Luke 10:1 - 42
NKJV - 1 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. 2 Then He said to them, "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
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As the passage cited in the question indicates, Martha "was distracted with much serving" -- that is, she was feeling overwhelmed with the tasks (such as (I assume) food preparation, for instance, or cleaning) that went along with being a hostess to her guests -- not only to Jesus, but to His apostles, as well. She had a house full of people, and she wanted her sister Mary to help her in feeding them, caring for them, and otherwise meeting their needs, and doing all the domestic duties that go with having so many guests. Meanwhile, Mary was just sitting at Jesus' feet and listening to His teaching. This irritated Martha, who wanted Mary to assist her, so she appealed to Jesus to tell Mary to help her out. Jesus gently told Martha that Mary's interest in His teaching was of greater importance from an eternal or spiritual perspective than the temporal concerns that Martha was busying herself with, and that He would therefore not deprive Mary of her choice of listening to Him.
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