Summary: The sermon focuses on the importance of God’s word
Often we find it hard to keep focused in the midst of distractions and therefore we cannot accomplish much. Distractions can be dangerous, even a small distraction while driving a car can result in an accident or worse. If a doctor becomes distracted while performing surgery, he could make a mistake, a mistake that could cost someone his or her life.
Staying focused on what you are doing is very important. The same is true of spiritual matters. In our Gospel lesson for today we hear Jesus tell us to keep focused. Our Savior says to Keep Focused On the One Thing Needed.
This morning we have before us a very familiar portion of Scripture, the story of Mary and Martha. Now it would be extremely easy for us to sit here today and criticize Martha. Here she had a glorious opportunity to sit at the feet of the master teacher himself and she goes and gets herself all wrapped up in dinner preparations. Martha allows herself to become distracted by earthly things instead of keeping focused on the one thing needed. But before we come down too hard on Martha perhaps we need to ask ourselves two questions: First, what would we have done had we been in her sandals? Secondly, do we ever do the same thing today?
So try to put yourself in Martha’s place. There is a sudden knock on the door. It’s Jesus! What an unexpected but always welcome surprise! Martha who seems to be the eldest of the three siblings or at least the elder sister feels it is her duty to prepare a meal for her Lord and to make his visit in her home as comfortable and as restful as possible. Hospitality, after all, was a hallmark of God’s chosen people—especially for someone as dear and as important as Jesus!
So instead of "taking it easy," instead of just sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening Martha decided to show her love and appreciation to Jesus by serving him. While her choice was certainly not the best and she let earthly things distract her, how many of us can say that we have never become distracted and lost our focus on the one thing needed. If the truth be told, we have on many occasions been just as distracted by earthly things as Martha, perhaps without even realizing it?
Let me ask a question. How many of you prepare a list of things that need to be done? If we were to make a list right now, what would you put on that list? If your list is like a normal household list you probably have items on the list like: mail bills, get the oil changed, pick up items from the grocery store, and so on.
Now that you have your list, go over it. What have you left off of it? Does it seem like something is missing? How about items like: attend Bible class, spending time in prayer, family devotions and personal Bible study. Were any of these items left off your list?
Because of our sinful nature it is very easy to become distracted by earthly things. By nature we have no love for God and his word. So naturally, we tend not to think about putting God and spiritually matters ahead of everything else.
Like Martha many of us today are trying to juggle a half dozen things in our life all at the same time. We have our family. We have our work. We have our schooling. We have our friends. We have our hobbies. And, oh yes, we have our personal relationship to our Lord.
How do we fit all of these things together? How do we allot the limited amount of time that we have? Basically, we need to focus on the one thing needed, we need to keep focused on God and his word and everything else will fall into place.
To help us with this I would like to tie in our text for today with a picture that is given to us in Revelation 3:20. In that passage of Scripture Jesus says, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."
Jesus spoke these words to whom—believers or unbelievers? These words were not spoken to unbelievers. These words were not spoken to people who did not know that Jesus was their only Savior from sin. These words were not spoken to people who had to decide whether or not they were going to open up their heart and allow Jesus to be the Lord of their life. These words were spoken to the church at Laodicea!
These words were spoken to Christians, who had their priorities all mixed up. People not unlike Martha here in our text and not unlike us at certain times in our lives. When Jesus knocked on the door of Martha’s house she warmly welcomed him into her home. But then Martha quickly became distracted, missing out on the one thing needful—listening to Jesus’ Word!