Summary: Which is better... service or intimacy?

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Choosing the Best Part

Luke 10:38-42

You are very familiar with today's story... Jesus is visiting at the home of Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary.

The Bible shows us that Jesus loved this family very much and loved to stay there as often as he had a chance. We know how much Jesus loved Lazarus by his tears at Lazarus' tomb.

We also know that Mary loved Jesus very much by her anointing Jesus' feet with costly perfume.

And we know Martha loved Jesus because of her service...38 The Lord and his disciples were traveling along and came to a village. When they got there, a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.

There is no doubt that Martha loved Jesus or served him well. But even in her love and service, Martha made some mistakes.

There is no doubt in my mind that many of you here today love Jesus I have seen things in your life that would prove it.

One thing we learn is that when we love Jesus... we serve him.

But even in your love and service... you too can make some of the same mistakes. So, let's look at Martha's mistakes.

Martha's First Mistake

9 She had a sister named Mary, who sat down in front of the Lord and was listening to what he said. 40Martha was worried about all that had to be done.

The New American Version says, "Martha, burdened with much serving,"

The New King James Version says, "but Martha was distracted with much serving,

Martha was distracted by all of the preparations that had to be made, because she was a worker, a hard worker, and a conscientious worker.

It is not that she never was interested in Jesus's words. In fact, she had earlier been sitting at Jesus' feet listening to his words just like Mary still was.

How do I know? Because the Word says that she became distracted. So, she had earlier been focused.

But then another voice begins to speak. It is the voice of THE URGENT, calling attention to the little things that demand to be done.

You know what that is like it happens to you some times... maybe even right now.

You are sitting there listening to the sermon and then, from somewhere, comes the voice of the urgent. That thought of something that really needs to be done.

Maybe you see a light bulb that needs to be replaced, or a window that needs to be washed, or something to be painted.

Or maybe THE URGENT is calling you

from work... some job the boss wants

Or from home some comer to be swept

Or from school some paper to be written

And your mind is DISTRACTED... your thoughts are stolen away from God, from the sermon, from the spiritual.

And Martha became carried off by her thoughts, her concerns, and her worries.

Perhaps the thing is necessary, perhaps it is good, and

perhaps it is even spiritual...



Now Martha has emotionally left Jesus, she is literally tom in two trying to think about Jesus' words, the spiritual, but nagged to death by the everyday, the tedious, the worldly, THE URGENT.

And the more she sat there, and the harder she tried NOT to think about the "stuff the more she found herself unable to think about the spiritual.

Jesus knew it... he could read her mind and heart and it caused Jesus to gently rebuke her.. Martha, Martha you are so worried and bothered about many things

How can you be worried when the Prince of Peace is in your living room?

She was not really "with him." "She was in the kitchen, wondering if she had put in the right spices;

wondering if she had enough clean linens for all of them

wondering about other things.

The Greek word "worry" means "pulled in two."

It means, on one hand, to hear the voice of Jesus and want to sit at his feet

And, on the other hand, to hear the voice of the urgent and be busied with many things.

Martha was emotionally pulled in two

Like being tied between two horses going in different directions

Martha was tom between sitting and serving

The word "many" really means trivial, little things... things that do not really matter

What began as a distraction (minor)(v. 40) became a worry

(consuming) (v. 41)


Physical Spiritual

Transient Eternal


And what happened next? IT CAUSED A RIFT!

3. Doubting God's CARE?

and she went to Jesus and said, ''LORD DO YOU NOT CARE that my sister has left me to serve all alone? Tell her to help me!

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