Now we see how Mary’s actions are in contrast to Martha’s. There are three things we learn from Mary and subsequently, what we learn about being a disciple of Jesus.
She sits at Jesus’ feet
Being at the feet of a teacher symbolized that you were a disciple. Mary shows her commitment is to Jesus. Nothing is pulling her away. She wants to be at the feet of Jesus! Historically, for a woman to be a disciple was very uncommon. Jesus is turning cultural norms upside down. Women are freely allowed to be his disciples.
A disciple of Jesus know that the only position they need to be in is the position of Jesus’ feet. But, like Martha, we get pulled away and we sit somewhere else.
We sit at the feet of status.
We sit at the feet of relationships.
We sit at the feet of family.
We sit at the feet of materialism and money
We sit at the feet of comfort.
We need to be at the feet of Jesus! This is the only position a disciple needs to be in. Sitting at the feet of Jesus is an act of humble worship to the only One deserving to be called Lord and Master.
Mary teaches us that a disciple sits at Jesus’ feet.
She listened to teaching
It clearly says that she was a listening disciple, not just one that showed up to the meeting. What she’s learning about is who Jesus is and what he is doing in the world. Now, we listen to the teachings of Jesus through the inspired and inerrant Word of God.
If you’re going to be a disciple that sits at the feet of Jesus, then you need to be listening to what God is saying. We hear from God by opening up his Word. Again, Martha being pulled away means she is not listening to what Jesus is saying.
There are so many things that pull us away from God’s Word: sleep, television, phones, kids, and the list goes on. Why do we get pulled away from God’s Word? Because we don’t prioritize it and we don’t desire to be in it. We see the “other things” as more important and more valuable when they fail when compared to God’s Word.
“But he said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!'”
Your time in God’s Word needs to be a vital part of your day. “Not having any time” is not a valid excuse. We have time; we just are poor stewards of it. After our kids were born, I watched Julie try to figure out when to get her Jesus time in. When the kids were babies, I would catch her feeding the baby and reading her Bible at 2:30 in the morning. It’s not a time issue – or any other type of issue – it’s a desire and priority issue. We don’t desire to listen from God’s Word and we don’t prioritize it in our lives.
Mary teaches us that a Disciple listens to the Words of God.
She chose the good portion
Look at how this paragraph closes out:
 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,  but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
I love this phrase that Jesus says. “Martha, Martha, do you not see that Mary has chosen the good portion?” What is Jesus referring to here? The good portion is Jesus himself. The one thing is not the next task on your to do-list. That one thing is not serving others. The one necessary thing is enjoying Jesus himself.
What Jesus is saying is echoed throughout the Old Testament as well. Look at these verses:
Psalm 16:5 – The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
Psalm 73:25-26 – 25Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strengthb of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 119:57 – The LORD is my portion; I promise to keep your words.
Lamentations 3:22-24 22The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;b his mercies never come to an end; 23they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
Choosing Jesus as the good portion is to choose him as the complete joy and satisfaction in your life. We will never be full satisfied or find complete joy in the things that pull us away.
As we mentioned earlier, “The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.” This is what it means to choose the good portion. To choose to glorify God and to him enjoy him forever.
Mary teaches us that a Disciple chooses Jesus as his/her good portion.
The disciple’s priority is to sit at the feet of Jesus, to listen and obey the Words of God, and to find Jesus as our good portion. Everything else will pull us away from; even if those things are good – like serving. Whatever is pulling you away from Jesus, be willing to give it up. It can wait, because Jesus is better.