Red Letter Conversations - Discussion 10

Discovering life in the words of Jesus
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The Harried Homemaker

Jesus Speaks to the Problem of a Too Busy Life


Pray together for the group meeting, and any pressing needs within the group.


Each week you’ll spend some time reviewing the previous week’s lesson. Did anything happen last week that brought the lesson to mind, and what did you learn from it?


Watch the following discussion-starter video. It’ll set the topic of discussion for the group.

Read Luke 10:38-42

  1. One person will first read the scripture selection in the King James Version.
  2. Next, another person will read the same passages in a modern language or amplified version for more clarity such as the New Living Translation (NLT), Message Bible (MSG), New English Translation (NET), Amplified Bible (AMP), etc. We recommend using the YouVersion Bible app.


  1. One person will begin retelling the scripture passage in their own words (a new person to start each week is great!) Then…
  2. As a group, work together to fill in gaps and build the story. This will help us internalize and own it. Be sure everyone participates.


Together, share around the group how the topic and scripture setting applies to your life personally. Here are some thoughts to consider for discussion… don’t let the discussion stop here, though… what questions can you ask that will help uncover God’s message?

Martha’s Mission – vs. 38-40

  • What kind of personality did Martha have?
  • How was she at handling tasks and chores?
  • Would you say she is a quick-tempered person, or even-tempered? Why?
  • How would you characterize her love for the Lord?
  • Does she work out of obligation, or love, and why do you think?
  • What might her motives be  in serving the Lord?
  • What was her attitude in serving the Lord?
  • What might have been some of the tasks she was doing on this day?
  • Describe the possible feelings Martha had seeing her sister sitting in the guest room while she was preparing dinner.
  • How do you feel when you carry most of the load in a “partnership”?
  • When Martha “came to Jesus”, what was her posture?
  • Why did she go to Jesus instead of going to Mary?
  • Why did she ask Jesus, “Don’t you care?” What does this tell us about what Martha really things about Jesus?
  • Are Martha’s expectations realistic? Explain.
  • Are Martha’s priorities misplaced? Explain.
  • Is Martha’s anger misdirected? Explain.
  • Does Martha think she has a problem, or that everyone else does?
  • Why is it easier for us to blame others for our frustration than examining ourselves?
  • Was Martha hoping to be blessed for her busyness? Did she feel blessed? What did she feel?
  • Does your efforts to please God ever leave you feeling stressed instead of blessed? Why?

Mary’s Position – vs. 39

  • Why didn’t Mary respond when Martha accused her before Jesus?
  • What was Mary’s posture here before Jesus?
  • How close was she to Jesus?
  • Describe how attentive Mary was to Jesus.
  • Is “listening” easy, or hard? Explain.
  • Was Mary a good listener?
  • Did Mar know about Martha’s frustration prior to her outburst?
  • How well did Mary know her sister?
  • Would she have had a feeling of obligation to help Martha? Why didn’t she?
  • Who is serving the Lord in this story, Martha or Mary? Explain.
  • Is there anything wrong with serving the Lord with our actions?
  • What does this story tell us about the priority of how we serve?
  • Who can sit at Jesus’ feet? When is it appropriate?

Jesus’ Admonition- vs. 41-42

  • When Jesus responds to Martha, he says her name twice. What was the significance in this?
  • What two things did Jesus say to Martha that characterized her in that moment?
  • What effect does worry have on our spirit? When is it good or helpful to worry?
  • Do you ever find yourself “troubled about many things”? What is the cause of this?
  • When we are worried and troubled, how does it impact our relationship with others?
  • How many things did Jesus say Martha was dealing with?
  • How many things did Jesus say Mary was dealing with?
  • Which was better? How can we use this admonition from Jesus in our own lives?
  • How could your life be different by focusing on the “one thing”?
  • In what ways can “serving the Lord” push Jesus to the edge of our lives instead of the center?
  • In what ways can “serving the Lord” help in keeping Jesus at the center?
  • Did Mary find herself at Jesus’ feet by accident, or on purpose?
  • In what ways can you ensure you are in the right place with Jesus?
  • When choosing between “important” things and “urgent things”, what usually gets the attention in your life? What should get the attention?
  • Jesus said what Mary pursued “would not be taken away from her”. What does this tell us about the lasting value of devotion over service?
  • Was the meal necessary? What could Martha have done differently in order to still serve, but also receive?
  • In what ways is your life like Martha’s actions here?
  • In what ways is your life like Mary’s?

“Mary and Martha’s story isn’t about cooking versus praying, or activity versus contemplation. It’s about the divided life versus the focused life… A life of frantic activity versus a life centered on knowing Jesus.” Pastor Jay Jones

Next Week’s Scriptures

The Three Rookies: Jesus Speaks to the Problem of Convenient Excuses – Luke 9:57-62