Through the years, I have studied the stories of Mary and Martha. There are three events recorded in the Bible that discuss these sisters. You can read them in Luke 10:38-42, John 11:17-44, and John 12:1-3. As I have studied each of these, I have noticed the way each sister approached Jesus each time.
I am going to start with Martha. She always approached Jesus head on. At her house, she was in the kitchen fretting over the meal, and upset with her sister for not helping. She went to Jesus, and told Him what He should do. She said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." Notice, she did not ask Jesus, she told Jesus. The next event is when Lazarus has died. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet Him. She met Him face to face to tell Him that her brother was dead. The final event, does not record Martha speaking with Jesus. It only says that she was there and she was serving. It is very important to note that Martha believed that Jesus was the Christ(John 11:27), and that Jesus loved her (John 11:5).
Now let's look at Mary. At the house, Mary was at the feet of Jesus worshiping and learning. At this Jesus said that "Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her." At the death of her brother, she did not approach Jesus until He called for her, and then she fell at His feet. Seeing her weep caused Jesus to "groan in the spirit and be troubled." Finally, in John 12 we see that it was Mary that annoited Jesus' feet with fragrant oil. You see, Mary always approached Jesus at His feet.
Face to Face or At His feet ... How do you approach Jesus? Are you like Martha? Do you meet Jesus head on with the solutions you have already decided are best? Or are you like Mary? Do you worship at His feet and know that what He has is best?
(This blog was originally posted in April of 2010 as "How Do You Approach God?")