But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
But Martha was cumbered about much serving,.... "Or was drawn off", from hearing the word, from attending on Christ; being taken up in providing for him, and those that came with him; in dressing food, or in ordering her servants, how she would have every thing done, and in overlooking them, that every thing was done in proper order; so that she had a great deal of business upon her head and hands, which distracted her thoughts, or took them off of divine things, and put her in great hurry and concern. The Ethiopic version renders it, "Martha laboured in preparing many things for him"; making a large and sumptuous entertainment: and the Persic version, which is rather a comment than a translation, renders it, "Martha was busied in preparing food, and making a feast": sparing no cost nor pains, thinking nothing too good, nor too grand, for such a guest she had in her house:
and she came to him and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? she came to him; that is, to Jesus, as the Persic version expresses it: she came out of the room where she was getting ready the entertainment, into the room where Christ was preaching; and, as the Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions read, "she stood and said": she did not sit down at his feet, as Mary did, to hear his word, but stood as about to go away again, after she had said what she came about: she did not think fit to speak to Mary herself, though perhaps she might do that first; who, showing an unwillingness to go with her, she therefore applies to Christ, as believing that he would, with her, look upon it as a very reasonable thing that she should take her part with her; and that a word from him would go a great way with her sister. And she seems to speak, not only by way of complaint of Mary, who had left her to prepare and serve up this entertainment alone; but even of Christ himself, in some sort, as if he had not showed that care and concern in this matter, which she thought was necessary. However, she was willing to have his sense of her sister's conduct, and hoped, and even doubted not, but that he would be of the same mind with herself:
bid her therefore that she help me; that she join, assist, and put an helping hand in this service; speak but a word to her, give her orders, and she will observe and obey.