After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him.
John 11: 28-29
I like this passage a lot. It makes me chuckle a bit. I mean, really, look at this. Why is this information here? Martha has just expressed one of the most profound statements of faith and belief in Scripture, then, almost as if in a movie, the “director” cuts to Martha going back to tell Mary basically something like: “get on your feet and get walking, sis. The Lord wants you…lazy bum…” Of course, I’m adding some editorial comments in here. I’m being irreverent and having a little fun interposing my own reasons for Martha’s intentions to go get Mary, but don’t you think it is a little interesting?
Remember verse 20 in Luke 10? Martha jumped as soon as she heard the Lord was on His way, and went up to meet Him…what did Mary do? “…but Mary stayed at home.” Luke and John obviously thought these details were important for some reason. Therefore, they included them in their narratives of these events. To make it even more interesting, we see how:
When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
John 11: 31
I mean, it was so unlike Mary to just jump out of her sit to do anything, that when she did, the rest of the people around her noticed it and followed her, to make sure she was OK and to comfort her in case she was having some kind of sudden panic attack or something. I’d like to think that Mary needed Martha to shake her up a bit so she would get moving.
In my humble opinion, these details are important to show the contrast between the personalities of these two sisters. And I believe that the point at the core of this contrast is to realize that the Lord does not differentiate between people based on personality. He looks at the heart and the hearts of both sisters are in the right place, even if their actions may make us think otherwise.
We all need to be like Mary and choose to seek Him first…choose to sit at His feet, or else we become lost in the world. But, we also, all need a little Martha in us, or else we run the risk of becoming stagnant and paralyzed.
Above all, it is crucial that we remember that it is not what we do, but what He does in us what matters. Of course, we are called to be obedient and Jesus gives us parameters of behavior that we must subscribe to. Don’t you think, however, that if we could just behave perfectly we would not have much use for a Savior?
I’m pretty sure if I could do everything right all the time, I would be sore for all those paddings on the back I’d be giving myself. Pride would be on the rise and I would believe the lie that I am all-sufficient. In reality, my shortcomings, flaws and failures point me to my never-ending longing for Christ. I am nothing without Him. Even the most spiritual people in the world are still in the world…which means, they are imperfect subjects in need of a Perfect Lord.