In this lesson, we will learn about Jesus’ visit to Mary and Martha, shown to us in Luke 10:38-42. This lesson relates to pre-teens and teens, and by the end of this lesson, they should have learnt about the following:
- It is a blessing to be able to serve.
- It is also a blessing to be able to rest and listen.
- It is okay to share our frustrations with Jesus.
- We should do what God wants us to do.
BIBLE PASSAGE: Luke 10:38-42
MEMORY VERSE: “but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42
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BIBLE STUDY NOTES FOR TEENS
Mary, Martha, and their brother Lazarus were some of Jesus’ closest friends. John 11:5 tells us that Jesus loved them.
Martha and Mary were sisters living in Bethany. A town located about 2 miles on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Jesus had just finished teaching the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) and now arrived with His disciples to Mary and Martha’s house.
We are unsure if they were expecting a visit or if it was a surprise to open the door and find Jesus there. What we do see in the passage are two different reactions by the two sisters.
Jesus visited these sisters and taught them about spiritual matters. In Jesus’ day, most rabbis would not teach women, but Jesus valued them.
KEY POINTS FROM THE PASSAGE
1. WE ARE CALLED TO SERVE (Luke 10:38)
How would you react if you opened your front door and Jesus stood there with twelve disciples? How about if the pastor of your church turned up with twelve deacons? Would you welcome them in? Lead them into the garden, then run inside to tidy up? Make some excuse? Invite them to the local coffee shop for a chat?
Hospitality is a blessing. The Bible has a lot to say about it. 1 Peter 4:9 “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” Hebrews 13:2 even says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
Martha was able to give Jesus and those with Him a place to rest and recharge while also giving others a place where they could listen and learn from Jesus.
Hospitality is something we can all put into practice. Hospitality does not mean we have to throw a fantastic dinner party. The Bible’s view of hospitality is much simpler. It means giving people a warm welcome. It is all about sharing the love that God has shown us. What does this look like? We can invite a new person in our youth group to a social event with our friends. We can stay to chat when your parents ask another family around for dinner. We can serve others and their needs.
As we see in our Bible reading, it can sometimes be challenging. But it is a blessing to follow Jesus’ example and serve others.
2. WE ARE CALLED TO REST AND LISTEN (Luke 10:39)
We are told that while Martha was working, Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to His teaching. While Martha was troubled about many things, Mary had “chosen the good portion.” Martha had welcomed Jesus into her home, but Mary welcomed Him into her heart.
In a hustle culture, we can be tempted to measure someone’s worth by how busy they are and by how much they accomplish. We celebrate a full schedule.
We are certainly not to be lazy, but we must be careful that our noble desires don’t leave us with no time to be still in God’s presence and hear His word.
It is easy for us to fall into the trap of doing much for Jesus (serving in kids ministries, cleaning the church, helping at a homeless shelter and so on) and neglect to spend time in prayer, fellowship and reading the Bible.
God calls us to service and equally calls us to rest, remember the Sabbath, seek Him, pray and study Scripture.
3. WE CAN TELL JESUS ANYTHING, EVEN OUR FRUSTRATIONS (Luke 10:40)
Imagine the scene in our reading. Over a dozen guests turn up at your house. You quickly begin to prepare the room. Move things off the sofa, bring out the spare chairs, run to the kitchen and think up a meal using what you have in your cupboards. You being to cook, serve the guests drinks and refreshments. You pull out the extra dishes and wash them. The list goes on.
Do you think it could be stressful? Do you think it could also be satisfying?
Then, in your busyness, you notice your sister is sitting down and chatting with the guests. You’re running around, and she is doing ‘nothing’.
It is easy for us to understand Martha’s frustration. How often have we felt the same? Martha, worn out from cooking and cleaning, went to Jesus and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” v4.
Do you think it was okay for her to question Jesus? Martha was comfortable in taking the problem to Jesus. Often, we take our frustration out in the wrong places. We post about them on social media. We yell at the innocent waiter in the restaurant. We complain to our friends when we should be taking them to Jesus.
Jesus doesn’t rebuke Martha. He listens to her, cares and points her on a better path. (Luke 10:41-42). Jesus reminds Martha and us that our relationship with Him should be our greatest concern. When we get that right, we begin to get our other priorities right.
4. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS (Luke 10:40-42)
Martha’s frustration begins with comparing what she is doing with Mary. It is so easy to get discontented when we compare ourselves to others. The danger is both ways. We look online at someone’s profile, see their happy family, dream holiday, new toys, perfect smile and feel our lives are worth less. By contrast, we see someone who seems lazy, or someone living on the street or fighting addiction and begin devaluing that person.
Comparison is dangerous because we never see the whole story. Comparison doesn’t change anything; it only creates envy or resentment.
2 Corinthians 10:12 warns, “Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.”
Martha could have served Jesus and the disciples joyfully, but she allowed her sister’s actions to steal the joy of her worship and replace it with worry and upset. We should focus less on what others are doing (or not doing) and concentrate on doing what God calls us to do.
In life, it can feel like we need always to be working, studying in school, serving in church, and following friends and family commitments. It can be exhausting and overwhelming. It is too easy for us to get wrapped up in everything we need to do. Our top priority must be spending time with Jesus and doing what He wants us to do.
YOUTH GAMES AND ACTIVITIES FOR MARY AND MARTHA
Fill a tray full of non-breakable items.
- Give the player a tray and time them to cross to the other side of the room and back.
- They should hold the tray like a waiter.
- Either time the player or split into teams and make it a relay race.
- If any items are dropped, they must either stop and replace them on the tray or have a time delay.
GOOD OR BETTER
- Create two zones, A and B.
- Name two things such as food, drink, hobby, movie etc
- Each child should then walk to which they think is better.
- For example: What sport is better A) Running B) Swimming
- Remind them how Mary chose what was better.
- Use sticky notes to write daily tasks.
- Next have a group discussion to arrange the tasks by priority.
- Are there things missing from the board? Are there things that should be removed to make time for more important things?