“Now while they were on their way, it occurred that Jesus entered a certain village, and a woman named Martha received and welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching. But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me [to lend a hand and do her part along with me]! But the Lord replied to her by saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; There is need of only one or but a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion [that which is to her advantage], which shall not be taken away from her.”
Luke 38-42, Amplified Bible
“But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving;…”
Martha was “overly occupied and too busy”. Well, doesn’t that just sound a little familiar? In this world today, where “More is better”, and “life=productivity”, we have tossed “too much” and “too busy” out the window. We don’t have time to be too busy, we just get it done.
Am I right?
Lord, save us from the Martha mentality!
What did Mary do? Sat down at Jesus’ feet. Lucky girl! She wasn’t held back by convention, or tied down by responsibilities. She just sat down. One pastor pointed out how unconventional this truly was. He said that the only ones that were to sit down at a teacher’s feet were his male followers. She didn’t belong at all. She was breaking tradition and behaving inappropriately, according to her society’s standards.
But she didn’t care.
On the other hand, Martha is the epitome of the “perfect” woman. Really, she is. She welcomes guests into her home with no notice, serves a large meal, and prepares a place for them to stay. She no doubt had been busy making bread, sweeping the floors, and doing laundry before they came- just in case. Always prepared.
But Jesus didn’t commend Martha for her busyness and preparedness. He said this, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things;…” He said her name twice- that was like a “Listen up!” I believe it was also out of affection. He loved Martha! He came to visit Martha and Mary to spend time with them, because He loved them very much. He wasn’t concerned about a meal, or how it was to be served. He would have loved for Martha to join her sister at His feet.
And what did He go on to say about Mary? “There is need of only one or but a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion [that which is to her advantage], which shall not be taken away from her.”
“Mary has chosen the good portion…”
In The Message, Eugene Peterson puts it this way:
“The Master said, ‘Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.’ ”
The footnote on verse 42 in the Amplified Bible says this:
Luke 10:42 Some ancient manuscripts read “a few things,” while others read “only one,” and still others read “a few and only one.”
What is your One Thing? What is your “main course”, as Peterson phrases it?
Definitely, we want it to be Jesus. He is the Only One that matters.
But, I think that Jesus was also wanting to teach us another principle.
“One or but a few things.”
“A few things.”
“A few and only one.”
How does that speak to you? What’s the first thing that comes to your mind?
I felt a little “ping” in my heart. What am I doing? What is that One Thing- my Focus, my divine Purpose?
Am I doing it, and doing it well?
“One or but a few things.”
What is your biggest dream? Your greatest desire? I believe that God places those things in our heart for a reason. They are not silly, they are not frivolous, and they are not “wishful thinking”. Your greatest dream is your God Dream. Something that you could never accomplish on your own is something that only the Creator of the Universe could place in your heart.
Maybe to make sure that you depend on Him?
Maybe to show you a miracle?
Maybe to show the world His glory?
Instead of shoving that Dream back down where it came from- deep in your heart of hearts- lift it out of its hidden chamber today. Hold it up under the light. Let the sun’s rays illuminate your Dream.
Allow the Lord to speak to you today about the Dream that He placed in your heart years ago- at your birth! He created you for a divine Purpose.
Focus on that. Remember, in life we can only be great at a few things. Maybe even just One Thing. You don’t have to be a master violinist, painter, songwriter, mathematician, and cardiac surgeon. Thankfully. Because it’s next to impossible. What if you just pick one, maybe two? And let the rest go?
And remember, above ALL things…choose Jesus. Instead of bustling around the kitchen, sit at the feet of the Master who is waiting for you just outside the door. He is the Best Thing, and He is the only One who can make that Dream come true. So sit at His feet and gain His wisdom and understanding. Spend time with the Lover of your soul. Sit at His feet and allow His love to wash over you. Then you can go out and work on your Dream!
Choose the Best Thing.
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