Mary, Martha, and their brother Lazarus, were some of Jesus’ closest friends. Sometimes he visited their house, ate with them, and taught them. When Lazarus was very sick, the sisters begged Jesus to heal him. Because he wanted his disciples to believe in him, Jesus didn’t come right away to heal Lazarus, so Lazarus died. When Jesus arrived, Martha told him she believed God would give him anything he asked for. Jesus said, “I am the Resurrection and the Life,” and he raised Lazarus from the dead! (You can read more about this account in John 11).
In the Gospel of Luke we read about a time the two sisters welcomed Jesus into their home.
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. 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.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38–42)
Martha was busy working and taking care of the guests while her sister, Mary, was listening to Jesus’ teaching. When she complained to Jesus, he told her that Mary was doing what was best. Working and serving others is certainly a good thing to do (in fact the Bible tell us to do these things). But Jesus showed us that it’s even more important to spend time with him. Mary had the right attitude.
Though we can’t sit at Jesus’ feet anymore, we can read his Word to learn about his teachings. God wants us to spend time talking to him through prayer and reading his Word.