The Story of Two Sisters

This rare and expensive perfume-oil existed for thousands of years. In the Song of Songs, Solomon included it in one of his dialogue with his bride:

A garden enclosed and barred

is my sister [promised bride]

A spring shut up, a fountain sealed

Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates

With pleasant fruits,

Fragrant henna with spikenard

Spikenard and saffron

Calamus and cinnamon

With every kind of incense tree,

With myrrh and aloes

And all the finest spices.

She answers Him:

OH, I pray that the cold

North wind and the south wind

May blow upon my garden

That its spices may flow out

[in abundance to you in whom

My soul delights]

Let my beloved come into

His garden and eat its choices fruits.

Spikenard was a symbol of love and affection in Solomon’s expression of admiration toward his bride. Mary in her love and devotion for the Lord is a picture of what the bride of Christ should be. The bride of Christ’s priority should be Him and He alone. Her desire should be to know Him; give Him the best she has, so that her gift will rise to Him in a sweet and pleasing aroma.

While Mary’s heart was leaned toward the spiritual, Martha’s was toward the physical. Her love for the Lord was shown through her doing for Him. She did not make time to be still before Him; she was more concerned with having things done, than to sit and listen. She was hospitable; a doer and a leader in her own rights and performed well in whatever she did. People like Martha are those who make things happen; they are type A personality and make great leaders. But their focus is not always on the spiritual. Martha, in spite of her leadership strength, she was also a servant.  But because of her worries coupled with anxiety about things the Lord YAHSHUA cautioned her and did not praise her works. He said, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; there is need of only one or a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her (Luke 10: 41-42). Because Martha chose the temporal aspect of life, her life was not spiritually enriched as her sister’s was. In Matthew 6:33 we find the secret of a successful life: seek first the kingdom of God and the rest will fall into place or will be added unto us. YAHSHUA also expressed that food was not the only meaning for life, but every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Luke 4:4). He is the bread of life from Whom all spiritual nourishment are derived; He is the bread of life that came down from heaven and gave life to the world.  In her worries, Martha did not perceive that the man standing in her presence, eating from her table, was God Himself; the Sustainer of life. All her worries concerning His needs were of no value. Although Martha believed YAHSHUA and confessed her belief that He was the Christ, the Son of God, Who was to come into the world, she was still very much tied to her physical ways of worrying. I believe that in the body of the bride of Christ there are more Marthas, than Marys. Many of us struggle to sit at YAHSHUA’S feet to learn from Him; and fellowship with Him. It is easier for many of us to be moving about, being busy about nothing than to be still in the presence of the Lord. YAHSHUA commended Mary for having chosen to be with Him, but warned Martha of her business of worries.

YAHSHUA desires that His bride be free from worries. He calls us to pay attention how creation is maintained and sustained and dressed by Him: the birds of the air, the lilies of the valley, and the grass of the fields. He said, if God clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?… Do not worry… But seek first of all His kingdom and His righteousness and then all these things taken together will be given you besides (Matt. 6: 26-33).  He calls His bride to rise up to come away with Him. He wants to bless us in His presence with words of comfort and wisdom and spiritual discernment and knowledge of Him.

Martha made the choice that was temporal and of no spiritual significance; but “Mary chose the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her!” Forty percent of Martha and sixty percent of Mary will be a good percentage to adopt in our Christian way of living. I believe that embracing Martha’s productivity without her worries and anxiety and mixing with Mary’s devotion to the Lord will balance our spiritual life in ways that will please the Lord. We must be doers, not only hearers of the Word. Nothing lasts in this world that does not carry the weight of eternity. Only things that was done in faith, love and devotion to the Lord!

Author: Jacinta da Cruz Rodgers

I have been committed to teaching the truth of the Word of God beginning with Trans World Radio on Bonaire, N.A and Swaziland, Africa (1969-1980), then through churches in the United States in both English and Portuguese and then through ministry in Israel (2005-2006). This ministry continues through local Bible studies and outreach to the world via the internet. I have written a book about my life from that of an orphan in Brazil to missionary in 5 countries. You can find out more on the "Book" page of our blog site.

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