Task or Ministry II

Martha could also have been fighting the battle of “greater responsibility.” Many responsibilities come with being the older sibling. Some of us have worn those shoes. There are times when being the older one is advantageous and other times being the older one presents many disadvantages. The workload at home sometimes increases because you’re the older one. The expectations of parents and siblings becomes greater because you are the older one.

With speculative thoughts we’ll say that in the case of Martha, she viewed her status as the older sibling at this time, a disadvantage. Mary gets to enjoy the fullness of Jesus’ visit while Martha herself slaves away in the kitchen doing something that apparently her heart is not into. Having this chain of thought could have also led to the frustrations Martha was experiencing out in the kitchen.

Frustrations, anxieties, inconveniences, burdens and troubles are the times when we should expect the wicked one, the enemy of our souls to come taunting and badgering. Can you imagine him whispering to Martha these words; “Girl why should you be in here slaving while Mary is out there enjoying Jesus. Girl listens to her laughing. She really isn’t laughing at what Jesus has said she is laughing at the fool that you are for being in here slaving. Neither one of them cares about you Martha. If they did, Jesus would bid Mary to come help you and Mary would willingly come.

As before stated; what started out as a ministry to willfully serve became a task. A task dear follower, many times is an act or job forced upon or an act or job taken possession of.  A task is usually an act or job that brings hardships physically and mentally; an act or job that doesn’t bring us pleasure.

When an act or job has become a task, it usually reveals our ugly attitudes and ushers our complaints. Seeing that Martha’s acts was a task, she began to entertain her thoughts. “Here I am in this kitchen slaving like a dog and Mary is out there all up in the master’s face. She should have her hind parts in here helping me!’

Tasking usually finds us more concerned about what others are or is not doing more so than being focused on what we should be doing. Tasking reveals inner emotions that were otherwise on standby waiting for such a time as this. Tasking will have us talking about people and calling names just to comfort the frustration and aggravation we’re experiencing through tasking and not ministering. I can imagine Martha saying, “You know Mary has always been lazy. I don’t know why she feels like she’s all that and some more. Somebody surely lied to her!”

Remembering that a task has been defined as an act or job forced upon or an act or job taken possession of, let’s look further at Martha. We’ve said that Martha is the oldest of the sisters and the motherly one therefore, Martha is known to take the oversight in things. Perhaps Martha had taken the position of “the cook” in the home. Again, many times we older ones will take certain responsibilities because we are older and sometimes because we don’t feel certain things will be done right unless we do them ourselves…. hmm.

With this way of thinking we shut others out from becoming a part of. Some of us hold positions in the church that we have taken sole possession of. We don’t attempt to show anyone else how to work in that particular position. We both hoard and lord that position and no one better dare to act like or show that he or she is interested in that position. There would not only be a war in the heavenly there would be World War 6 in the church. Pastor better not mentions assigning someone else to help us, if looks could kill…. talk about possession. This holds true for jobs in the workforce as well as at home.

Maybe this was the case as well with Martha. She had taken sole preparation of meal preparation in the house. This may very well have been one of the reasons that Mary didn’t venture out into the kitchen with her. If this is the case, then why did it matter to Martha this particular day that Mary didn’t help her. Martha had put herself in a by myself position.

When we’re in a by myself position, things can become overwhelming, overbearing, crowded, frustrating and even mundane. Usually in a by myself position things become a task. Many times, we’ll lose sight of purpose. Some of us pastors, ministers, teachers, and evangelist are frustrated, overwhelmed and burned slam out because of a by myself position. We’d better learn to trust the God in the people and the people to the God of trust. We must allow people to be the helps they’ve been sent into the church, on the job and into the home to be. Tasking is a one man show…. ministry isn’t.

So Martha is in the kitchen bent all out of shape. A Tasking mentality blames everybody else for their hardships except themselves. “If Mary was in here helping me, I wouldn’t have to struggle like this!” The more Martha entertained this way of thinking the harder things seemed to get. A tasking mentality will magnify a matter to be greater than what it actually is. I can imagine Martha looking around the kitchen at all the dishes and the flour that had fallen to the floor from kneading dough. I can imagine her looking at the mess already made and thinking on how much more she had to do. From where Martha stood, she saw herself in an overwhelming situation.

A tasking mentality leads to assumption. As Martha looked around her and continuously entertained her thoughts, she grew hotter and hotter with Mary as well as with Jesus. She assumed that Jesus knew of her struggle in the kitchen. I can imagine Martha snatching off her apron and throwing her dishcloth down. She enters into the next room where both Jesus and Mary sat. Interrupting Mary’s question to Jesus, Martha addresses Jesus showing her heated attitude. “Jesus, you don’t care that Mary has left me in the kitchen to do all the work by myself. Make her get her hind parts up and help me!”

Does this sound familiar to anybody? I can imagine Mary’s mouth falling open while wrinkles disfigured her pleasant face. Keep in mind that Jesus hasn’t gone to the cross for the saving of man’s soul and the keeping of man’s mind so……! Mary may have gotten a little heated. Martha is interfering with something she hungers for. Mary is right where she wants to be and wouldn’t give a flying sack of beans if no one ate anything.

So, Martha is hot with both Jesus and Mary. She’s hot with Jesus because she assumes He knows of her struggle, and she didn’t try to hide it either. She went straight to Jesus and not Mary. In a roundabout way Martha let Jesus know that she thought Him to be insensitive and unfair.