Welcome back to online bible study and our first discussion of the book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. We’ve just finished reading chapters one and two in the book. In the first chapter Joanna compared the two sisters from the gospel of Luke – Martha and Mary- and revealed the conflict we experience as women. These women represent a common struggle: we want to worship like Mary and we’re often tied to our duties like Martha. Mary’s world symbolizes living room intimacy and worship, while Martha’s world represents kitchen service and perfection.
In this story “two completely different women undergo a transformation right before our eyes; a holy makeover. The bold one becomes meek, the mild one courageous. For it is impossible to be in the presence of Jesus and not be changed,” writes Joanna Weaver. When Jesus invites us to leave the kitchen and join Him in the living room, the focus is no longer on ourselves and our duties. The focus is now on Him.
Joanna says “Martha opened her home to Jesus, but that doesn’t automatically mean she opened her heart.” In our second chapter we see inside Martha’s heart as she complains to Jesus. It appears to Martha that she’s doing all the work, while Mary is getting all the attention and praise. Martha wants Jesus to notice her for serving Him, yet Jesus already knows her heart. Joanna shows us how the enemy uses distractions, discouragement and doubt to keep us distant from Jesus and out of the living room. Martha was distracted by preparing her home, discouraged when Mary did not assist her, and doubted her Savior when she had the opportunity to worship at his feet. Martha’s busyness became the devil’s tool.
Martha’s need to be perfect overshadowed her opportunity for intimacy with Jesus. She took her eyes off the Savior and put them on herself, meeting her need to be praised for her perfection. As we’ll learn next week, she’s a big worrier and lacks peace. It’s not easy to sit in the living room and listen to Jesus, when your mind spins a mile a minute and lacks peace!
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Joanna Weaver Quotes
- We want to worship like Mary, but the Martha inside keeps bossing us around.
- Mary chose to let someone do the serving so she could do the listening.
- It’s impossible to be in the presence of Jesus and not be changed.
- Busyness, by itself, breeds distraction.
- While the world applauds achievement, God desires companionship.
- Doubt, left unchecked, can fester into unbelief.
For Next Week
- Read Chapter Three and Four in the workbook
- Join our Womens Bible Cafe Chat on Facebook
Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like
- Which woman do you relate to most, Martha or Mary? Why?
- Finish this sentence: If I were a perfect woman, I would ……
- Have you seen a “holy makeover” in your own life or the life of someone you know? What happened?
- Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.