Leo Tolstoy Archive

The Teaching of Christ Narrated for Children
Chapter 16

Written: 1908
Source: From RevoltLib.com
Transcription/Markup: Andy Carloff
Online Source: RevoltLib.com; 2021

Leo Tolstoy

The disciples he sent went one way, and Jesus with the rest of his students went to other towns and villages. And it happened that he came in one village. And one woman, called Martha, invited him into her house. He went in and began to talk, and Mary, the sister of Martha, sat by his feet and listened to him. And Martha hustled about food. And she saw that her sister Martha sits by Jesus’ feet and listens to him. And she approached Jesus and said: “I am alone hustling around, but my sister sits and listens to you. Tell her to work with me. And Jesus said: “Martha, Martha! You care and hustle about many things, but only one is need. And Mary has chosen the one that is needed, which no one can take away from her. True life needs food not for the body but for the spirit.” And about that Jesus told this parable. One man received a plentiful harvest of grains. And he thought to himself: now I will rebuild my barns, will build large ones, will gather there all my goodies. And then I will tell to my soul: this is for you, my soul, plenty of everything, relax, eat, drink, and live at your pleasure. And God said to him: you are stupid, this night I will take out your soul, and all that you have stored will be left to others. That’s what happens with anyone who prepares for carnal life, rather than living for the soul. Only he lives true life who renounces his will and every moment is ready to carry out the will of God. But whoever cares about his carnal life, ruins the true life. (Luke 10, 38-42; 12, 15-21; 9, 23-25)

1) How did Jesus happen to come to Martha?
2) What did Martha say?
3) What did Jesus answer?
4) What parable did he tell?