mary offered herself.

Jesus didn't love Martha any less, He just wanted her to know the freedom Mary knew of loving Him more.

"One thing is needed"
-Luke 10:42

-Luke 10:38-42
-John 12:1-8


  1. Such a great distinction drawn from this story about offering one's service vs offering one's self.

    I really enjoyed your comments on my Faith post! I commented back :)

  2. thanks Courtney....I'll pop on over : )

  3. H, yours is always a welcome and necessary oasis for me....especially when I am on the road and in need of being grounded.

    Thanks so much.

  4. thanks, D....oasis' are wonderful things...

    peace peace peace.....

  5. Jesus didn't love Martha any less, He just wanted her to know the freedom Mary knew of loving Him more.

    This is a perfect line. When are you writing your devotional book, my friend? When?

  6. Oh are so so encouraging to me, I hope you know.....

    ya never know....stay tuned, eh?

    ; )

  7. I praise God for you! Thank you for that verse: "One thing is needed."

  8. Hi's my favorite one of all.....