Summary: Will we sit at Jesus' feet or will we be too busy to learn from the Master?
God Is Worthy
January 19, 2013
I don’t think we ever fully appreciate time. We race around to accomplish so much, yet at the end of the day we’re exhausted and too often can’t really remember what we even accomplished, let alone did during the day. Now, why is that?
We tend to take time for granted. We assume it’s always going to be there. Just like we often assume our parents will always be there when we’re younger. On our wedding day, we assume our spouse will always be there. It’s thinking ‘I’ve got time.’ Yet, as C.S. Lewis said, The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour.
It’s true, isn’t it? Whether we’re sitting and waiting for one hour at the doctor’s office, or loving a great concert, or watching our favorite team — that one hour lasted the same amount of time for each person!
As I thought about time, and about us, when you think about it, I don’t think the disciples and many of those traveling with Jesus understood just how precious their time with Jesus was.
I want to look at a story from Luke 10. It focuses on 3 of Jesus’ best friends — Martha, Mary and Lazarus. Let’s look at the scripture ~
38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.
39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to His teaching.
40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to Him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”
41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,
42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
We know from other passages the village was the town of Bethany, barely 2 miles away from the place where Christ's body would soon be laid to rest.
We don't know for certain why Jesus made it a habit to come and stay in this house where Martha, her sister Mary, and their brother Lazarus lived, but it seems that Jesus went there whenever He was near Jerusalem. Was it because Martha knew how to whip up a meal that reminded Jesus of the eternal banquet? Was it because Lazarus was such a great friend after John the Baptist’s death? Or was it, as I suspect, something about Mary that Jesus especially enjoyed and from which you and I might possibly learn?
Picture with me a party at a house. You’re invited to attend, too. The house is bustling with noise from all the people there. You can see Lazarus sprawled out on the living room floor in front of the coffee table, reaching for the chips. The disciples are draped all over the furniture, glued to the football game. Martha's in the kitchen "distracted by all the preparations that had to be made" (Luke 10:40). She's cooking and baking. Stirring and chopping; wishing she had another hand to cut the veggies. But the Bible says Mary wasn't with either of her siblings. She sat at the Lord's feet, listening to what he said (Luke 10:39).
What I want you to understand is that these positions are all familiar ones for these folks. Jumping ahead another year or more, we read in John's gospel that "6 days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany." In other words, just a week before he would be crucified and laid in a grave, Jesus chose to stop over in this same home. The Bible says"a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus reclined at the table." Are you seeing the picture? What's Lazarus doing? He's kicking back again. What's Martha Stewart doing? That's right. She’s in the kitchen.
And what’s Mary doing? Mary focused all of her attention directly on Jesus. The Bible says Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair (John 12:1-3 ). She didn’t realize she was, in effect, anointing Jesus for His burial. But there’s something that Mary does know — something that’s very easy to miss in this world of Lazarus-like and Martha-like distractions. Mary understood that when you’re in the presence of someone truly worthy, every minute is precious.
Now, let me be clear about something — there’s nothing wrong with putting your feet up and watching the game now and then. There’s also something wonderful about those people who love to work in the kitchen. This world would be a lesser place without the people who know how to rest and those who know how to work. But most of all, our world needs people who know how to give their full and undivided attention to the One in the room with whom every minute is truly precious.