In his sermon "The Anointing at Bethany" on 03/26/17, Pastor Mark Fitzpatrick of Arann Reformed Baptist Church looks at John 12:1-8. As he looks at Mary and Martha in this passage, he answers the question of whether or not it is better to be a student or servant of Christ:
"For Mary and Martha it was not just a miracle [the raising of Lazarus]; it was a restoration to the one that they loved. Again, Martha is seen as the servant; Martha served. It is good to be a servant of Christ; it is better to a student of Christ. And that's lesson of Mary and Martha. Martha the servant; Mary the student--better to be a student of Christ. We all find it by nature easier to do things, than to learn. We are workers rather than students. But the greatest honor we can give to Christ is to learn of Him; giving attention to His Word. Giving attention to how the Word describes Him is the greatest worship we can give to Christ. That's why in Matthew 11, Christ exhorts us in verse 29 to "learn of Me". [Christ says to] learn of Me, study Me, learn what I am; I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls--the added promise to what it is to learn of Jesus Christ. The reason we become so dissatisfied, quite often, is we concentrate on the outward things, but there is no satisfaction to the soul in that. [There is] no satisfaction to the soul in concentrating as Martha did on the outward things. She was not dealing with the heart issue; she was not dealing with her soul. Mary dealt with the soul; Mary fed the soul. While Martha was feeding Christ, Christ was feeding Mary.
...If we only come [to church] with the outward--doing our duty and going to church, that's all outward. Lots of people see going to church as doing service to God--that's outward. No, we are here this morning by God's grace to learn more of Jesus Christ; to be satisfied more with Jesus Christ; to find rest in Him. If we leave [church] without not knowing more of that we have missed the whole point because Christ's great call, His invitation, is to find peace and rest in Him."
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light," (Matthew 11:28-30).