38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38–42)
A very special guest arrived with his entourage and suddenly there was much more to do than what they anticipated for that day, leaving no time to sit and visit with the guest—but there sat her sister, hanging on every word of Jesus, while she was busy with every need of his entire group. As Jesus' voice gripped and soothed her soul—as His words of truth penetrated her entire being, seeming to pierce the very marrow of her bones and the deepest recesses of her heart, not with the violent force of a soldier, but with the gentle firmness of a surgeon—as His words nourished her spirit like bread did her body, Mary could not tear herself away from that spot on the floor at His feet.
Martha, on the other hand, couldn't hear a word He was saying. Oh, she heard Him talking, but His voice was just a buzz in the background of her busy mind. Pouring enough water for everyone's feet and enough wine for everyone’s drink—preparing enough food for everyone to eat—she had no time for religious lessons…and neither did her sister. She finally lost her patience and confronted Jesus about why He didn’t seem to mind that Mary had left Martha to do all the work. Maybe He would tell her to dislodge her backside from the floor and get it in gear helping her take care of Him and all His people.
Instead, Jesus had a gentle rebuke for her about her misplaced priorities, as she was anxiously busy with her many things and missing the one thing she needed to be doing above all. Mary had chosen the most important thing, and Jesus was not about to deny her what was best for her and all that were there.
Is your head constantly buzzing with your to-do list so that Jesus’ voice is just a buzz in the back of your mind? Are you so anxious and troubled with your many things that you are neglecting the one thing that is most necessary for you every day…time sitting still at His feet, listening to Him?
Jesus wasn’t insinuating to Martha and Mary that the meal wouldn’t get cooked or the dishes wouldn’t get washed. But what He has to say for everyone’s spirit is more important than what has to be done for everyone’s body. Time at His feet comes first. If you are too busy to take that time every day, you need to slow down, sit down and listen up. Listen up with your head turned up and your heart lifted up to Jesus. Do that one most necessary thing every busy day. Choose that good portion—make the simple choice of what is best and must come first—and He will make sure that it is not taken away from you.