Finding time for the Lord

Published on 24 April 2024 at 23:48

“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)

Here, we see the story of Mary and Martha in the gospel of Luke. These two women represent two different attitudes in front of Jesus. One represents works and the other faith. Mary was at Jesus' feet, which indicates dependence on Him and listening to His words.

She was praised by Jesus for what she was doing. We need to see something here. In the Bible, it is not said that works mustn’t be done or that we mustn’t work. It is even said that whoever doesn’t work mustn’t eat as well (2 Thessalonians 3:10).    

What Jesus was saying to Martha wasn’t that what she was doing was completely wrong. He just told her that Mary had chosen and was preoccupied with what was eternal, and that was really important. That’s why He told her that this part was not going to be taken away from her.

She was worried about what was eternal. This is what we need to do. We need to know that what really matters in this world is what will happen after this life. This doesn’t mean that we mustn’t work or provide for our families. The Bible exhorts us to work as it says that Paul was also working, and in the apostles’ time, there were disciples chosen to serve on the tables. The Bible is not against work, and it doesn't contradict itself. The message in the story of Martha and Mary is rather focused more on listening to God’s word and looking for what is eternal. We just need to find time for Jesus. Time to seek Him. Because this is what will remain and it will never be taken away from us. We will carry on working and serving, but amid that, we will need to find time for Jesus. What Martha was doing was right, but she just had to acknowledge the time in which she was. Jesus was there and she had to profit that moment to listen to His words. At another time, she could have worked or done anything else she was supposed to, but at that particular time, she had to stay at His feet and listen to Him.

Another thing was that she was also too worried about the matters she had to do. “And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.” (Luke 10:41)

I repeat that we need to do things and work but not overwhelm ourselves with that. There are persons who spend all their lives working and laying up goods, even more than what is necessary; they burden themselves with that. This way, they don’t find time to seek the Lord and lay up what really will profit them. In the end, they will not be able to take away what they have laid up with them.

What does it mean to listen and to receive from the Lord? Does it mean we need to lock ourselves in a room and read and listen all day to God’s word and Christian content? In some cases, this could sometimes be done, but there is also another aspect to what Mary was doing. She was listening and considering the word of God. She was worried about what was eternal and that it would never be taken away from her. It means that in our day-to-day experiences and situations, we have to consider the word of God and set it on top as our priority. It means that instead of hiding and telling a lie, we will be truthful and tell the truth; instead of getting angry with our neighbor, we will be patient and forgiving; instead of lusting and giving into sin, we will trust in God to help us to live in purity. These are things that the word of God states. It tells us not to be hearers only but persons who do what the word of God says (James 1:22). This is also what it means to be at Jesus’ feet and to listen to Him. To listen and obey. Obviously, we cannot do this by ourselves, and we need God’s strength to do it.

So, the conclusion is that we all need to make time for Jesus in our lives and do so wholeheartedly, knowing that all pass away, but what lasts forever is what we have received from Him.

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