Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”-Luke 10:38-42
"Martha was distracted with much serving..."
I am distracted with much serving. Sunday school lessons, practical Christian ministry, floor ministry team, street evangelism, prayer groups, Bible studies, homework...
Here at Martha Bible Institute all that glitters is not gold. It's ministry. It's service. It's good. But it is not best.
"Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her."
The sweet taste of eternity is in the open space at Jesus' feet, and there we glimpse all that is to come. Jesus is a higher prize than the service of Him.
We long for eternity when it is within our grasp. If only we would grasp. We are blinded to Jesus by all the things we have attached to Him. We can't see the forest for the trees.
"But now is the only time our service can bring Him glory," we say. "We can sit at His feet through all eternity," we protest. But He receives the most glory when we just sit satisfied, and since when has the service of Him been higher than the love of Him?
"This people honours me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me..."
The greatest commandment... to love the Lord your God...
Mary chose best. And how better to serve the broken than to walk the road to healing in their sight - to model content surrender in the intoxicating place at the foot of the cross?
All that we teach must first be learned; all that we live must first be witnessed. This happens in the highest low place - at His feet.
There we cease striving to begin being.
The quiet soul is a maleable soul, and eyes that must look up to see Jesus will reveal a soul He is slowly transforming.
A busy heart bound in service beats too hard to be broken, and eyes looking always down to find the greatest need will one day forget to look up to the Great Need-Meeter.
"Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary."
One thing. And out of it all needs will be met, all tasks balanced, all glory given to the Glorious One.
To sit in the quiet, empty space. Contentment is empty of all but Him. Silence is the deafening sound of His voice. In idleness the work of the transforming Spirit accelerates.
Marys are rare commodities in a Martha world. Even the Bible Institute threatens to suck me into her world. It's not about how much I can do for Christ, but how deeply I can abide in Him. In doing is death. In abiding is life.
I feel like Martha 90% of the time, and Mary the other 10%. I want a reversal. His kingdom has always been upside down. Here it's the sitting ones who get the most done. When we frantically search for His glory we are occasionally successful in finding it, but when we sit and drink it all from Him, it becomes part of us.
"For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling" (Isaiah 30:15).
Marys boast of strength not their own, but His. Marthas burn out when feeble hearts beat too hard and fast.
I want a Christ-molded Mary heart. Quiet but strong. Abiding in glory.
His rest is available now - the best choice, the good portion that will not be taken away from you.