The Berean Expositor
Volume 15 - Page 48 of 160
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The Ministry of Consolation.
"Mary also sat at His Feet" (Luke 10: 39).
pp. 62, 63
There are some temperaments that more readily sympathize with Martha than with
Mary. There is also a false notion entertained by some concerning the part played by
Mary. It is assumed that Mary left her sister to see to all the necessary work consequent
upon the Lord's coming to their house, and under a guise of superior spiritually took the
easier course. This is manifestly untrue. In the first place we have the Lord's own
"Mary hath chosen that good parts, which shall not be taken away from her" (Luke 10: 42).
Secondly, the Scripture says that Martha was "cumbered about much serving"
(verse 40). The word "cumber" means "to tear asunder" and so "distract". Then again it
is not "with serving" but "with much serving". It is enjoined upon the saints "to be given
to hospitality", but we are apt to overdo the material side at the expense of the spiritual
unless we take heed. The Lord for whose entertainment Martha was distracted with
much serving could take two loaves and a few fishes and feed 5,000 people; surely
therefore there was no call for this distraction.
Thirdly, we do Mary a great injustice if we omit from our reckoning the little word
"also". The scripture does not say that "Mary sat at the Master's feet" but
"Martha received Him . . . . . . . Mary's also sat at His feet."
The word "received" includes the thought of providing necessary hospitality. The
word "also" suggests that Mary had not been negligent in her duties. What was necessary
on her part had been performed, but nothing superfluous, nothing lavish, nothing to
distract, to tear as it were asunder, was undertaken. The blessed opportunity must be
seized, and so after having done all that was necessary, "Mary also sat". The Lord said
to Martha:--
"Thou art anxious and troubled concerning many things" (verse 41).
and according to the Vatican MSS, He continued:--
"But of few things, or of one, is there need?"
Before concluding, we wonder whether our readers will suffer a personal word here?
On some occasions when at Bible Meetings it has been necessary to provide tea, there are
some who absent themselves from the actual meeting in order to prepare the meal or to
clear away afterwards. It is possible that some do not "also" sit at the Master's feet. Let
all seek to emulate Mary. Those who by temperament are the busy Marthas, let them