Summary: Many today find Christ in their knowledge (or service) but having very little room for Jesus in their busy and hectic lives: that is in heart (in worship).
Mary Chose the Necessary Part
Luke 10:38-42- (38) Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. (39) And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. (41) And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: (42) But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
What would you do if Billy Graham showed up knocking on your door? Think of the most prominent person you can. Now they are knocking on your door. Oh, they want to stay for dinner! Not just this person, but, the entourage is with them! The desire to meet the commitment is overwhelming. You want the very best for your distinguished guests. Today, we will be looking at a similar dilemma experienced by Martha and Mary of Bethany. Let’s see how each lady handled the situation and perhaps we can learn a few things this morning!
Preliminaries: THE WRITER: Luke, a Gentile physician, accompanied Paul on his 2nd, 3rd and final missionary journeys.
Central Theme of The Book of Luke: Jesus, the Son of Man
Book Overview: We have in Chapters 9:51-19:27, a theme of rejection towards the Son of Man.
In OUR TEXT CHAPTER we have:
1. Jesus sending the 70: (1-12)
2. Woes to unrepentant cities: (13-16)
3. The return of the 70: (17-20)
4. Jesus praises God: (21-24)
5. A Good Samaritan (25-37)
6. Visiting Martha and Mary (38-42) Text Passage
THE SETTING: Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem where He will be crucified for the sins of the world!
Vs 38- “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.”
Bethany: 2 miles SE of Jerusalem, where Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus resided (John 11).
Many today find Christ in their knowledge (or service) but having very little room for Jesus in their busy and hectic lives: that is in heart (in worship).
We are not speaking of a superficial relationship; but, one of intimate communion. Jesus is described as the bridegroom and the church as the bride: that’s how intimate!
We will witness that Martha’s time for genuine communion is not hindered by a terrible sin, but by a worthy cause (being busied in preparing food and making a feast for her Lord and guests). What about Mary?
Vs 39- And she [Martha] had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.
LETS LOOK AT MARY THIS MORNING
Mary, in our text, is found sitting at Jesus’ feet.
Mary’s Preparations: Mary completed the basics and now wanted to commune with Jesus. Dods adds, “Mary had assisted in the preparations and the reception as the ‘also’ of ver. 39 shows; while Martha’s own words, ‘my sister hath left me to serve alone’ themselves imply that Mary had shared the labours of the entertainment before taking her place at the feet of Jesus” (Dods, 84).
Mary’s posture: One of submission. Bruce sees Mary’s posture as one of a “receptive mind” and “devoted spirit” (Bruce, 35).
Mary’s Persistency: “Mary of Bethany is seen three times in the Gospel record, and on each occasion, she is in the same place: at the feet of Jesus. She sat at His feet and listened to His Word (Luke 10:39), fell at His feet and shared her woe (John 11:32), and came to His feet and poured out her worship (John 12:3).” (Wiersbe).
John 11:32: “Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”
John 12:3: “Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. (this incident is spoken of in John 11:2 also).
Mary’s Progression: It was one that was outside of the normal acceptable standards of that day and culture
People normally sat in chairs or couches during banquets; but the disciples were known to sit at the feet of their teachers (Paul at the feet of Gamaliel [guh-mey-lee-uhl]).
This was normally reserved for young men so Mary was acting a bit out of the ordinary here.
Mary not only listened but she HEARD the Words of Jesus! How about it?
APPLICATION: What are your Preparations; Postures; Persistency’s; Progressions?
AW Tozer reminds us, “You may be still with arthritis so that you can’t even get on your knees to pray, but you can look up in your heart, for prayer isn’t a matter of getting on your knees. Prayer is the elevation of the heart to God and that is all a man needs to praise, to pray and to worship” (Tozer 2008, 80).