Luke 10:38-42 “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.
40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
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.”
Today we continue the subject of how important it is that we do the Work of the Lord, not letting the work of the world cause us to neglect doing the work of the Lord our God.
We read in the Word of God today, an account which many know, how when Jesus entered into Martha’s house, Martha went about working quickly and diligently to serve Jesus and His disciples, while Mary simply sat at the feet of Jesus and heard the Word as our Lord taught it.
There was once a sister of ours who misunderstood this, and thought that she didn’t want to be a “Martha” who did nothing, but wanted to be a “Mary” who did something. However, that isn’t really what we read in the Word of God. Mary and Martha, in a sense, both did work. It is just that one did work that was the normal, everyday work that is done in life, while the other did the work that was more needful: the work of the Lord (or hearing the Word).
There are things that need to be done in this world, for life, and for others. Then there are things that need to be done for the Lord. Both should be done, yet there are certain times for certain work. This is similar to the account where the woman poured spikenard on the head of Jesus. Spikenard was a very precious ointment, expensive and very valuable! When this happened, we read in Mark 14:4-5 “And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.” Yet Jesus rebuked them and said in the verses following, (Verses 6-8) “And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.”
Indeed, she could have used the ointment for the poor. However, there was something else that was more important and more needful to be done at that time, and she did that instead. Truly, we are to give to the poor, as Jesus our Lord mentions to the rich man not too long before, in Mark 10:21, “Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.” Indeed we are to give to the poor, just as we are shown in 1 Corinthians 13:3 that it is a good thing, and also giving to those in the body which lack, so that there is equality and abundance throughout, so that we all may do the work for the Lord. However, when a more necessary thing arises, we must do that thing instead!
Not too long ago, my mother had the opportunity to go to church with me. However, she told me that she couldn’t because she had work to do with her jewelry-making business. I then told her, “Well, may I say something, that might get you upset with me?” (I said that, because by “warning” her ahead of time, it makes it less likely that she will actually get upset) and she said go ahead. I asked her, “Who gave you that business, who is the One who has allowed you to start it and get as far as you have with it? God Alone, right?” and she then understood what I was saying, and told me she knew.
Concerning the above, by all means she should not neglect that business! It’s her job, and it’s something the Lord our God has blessed her with! However, at the same time she cannot afford to neglect following the Word of God, and going to church to be in fellowship with other children of God (Hebrews 10:25), and most certainly she cannot afford to neglect Praising Him and Thanking Him! There are other times that the business work can be done. It could have been done earlier that day throughout the day, or even after she came back from church, or even still, the next day (The way the business is, time is very, very flexible).
In the same way, we cannot let the things of this life, cause us to become so caught up in it, that we neglect doing what God wants us to do for Him! In today’s verses, Martha is doing a good thing, as we are all told that the greatest among us will be servants, our ministers, as said Again in the Gospel of Mark, in Mark 10:42-45 “But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Yet there was something more important and needful at that time to do, and that was to listen to the Lord Jesus! Martha had many opportunities to serve, yet this time she had Jesus in her home, and should have instead focused more on listening to Him . . . because He wouldn’t always be in her home.
Knowing all this, yes there are so many things that we need to do in this life, just to live and also to be compassionate and loving toward others. However, when the Lord our God tells us that we need to do this other thing instead, we need to do it. When there is no conflict between what the Lord wants you to do, and what needs to be done (or what other people need/want you to do) then do both, doing what needs to be done, or what others may need/want from you. However, when the roads separate, we must choose to follow the Lord and do what He wants us to do!
Let us remember to work hard for the Lord, knowing that, all in all, He will not ask you to do something that will utterly harm another person, or bring shame to His Name, or will cause you to neglect things that need to be done. We have to remember that most of the time, it isn’t really a matter of God telling you something that conflicts with something else you NEED to do, but rather a matter of organizing our time and priorities so that we can do both what the Lord wants, and what we need to do for others, our family, and life in general.
I love you so much, and fervently pray for you every day. I pray that all is well with you and your family, and all those around you! May our Lord continue to guide you in all you do, and give all of us His Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding, Discernment, Strength, Courage, and Endurance so that we may know and understand His Word to follow it, and so that we may fight the good fight of Faith, against the Devil and his work! May God Bless you greatly in all you do, and you have a wonderful day today!
Love in Christ, Always,
Your friend forever,
Psalm 37:4 “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”