Summary: Find out; what is the one thing that we need. Mary found out and we can to because it is in the Bible, and it's the subject of today's message.
But One Thing is Needful
Out text is from Luke 10:38-42, and I want to read it first from the Living Bible, because there it is easier to follow and understand.
38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem they came to a village where a woman named Martha welcomed them into her home.
39 Her sister Mary sat on the floor, listening to Jesus as he talked.
40 But Martha was the jittery type and was worrying over the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, "Sir, doesn't it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me."
41 But the Lord said to her, "Martha, dear friend, you are so upset over all these details!
42 There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it--and I won't take it away from her!"
Luke 10:38-42 (Living)
Now, let me reread the last verse from the King James Bible, because there you hear the title of our devotion, “But One Thing is Needful”.
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Luke 10:42 (KJV)
Here in our text, Christ tells us that there is only one thing needful; but He never really says what that one thing is. But if we look closely at the story in our text, I bettcha we can figure out what that one thing is.
Jesus and His disciples had come to the town of Bethany, which at that time was about two miles from Jerusalem. A woman named Martha had invited Jesus to eat at her house. She is thought to be a widow, and she lived with her brother Lazarus and her sister Mary. She received Jesus into her home in a very courteous manner. She had known Jesus before or she had heard of Him, and she believed in Him; that He was the true Messiah.
When Jesus entered the house, He began to preach to those that were there, and to those who came along with him. Martha was extremely busy getting everything ready for the meal, but her sister Mary set down at Jesus’ feet to listen to what He said. There it is! The one thing that we need. She sat at His feet and listened with great eagerness, diligence, affection and pleasure. Mary chose to listen to God’s word. God’s word is the one thing needful. But why is God’s word so important?
Well, for one thing, it tells us who we are. In this world, there are very few people who really understand themselves. It’s hard for us to look honestly at ourselves. The world is full of people, who think they are something, that they really aren’t. Then there is the other extreme; there are many people who suffer from low self-esteem, anorexia, bolemia, who don’t see who they really are when they look in the mirror. But the Bible, God’s word, helps us to know ourselves better.
When we look into the mirror of God’s word, first of all we discover that we are people who have set very poor priorities. Jesus tells us that we should seek first the Kingdom of God, or in other words, that God and His word should be number one in our lives. But in our daily lives, what place does God really have? If what we do during the day reflects our priorities, where does that leave God? Do you set aside time each day to study and meditate on God’s word? Do you thank Him every morning for the new day that He has given you, for your family, for your home, for your friends? Do you faithfully attend church and Wednesday prayer meeting? Do you talk to your friends and family about God? In your conversations with family and friends, do you mention that God is important to you? I must confess, that I have to answer very sadly to these questions. We are people of very poor priorities. And due to our choices in life we deserve God’s punishment.
But let’s look again at the mirror of God’s word, because even though we are ugly sinners, we shouldn’t have low self-esteem, because God doesn’t see us that way. Not at all; and in His word, He gives us confidence about who we really are. Through faith in Jesus, we are God’s perfect children. Christ came to this world and lived a perfect, sinless life; He kept the entire law of God, as our substitute.
Jesus always maintained good priorities. That’s why we find Him so often in the temple or synagogue, among the people, preaching the good news of the Gospel. And by His death on the cross, that perfection which belongs to Jesus only, becomes ours. God now sees us as perfect, because He has given us Christ’s’ perfection as a gift. That’s why God’s word is so necessary, because it teaches us that road to heaven; the road who is Jesus Christ our Lord.