The Most Needful & Important Thing – according to Jesus
Recall the story of Martha and Mary. It is only mentioned once in the Bible. Therefore, it must have a very significant meaning. The entire story is only stated in five verses. All Jesus will do is visit.
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. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard His word. 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. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her”.
- Mary represents ministering unto the Lord.
- Martha represents ministering unto man.
Neither Mary nor Martha are neglectful people. They simply have different priorities. Mary only truly loved the Lord and cherished every opportunity to be in His presence, to hear the true love of God spoken to her. What better place she thought to be than at the Lord’s feet.
Be honest with yourself. Do you have the same desire as Mary? Is this in the right priority with your other desires? Or are you like Martha the workaholic perfectionist?
Martha had a servant’s heart, but placed service to man ahead of her relationship with God. The only concern Martha grasps in to minister to man. She is only concerned with flesh works, flesh service. Everything must be perfectly prepared. How dare Mary not help! Then the audacity of Mary to be with Jesus instead! Martha rushes (obviously through life also) for every little detail. She even becomes ticked off at Jesus. (If you are angry with God for whatever reason, you clearly have misplaced priorities.)
Service that Martha does is important, but never should it be at the expense of neglecting a relationship with God. Misplaced priorities make one impatient and upset – even with Jesus. Their work is not being recognized – and should not be.
Obviously, Martha sweats frequently due to her flesh works. Because of her sweating, she can never truly enter the presence of the Lord.
Recall Ezekiel 44:17-18 – “And it shall come to pass, that when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them, while they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within. They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth SWEAT”.
God will never tolerate any works of the flesh. No flesh shall ever glory in His presence. If there is one thing God cannot stand and will not tolerate, it is the born-again Christian who comes into His presence sweating and smelling of the works of the flesh. Just as Martha did. Why? Because God does not sweat. Sweat is not even a word listed in His vocabulary. It is not His nature to sweat. He only rests. So are we to rest in the love and grace of God, as Mary did, at the feet of Jesus. What a glory!
Use the story of Martha and Mary to your advantage. Read it often permitting the Holy Spirit to show you that your top priority must be sitting at the Lord’s feet listening to every word coming from His lips. For you, that would be sitting often in the presence of God reading His Word. I pray Mary’s priority become your priority.
Don’t fall into the “Martha” complex of putting service for God ahead of relationship with God. When your relationship with God is top priority, service for God flows naturally to others. It will be Christ in you doing it.