Are You a Mary or a Martha?- Part2

Luke 10: 41 & 42- But the Lord answered and said to her, ” Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered by so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

In the last post, we learned that Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus despite the fact that her sister, Martha, was frustrated with the resulting lack of help with her preparations. In the verses above, we hear Jesus gently rebuke Martha by explaining that Mary had made the right decision to give her attention solely to Him, resulting in something that would not be taken away from her. This thing that she would not lose is not explained; however, I wonder if the account recorded in John 12:1-8 might be a possible explanation for Jesus’ enigmatic words.

On another occasion when Jesus was a guest in Martha’s home, Mary took a vase of the most costly ointment of that time and anointed the the feet of Jesus, wiping the oil with her hair. Just imagine what a spectacle her utterly selfless and worshipful act must have seemed to the other guests! In fact, Judas hypocritically declared that the oil could have been sold for a lot of money to help the poor. But Jesus defended her act saying, “Leave her alone, she intended to keep it for the day of my burial.” (John 12:1-8)

Mary must have procured the expensive oil in anticipation for Jesus’ burial. Yet, it seems that the only way she would have known to anoint Jesus that evening was by the unction of the Holy Spirit; otherwise, how could she have forseen His imminent crucifixion and the subsequent hasty burial which allowed no time for Jesus’ body to be anointed? Perhaps this indicates what Jesus meant in Luke 10 when He told Martha that the benefits (good part) of Mary’s choice to sit at His feet would not be taken away from her: The time Mary had spent with Jesus prior to that evening sensitized and enabled her to take advantage of a divinely appointed opportunity to prepare Him for burial. Time spent “at the feet of Jesus” is never wasted!