I’m going to go sideways with this one. I’ve heard a lot of sermons about this passage. I suppose almost everyone has, but just in case, this is the story of two sisters whose house Jesus visited as a guest.
Martha was flustered; Mary was calm.
Martha felt the burden of hospitality as an arduous responsibility; Mary didn’t consider it difficult.
Martha bustled about; Mary sat down.
Martha got up in Jesus’s face and complained; Mary didn’t say anything.
Martha had ideas and expectations; Mary just listened.
The usual interpretations involve a value judgment about the relative worth of Martha’s activity versus Mary’s passivity. I don’t think that is the point at all! Elsewhere in the Gospel we learn that Jesus loved both Martha and Mary. These traditional interpretations imply that Jesus was criticizing Martha, and telling her that Mary had made a ‘better choice.’ I looked up the Greek, and it simply doesn’t say that.
Jesus tells Martha that she is ‘merimnaō’ (anxi…