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Week Seven | The Tale of Two Marys

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Week Seven | Jesus & Women Online Book Study
Reading Assignment – Session Seven
Scripture Passage: Luke 10:38-42
Listen to the Audio version | Read time 7-minutes

When I was a senior in high school I began attending my friend’s youth group with her on Sundays.  It was with this youth group that I was given the opportunity to go on several mission trips, including an international trip to Costa Rica, which was truly life-changing.  

While serving in Costa Rica, we spent our days helping build a school that would help educate children, constructing a home, and renovating a worship space.  We also visited with students at a learning center and learned from children and their mothers at a home for teen moms.  

At night we learned how to salsa dance, and played several rounds of Phase 10.   When we made it to the end of our trip we even went zip-lining through the Monteverde Cloud Forest. While these activities were amazing in their own unique way, they aren’t what I remember most from this trip.  

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It was on this trip that I said my easiest “yes” to God.  This is where I said “yes” to a relationship with Him.  

One evening during this trip we attended a church service.  We all rode on our bus to the church, which was more of a large pavilion with curtains draped from the top to act as “walls”.  When we arrived, our entire group sat in the back and waited for service to begin, and when it did, it’s hard for me to put into words what took place inside that space.  

Seeing as Costa Rica is a Spanish-speaking country and I knew minimal parts of their language, I wasn’t expecting to gain much from the service.  Instead, I was immediately overwhelmed with the presence of God in that space.  

Even though our earthy languages were different, our heavenly languages were the same. 

I didn’t need to know what anyone was saying or singing in order to know that they served a gracious God.  I wanted what they had, an unwavering faith, overflowing with love for their Savior. It was at that moment that I spoke to God and invited Him into my heart, my mind, and my life.   

And then the seemingly impossible happened in 2015.  The same girl who loved and lived for God with her whole heart found herself the furthest from Him than she had ever been.  And it remained this way for nearly three years.  I felt anchored in my shame and certain that God had given up on me.

The relationship that I had so easily said “yes” to four years prior was broken.

But praise God, that after that time I was able to say “yes” again to God.  This time was harder because of the brokenness I felt, but in the midst of this brokenness, I said “yes” to allowing Him into my heart to restore my relationship with Him.

Spoiler alert ladies!  Jesus meets us right where we are.  He meets us in the midst of our pain, suffering,  and brokenness, and if that wasn’t amazing enough, He doesn’t let us stay there!

Jesus and the Tale of Two Marys

In our final feast together, we heard the Tale of Two Marys and how they said two very different “yeses” to God.  The story of Mary (or Miriam), the sister of Lazarus and Martha stood out to me the most.  

You see, in the First Century world, when a Rabbi came into your home, he sat down and started teaching.  His disciples would sit at his feet waiting to take in his “yoke”,  or teachings, similarly to how we learn in our feasts with Kristi.  One very important rule to be noted during this time is that Rabbis didn’t have female disciples, women were not permitted to sit at their feet.  Unless of course, that Rabbi was Jesus.  

In Luke 10:38-40, we find Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus as Martha prepares the meal.  Martha comes to Jesus saying, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?  Tell her to help me.”  

No matter what she said, Jesus knew what she really worried about.  He knew that Martha felt Mary was sitting somewhere she didn’t belong.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed-or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:41-42, NIV

I can only imagine that as Jesus said this to Martha this is what He meant.   

“Martha, Mary is where she belongs.  You do not have to worry about the ways of the world, but instead see how I, as the Messiah will use this to make right what is wrong.  Martha, why don’t you choose what is better, take to the place where you belong.  Join me at my feet.”

At the end of each feast, Kristi has left us with three words.  I know you know what they are because if I had to guess they have had the same impact on you that they have had on me.  “Take heart daughters.” 

At the finale of our final feast, Kristi changed things up as she left us with a final question, “What is it going to look like for us to take heart as His daughters?” 

She followed this up with three more words that have sunk deep into my mind, body, heart, and soul; “Hold your space.” 

Hold your space at the feet of Jesus.   Walk so closely that you can’t help but be covered in His dust.  Never forget that “We are in this story ladies.” 

Let’s recap…

Today we learned:
– Mary, sister of Lazarus and Martha, could possibly be the woman on the wall.
– When Rabbis would enter your home they would begin to teach.
– A Rabbi’s yoke referred to their collection of teachings and theologies.
– Rabbis did not have female disciples and were not invited to sit at their feet.
– Martha wasn’t upset because she wanted Mary to help her with dinner, she was worried about what people would think about her sitting at the feet of Jesus.
– Jesus invites Martha to join Mary at His feet.
– Jesus has and continues to make sure that women are part of the story.

What is it going to look like for you to take heart as His daughter?

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Jesus and Women | Kristi McLelland

A 7-week study to examine the historical and cultural climate of first-century Middle Eastern society to not only understand Jesus more deeply but to fuel your worship of Him today.

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