Summary: Getting to know God must become our single greatest pursuit if we truly want to honor Him with our lives. Mary chose connecting with Jesus above serving. Both are important but one flows out of the other.
Luke 10:38 - 42 38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" 41 "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Intro: Maybe you’ve heard about the preacher who was getting ready to speak at a big conference. He was a little bit nervous, because he had a lot to say and had prepared a long complex presentation on his topic. Just before he was called up to speak, his wife slipped him a note that simply said, “KISS.” He didn’t have much time to think about it, however, because he was introduced and called up to begin his presentation. He waxed eloquent, going on and on about the intricacies of theological methodology. When he sat down an hour later, he asked his wife what the note was for. Was she giving him a KISS to encourage him? She smiled sweetly and said, “No. KISS means Keep It Simple, Stupid.”
-We often complicate the things of the Bible and make them harder than they need to be. When we boil it all down, it really is pretty simple. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist, or have college degrees or even a high school diploma to know Jesus. Keep it simple, stupid. Or, to put it more kindly, “Keep it simple, sweetie.” Only one thing deserves level one priority in our lives. So here is the main idea of the message today.
Prop: Getting to know God must become our single greatest pursuit if we truly want to honor Him with our lives.
Interrogative: Well, what does that look like? How can we make knowing God the most important thing in our lives?
TS: Let’s talk about some of the demands of life first, and then we’ll move on to the one thing that is needed.
I. The Tyranny of “Many Things” (Lk. 10:40-41)
40“But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" 41 "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things.”
- In the movie City Slickers, Jack Palance asks Billy Crystal, “Do you know what the secret to life is?” Billy answers, “No, what?” Jack holds up his finger and says, “This.” Billy says, “Your finger?” Then Jack says, “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean [nothin’].” Billy answers, “That’s great, but what’s the one thing?” Jack says, “That’s what you’ve got to figure out.”
-There are many things in our lives that require our attention, our efforts, our time, and our resources. If you are a parent with children at home, you are reminded every morning that somebody needs you. There is breakfast to fix, clothes to find and put on, lunches to prepare, chores to do, rides to give, money to part with, and so on. Whether you are a parent or not, you still face several of these things each day: bills to pay, cars to repair, groceries to buy, broken things to fix, doctors to see, insurance to deal with, taxes to worry about, and many other concerns to attend to. It is easy for us to get lost in the flurry of demands that each day brings. Been there, done that, still do it!
-Martha too was distracted by all of the things she had to do in order to be a good hostess and provide the expected generous hospitality for their special guest, Jesus, and all His disciples. There were likely at least 13 mouths to feed that day, not counting Mary, Martha, or their brother Lazarus. Here is how things might have gone down that day at Martha’s House of Pancakes. Martha was up to her elbows in Jewish food preparation, and suddenly realized she was low on fresh water. So she grabbed the bucket and ran to the well, filled it, spilled it, refilled it, and rushed back as quickly as she could. Mary was still sitting there and hadn’t even been in the kitchen to help with anything. As Martha bustled around the kitchen, she was getting more and more frustrated with her sister. Finally, when she heard Mary laugh out loud at something Jesus had said, she’d had it. She marched into the room and gave Mary one of those unmistakable sisterly looks that said, “Just wait until I get you alone.” Jesus glanced up and gave Martha a little smile, inviting her into the conversation. But Martha was in no mood for chit chat. She said, “"Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"