After a long tiresome day, when Jesus visited the home of two sisters, Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38), Martha immediately saw His weariness and busied herself tending to His apparent needs for a comfortable place to sit, a beverage and some food. However, Mary simply sat at His feet, keeping Him company. Martha saw His weariness, knowing that Jesus had walked for miles, serving the needs of many, teaching, praying, healing, and more. Surely He was tired and needed someone to care for Him in return; she spoke to Jesus, chiding Mary for not helping her.
However, Mary saw beyond Jesus’ apparent physical needs and focused upon who He was. She would have the opportunity to play hostess to many in the future. But, the opportunity to sit with Jesus in such a personal setting, and to listen to all that He might say might not come again. She chose the better, to stay near Jesus. (Luke 10:42)
The poor in mind, body, spirit, as well as earthly goods and accommodations will always be with us. (John 12: 4-8) And, as Jesus entered their home, Martha looked at His current physical presentation as if He was temporarily the “poor in body” and it was her responsibility to attend to all of the needs she perceived. He was not one of the poor.
We are blessed performing our righteous, chosen works, including attending to the poor (Proverbs 19:17). However we must first acknowledge Jesus’ presence (Matthew 6:33), the more important thing, so that He may bless us with increasing wisdom, knowledge, well-being, and resources, receiving all through which we may better attend to our commissions; correct in intent, manner, and sufficiently resourced.