Summary: An over-crowded life can be a hinderance to our relationship with God and lead us into falling into the deceit of Satan.
Why do we value our time so preciously? It’s an intriguing question with which we all should try to come to terms. In answering the question, we should evaluate the most relevant word.
Many would say the word “time” is the most relevant or most important word in the question. However, I say, the word “our” is the most important, yet subtle word in that questions. If you think about it a second, we don’t even question that our time belongs to us.
But, does it really?
With that kind of introduction, it begs the question of what we are supposed to do in life. If you ask parents, they’ll have one kind of answer. If you ask friends, they’ll have another kind of answer. If you ask Christ, He’ll have the definitive answer.
How many of you have ever heard of the saying “Idle hands are the devil’s plaything”? Some people even believe it is Scripture. Although this saying is not Scriptural, there are passages that teach about the dangers of idleness. But, today we often take the wisdom and twist it to serve our own desires. By that I mean we have allowed our culture to drive us to think that busyness is virtuous and that we’re behind if we’re not at least as busy as our neighbors.
We somehow have placed a sense of worthiness on how busy we are. Have you ever been engaged in a conversation and you both seem to be rattling off a list of things you have to be doing for that day or that week? It’s almost as if we’re trying to out-do the other person or evoke some degree of sympathy from them.
Why do we do this? I catch myself doing this all the time. Brothers and sisters, I can’t overemphasize how detrimental our crowded lives are to our relationship with God. The evil one knows that if we’re busy with the activities of a secular life, we are not about the business of our heavenly Father. To me, it’s clear that the busyness of life is a lie of Satan.
Our Lord didn’t intend us to have the activities of life clutter our relationship with Him. I think He makes that perfectly clear in our passage for this lesson. Let’s all turn to Luke 10:38-42.
“Now as they were traveling along, He entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. And she had a sister called Mary, who moreover was listening to the Lord’s word, seated at His feet. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him, and said, ’Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me?’ But the Lord answered and said to her, ’Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her."
There are some important context words in the passage. Let’s address them quickly so we can see deeper into what’s going on in the scene.
The “they” in this scene is Christ, the disciples, others following Christ shortly after the 70 returned from their missionary journey. It could have been a handful, could have been many.
The word “welcomed” carries with it more than just a greeting in this culture. If you welcomed someone into your home, you provided for their comfort and honored them. Often this included a meal or even lodging. We see in the passage that Martha was busy with the many tasks that came along with providing comfort and probably a meal for at least a handful of men, but possibly more.
The word “moreover” as used in this case can easily be replaced with the word “instead”. So we can read it as… “she had a sister called Mary, who instead was listening to the Lord’s word…”
After reading that, and getting a sense of the context, we need to stop and really examine what Christ was teaching by His response to Martha. Let’s look at His response. He tells Martha that there is only one thing necessary in life. And, from the passage, it seems that Mary has figured out what that is. What is the good part?
Rather than just come out and tell Martha what is important, I believe that Christ wants Martha to see what it is by Mary’s example, and what was going on at the time. What was Mary doing? She was sitting attentively at the feet of Christ listening to His teaching. How do we know that listening to the Lord is eternal? The passage says “…which shall not be taken away from her.”