Saturday 19 June 2021

Bible Book:

But Martha was distracted by her many tasks. (v. 40)

Luke 10:38-42 Saturday 19 June 2021

Psalm 148


Jesus’ parables and stories were truly radical in his time, but if we are to understand just how radical we have to take ourselves out of our modern, Western context and back into the first century in the Middle East.

The real problem was not that Martha was doing the cooking, cleaning and serving, while Mary was just sitting listening to Jesus. It was much more than a question of equitable division of labour. The real problem was that Mary had gone against cultural norms, had entered the ‘male’ space and indeed was acting as if she were a man in a society where gender roles were strictly defined. For Mary to sit down with men for a men-only activity of listening to a rabbi was nothing short of scandalous.

Jesus affirms Mary in this role, indicating that the overflowing love of God breaks through not only national and religious divisions but gender ones, too.

This passage does not set ‘active’ and ‘passive’ discipleship by women against one another, for both are necessary, but challenges people to see that God calls women and men into his mission. This was simply mind-blowing to Jesus’ hearers.

To Ponder:

  • How far do you think our churches have really taken the radical massage of this passage into its regular life?
  • Susanna Wesley was a big influence on her son, John, in getting him to accept that women had a role as preachers and teachers. Who are the role models for women in our day? How far do men see this as a challenge to their role?


Help us, good Lord, to receive the ministry of men and women according to their gifts and to discern your gifts in all your people whatever their background. Amen.


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