There must have been much tension in Jesus’ heart as he steadily moved closer to the climax of his work. But with his disciples in need of his teaching and people everywhere in need of his help, he had little time for relaxation. Therefore, to get away from the crowd, he stopped for some quiet fellowship at the house of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38). (Mary and Martha, along with their brother Lazarus, lived in the village of Bethany, just outside Jerusalem; John 11:1,18.)
Martha busied herself preparing a large meal, determined to provide the best possible hospitality for their distinguished guest. Jesus did not want a lavish meal, especially when it was prepared in such a complaining spirit as Martha showed. A simple meal was sufficient, as he was looking only for some quiet fellowship with his friends. Mary understood this, and as a result she benefited from the Lord’s instructive conversation (Luke 10:39-42).