Come on in Sweet Sister and sit for a while.
Bring your Bible and an open heart.
Let’s start in Luke 10 38-42.
Jesus visits sisters Mary and Martha and brother Lazarus in their home. This study will focus on Mary and where she chooses to sit.
1. Which sister does and doesn’t do as expected within her culture? ___________
Instead of doing as is culturally expected of a woman (cooking and cleaning) as her sister Martha does…Mary sits at the feet of the Messiah.
Now please turn to Acts. Ch. 22:3 to find out what this means in 1st Century Palestine Judaism to sit at the feet of another.
When Paul makes his defense, he describes sitting at the ______of Gamalie.
Some versions of Bibles use “a student of Gamalie” because in biblical times to say one “sits at the feet” of someone means to be their student.
2. Which woman does Jesus stand up for? ___________________
Don’t rush by this my sweet sister….Mary is not only taking the position of a student, Jesus defends her and tells her that she is making the best choice or “Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
Now look up Luke 8: 1-3
3. Does Jesus travel with just the 12 disciples? Who are these women? How did they know him? Would this be socially acceptable in 1st century Palestine?
Wow. I had always envisioned Jesus spending all his time with his inner circle…his twelve disciples. The above verse tells another story…that besides Mary (Martha’s sister) there were other women who followed him and had a strong relationship with Jesus.
Lastly, please turn to John 11: 17-44.
Jesus arrives after their brother dies and has been in tomb for 4 days. Both Mary and Martha make the same statement “If you had been here, my brother would not have died”. Martha makes her statements standing up….
4. Where does Mary fall to when she makes her statement?
My Bible reads…..”she fell at his feet”
This was revelation to me sweet sisters.
Falling to His feet is a act of Mary demonstrating that she is a true disciple and will follow Jesus even though he came too late to save her brother.
Her positioning is often seen as an act of surrender of saying with her body, “Thy will be done”.
Culturally though she is affirming that she was his disciple just like his male followers. Sitting once again at his feet must have been a reminder to both her and Jesus that she has “chosen the better part”and was drawing near to him once again.
She proclaims her faith even though she doesn’t understand the “Why’s” of death and the heartache that follows.
Such a heartbreaking scene that truly breaks the heart of Jesus.
How he loves this woman Mary….
He weeps with her.
He snorts with anger. (God hates death….hates what it does to those of us left behind)
This is why Jesus came to earth….to reverse death. To conquer death through his resurrection. Raising Lazereth is a precursor to His own resurrection. For as He tells Martha, I am the resurrection and the Life, who ever believes in me, even if he dies will life, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. (Luke 11:25)
and this Jesus…Loves you my sweet sister. Wants a deep close relationship as he had with Mary….He wants to weep with you…snort at this broken world and how it has hurt you….He wants most of all to be the resurrection in your life and in the lives of your loves ones.
So in conclusion, how should this change our own hearts and lives?
How can we develop this close relationship with our Lord Jesus ? How can our head knowledge grow into Heart knowledge?
When, where and how can you sit at the Master’s feet?_____________
We concluded our study sharing how we spent time to grow our relationship with Jesus.
Geri (a Catholic sweet sister) sharing how she had her coffee and a special chair and started with the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be and then reads scripture.
Sue shared charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Daily Devotional a beautiful way to start and end the day.
Amber (Me) reminded the sisters of the free app called first5.org. Sisters who are studying a chapter a day and then a devotional to read and a video on Saturdays. This app from Proverbs 31 was created to encourage us to give God the first minutes of our day.
I also shared how to stay focused using the ACTS method. This includes the four types of prayer in appropriate order: Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving and Supplication. This helps me to stay focused as it is so easy to become distracted and writing down God’s attributes, one’s sins, what one is Thankful for and who one is praying for really helps.
Next, I shared how I view spending time in the morning as Having a Date with Jesus and read a poem about this that is on my blog post, “Confessions of a Survivor Addict”.
I will attach these my sweet sisters to the Sweet Sister community page on Facebook. So please join us and share with your Sweet Sisters any ideas on how to keep your date with Jesus.
“Martha, Martha you are anxious and worried about many things…there is need of one thing….Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” Jesus
Have you chosen the better part?