Marthas and Marys
(J. C. Ryle, Mary & Martha, Luke 10:38-42)
Observe how different the characters and
personalities of true Christians may be. The
two sisters of whom we read in this passage
were faithful disciples. Both had believed. Both
had been converted. Both had honored Christ
when few gave Him honor. Both loved Jesus,
and Jesus loved both of them. Yet they were
evidently women of very different character.
Martha was active, stirring, and impulsive,
feeling strongly, and speaking out all she felt.
Mary was quiet, still, and contemplative,
feeling deeply, but saying less than she felt.
Martha, when Jesus came to her house, rejoiced
to see Him, and busied herself with preparing a
suitable refreshment. Mary, also, rejoiced to
see Him, but her first thought was to sit at His
feet and hear His word.
Grace reigned in both hearts, but each showed
the effects of grace in different ways.
We shall find it very useful to ourselves to remember
this lesson. We must not expect all believers in Christ
to be exactly like one another. We must not set down
others as having no grace, because their experience
does not entirely tally with our own.
The sheep in the Lord's flock have each their own
The trees in the Lord's garden are not all precisely alike.
All true servants of God agree in the principal
things of religion. All are led by one Spirit.
All feel their sins, and all trust in Christ.
All repent, all believe, and all are holy.
But in minor matters, they often differ widely.
Let no one despise another on this account.
There will be Marthas and there
in the Church, until the Lord comes again.