I was in a church service recently where a servant of God, Pastor John Adekunle Adenuga of CAC WOSEM, Bolorunduro, Ilesa – Nigeria, was preaching on the topic “Salvation.” He alluded to the text in Luke 10:38-42 describing the choices that Mary and Martha made when they were hosting Jesus Christ as a guest. “Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” Martha chose to prepare some food for Jesus while Mary chose to listen to Jesus speak and teach. Though Martha’s choice was good (since a guest has to be taken good care of), but spiritually speaking, her goodness was focused on satisfying the flesh while Mary was more concerned about feeding the spiritual self, knowing that it was more rewarding than the temporary satisfaction of the flesh.
Bringing this story into a church setting or our day-to-day living in the society at large, we realize that there are at least two (2) categories of people: those who are carnally minded and those who are spiritually minded. In this text, Martha concerned herself with canal things that could not last while Mary focused on the spiritual things that had a lasting value. The bible however makes it clear in Romans 8:6 that “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
This teaching is not to suggest that Martha sinned by wanting to prepare physical meal for her guest; to her credit, indeed she was a woman:
- given to hospitality and caring (Lk. 10:39 & John 12:2).
- who could be approached and taught, that’s why Jesus could say in vs. 41 “Martha, Martha …”
but Jesus who knew the hearts of all mankind responded to her concern saying in Luke 10:41-42 that, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset (disturbed, anxious, distracted, agitated) about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Jesus was indicating here that His words were of more value than all other things that we worry about on the face of the earth. This is why I always tell church workers, though they love the Lord, not to be too busy serving in church that they forget or neglect their own spiritual nourishment; there is time to serve, there is time to worship. This is likened to a person who works for Christ but having no time to commune with Him. We must always strike a balance in our lives between duty and devotion.
Mary was a woman who exhibited a worshiper with quiet spirit, looking to deeper life in Christ:
- She was sitting at Christ’s feet, listening to His words of life – Lk. 10:39
- In another situation (John 11:20) we found her sitting at home
- When Jesus arrived (John 11:32) she worshipped Him, wanting comfort for the death of her brother – Lazarus
- In John 12:3 she anointed the feet of Jesus, another act of worship
- In Mark 14:9 Jesus immortalized her for her heart and deed of worship
But Martha, although hospitable and teachable, was the anxious and distracted type:
- Luke 10:40 states that she was distracted, worried, upset for many things
- John 11:20-21 shows she was agitated
- John 12:2 says she was busy serving
Like Martha, we are “troubled about many things” – house, money, health, car, etc., but should care about the salvation of their souls as the major and important thing. What are you concerned about? What troubles your mind more: materials or your relationship with God? Jesus is more pleased with our worship than anything else.
God knows the thoughts of our hearts: In John 6:3-15 and 25-40, Jesus knew and told the multitude that they really were not seeking Him for spiritual matters or the salvation of their souls, but for food, healing and other material things. Please take this time to search your heart and come to terms with the true reason why you seek God; is it for earthy survival or more for heavenly security? Jesus advised the multitude to believe in Him who was sent. He said in Mat. 6:33 that we should seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness (salvation); everything else shall be added to us. God never wants His children to suffer or lack any good thing. Psalm 34:10 states, “The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.”
When you are making choices: (1) put things in order of importance; (2) consider the timing – in Martha’s case, may be food could come after the teaching – since Jesus was not always there with them; (3) Choose Jesus above people or things, He cannot be taken away from you, but materials can be list and people man desert you.
Looking all over the place for prophets and miracles is not what you need; seeking to know Jesus and the power of His resurrection is the need that must be met. The reason for this is that after all said and done, the bible says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” We want to be sure of where we are going after death. After all materials we gain here on earth will be left behind.
The purpose of Christ’s coming is not to come and feed us with physical food, but to save our souls. We all must be concerned with the salvation of our souls.
Exo. 16:4 we see that if food is the concern, God is ready and able to provide it but He is more concerned about our walking in His precepts so that we can enter into the place where we will no longer ever be hungry. May our salvation be sure in Jesus name.
John 3:16-21 explains to us that the main reason why God sent His son to the world as a gift was so that through Jesus the world may be saved. It is noteworthy that anyone who does not accept this Jesus will be condemned. Anyone who does not believe in Jesus will receive the wrath of God (John 3:36). Jesus came that we may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10-14); accept Him as your Savior and good shepherd.
Jesus loves you; He came because of you. Start to pay more attention to the things that really matter: the salvation of your soul. Make choices that show you are saved; If you do this, you will be not only be saved but all other things will be added to you; it’s Christ’s promise.
Do you have a sermon notebook for yourself? I have customized one for you. You can also request for my book “Chosen But Naughty” if you call 516-8605729. Also available for your benefit is a daily devotional that you may obtain by calling 718-658-8981