Social Justice and mercy/compassion ministries are really popular and trendy right now. As well they should be. We are called by Jesus Himself, to love our neighbor. The Parable of the Good Samaritan is a wonderful example of compassion and mercy ministry in action. Through this story Jesus rebukes us for our lack of compassion on understanding the concept of “our neighbor.” Everyone one of us should reflect on the concept of “our neighbor” and how we are helping them and loving them. We are to serve others tirelessly and out of the abundance of the Spirit.
Yet, immediately after this parable we go straight into a story of compassion gone wrong. Martha is serving tirelessly and with compassion. It’s also becoming a major distraction for her and others. (Distraction in that her serving has pulled attention onto her and her great service and sacrifice. Rather than the focus being on Jesus.) Jesus politely rebukes her by pointing out that her sister Mary has chosen the “Better Part!”
In the midst of serving, showing our neighbors compassion and great mercy; we can never miss out on the better part. That better part is sitting at Jesus’ feet to receive more of His Spirit. It’s not enough to serve. It’s not enough to sit at the feet of Jesus. It’s our pleasure to sit at the feet of Jesus till we have His compassion to serve our neighbors. This is the better part! This is what our neighbors need from us.