Learning from Jesus: A Visit to Mary and Martha’s Home

Hey there, folks! Today, I want to take you on a journey through one of the most enlightening stories in the Bible found in Luke 10:38-42 – the visit of Jesus to the home of Mary and Martha. It’s a story filled with valuable lessons and timeless wisdom that can inspire and guide us in our own lives. So, let’s dive in!

The Context: Setting the Stage

A Trip Back in Time

To truly grasp the significance of this visit, we need to hop into our biblical time machine and set the stage. Picture yourself in ancient times, in a humble home in Bethany. This home belonged to two sisters, Mary and Martha, who had a special relationship with Jesus.

Sisters and a Savior

Mary and Martha weren’t just casual acquaintances of Jesus; they were close friends. They knew Him well and had witnessed His teachings and miracles firsthand. Their home was a place where Jesus could find rest and refreshment, much like the warm embrace of old friends.

The Value of Hospitality

In this cultural context, hospitality was a deeply cherished virtue. Welcoming guests with open arms and offering them sustenance was a sign of respect and love. Keep this cultural backdrop in mind as we move on to the heart of our story.

The Story Unfolds: Mary and Martha’s Reactions

Two Different Approaches

Now, let’s zoom in on the moment when Jesus comes to visit. The narrative then takes an intriguing turn at this point. Mary and Martha, each with their unique responses, reveal aspects of our own human nature.

Martha’s Marvelous Service

Martha, ever the practical one, immediately springs into action. She busies herself with the tasks of hospitality – preparing food, setting the table, and ensuring everything is just right. Her devotion to serving Jesus is commendable and relatable to many of us who want to show our love through actions.

Mary’s Moment of Contemplation

On the other hand, Mary takes a different approach. Instead of bustling around the house, she chooses to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen intently to His teachings. She is drawn to His presence, hungry for His words, and prioritizes her spiritual nourishment above all else.

Jesus’ Response: The Teachings and Insights

A Gentle Rebuke

As Martha diligently serves, she becomes increasingly frustrated with her sister’s apparent inaction. In her frustration, she turns to Jesus, expecting Him to reprimand Mary for not helping with the preparations.

The Wisdom of Balance

Jesus, in His infinite wisdom, responds with a gentle rebuke, saying, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has selected the honorable share, which is hers to keep. He now emphasizes the value of striking a balance between activity and reflection.

Balancing Act: Extracting Life Lessons

The Message for Us

The story of Mary and Martha teaches us a profound lesson about balancing the active and contemplative aspects of our faith. It reminds us that while serving others and attending to daily tasks is important, nurturing our spiritual life is equally crucial.

Modern Applications

In our fast-paced, task-driven world, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the demands of our daily lives. But the story encourages us to pause, like Mary, and prioritize our spiritual well-being. It’s a reminder that our faith journey isn’t just about doing; it’s about being.

Hospitality of Heart: The Bigger Message

Beyond the Surface

At its core, the story is about more than just chores and choices. It’s about the hospitality of heart – an openness and presence that extend beyond the physical. It’s about being fully engaged in our interactions, truly listening, and valuing the people we encounter.

A Deeper Connection

When we practice genuine hospitality of heart, we create meaningful connections with others and with God. We recognize the divine in the every day, and we find fulfillment in being present, whether we’re serving a meal or sharing a conversation.


As we conclude our journey through the visit of Jesus to Mary and Martha’s home, let’s reflect on the valuable lessons we’ve uncovered:

  • The importance of balancing action and contemplation in our faith journey.
  • The value of choosing the “good portion” – spiritual nourishment that enriches our lives.
  • The deeper message of hospitality of heart, fosters meaningful connections and a sense of presence in our interactions.

I encourage you to take a moment to ponder how these lessons can be applied in your own life. How can you strike a balance between doing and being, and how can you practice hospitality of heart in your daily interactions? Let this story guide you in your journey of faith.


Q1: Who were Mary and Martha in the Bible? A1: Mary and Martha were sisters who lived in the village of Bethany and were close friends of Jesus.

Q2: What can we learn from the story of Mary and Martha? A2: The story teaches us about the importance of balancing action and contemplation in our faith journey, as well as the value of genuine hospitality of heart in our interactions with others.

Q3: How can I apply the lessons of Mary and Martha’s story in my life? A3: You can apply these lessons by finding a balance between being active and taking time for contemplation and spiritual nourishment. Additionally, practice genuine presence and hospitality of heart in your interactions with others.

You May Also Like