By Micky Galloway
In Luke 10:38-42 we read of two sisters in Bethany, Martha and Mary. These were apparently friends of Jesus. These two sisters and their brother Lazarus (Jn. 11), were good people who loved Jesus and He loved them. As Jesus visits with these sisters a remarkable contrast begins to unfold. Martha and Mary illustrate two opposite attitudes and affections.
Mary “…sat at the Lord’s feet, and heard His word” (vs. 39). She listened attentively to His instructions and took full advantage of this opportunity to learn from the Master teacher. She evidenced interest and desire to obey the will of the Lord. We too, must manifest this same zeal to learn and obey. Jesus said, “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness …” (Matt. 5:6). The word “blessed” means “happy” (The Online Bible Thayer’s Greek Lexicon and Brown, Driver & Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, Copyright © 1993). “Righteousness” simply means to be right with God. All God’s commandments are righteousness. Psalms 119:172 says, “Let my tongue sing of thy word; for all thy commandments are righteousness” (see also Psa. 119:138, 144). Please note that we are not to hunger and thirst after happiness, rather the man who is seeking righteousness is happy. If you are putting happiness before righteousness, you will be doomed to misery.
Martha however, “was cumbered about much serving…” (vs. 40). She was not sitting where Mary was. Martha was not an evil woman. She had many commendable qualities. She was a diligent housekeeper, gracious hostess, and desired to express grand hospitality. All of these are honorable and commendable attributes of womanhood (cf. 1 Tim. 5:14; Titus 2:4-5). The Master had come to her house for a visit and she offers Him the best hospitality she could. However, Martha was so absorbed in what she could do for Jesus, she had forgotten all about what Jesus could do for her.
As sisters sometimes do, Martha became critical of Mary and said, “Lord dost thou not care that my sister did leave me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me” (vs. 40). Martha interrupts Jesus’ instruction to involve Him in a personal dispute. She speaks as one who is angry toward her sister, else she would not have troubled the Lord about the matter. Such temporal things often become the source of disruption in the closest of relationships whether it be in the home, church, or community. As often is the case, Martha had misjudged her sister.
Indeed, Martha was troubled or “anxious about many things.” The “many things” that occupied Martha’s mind cause her to be distracted from the “one thing” that was needful. Certainly, the “many things” on Martha’s mind were important to her and were not sinful in themselves, but her priorities were wrong. As important as it was to be a good hostess to the Lord of glory, it not as important as sitting at His feet and devoting full, undivided attention to His instruction.
Jesus commended Mary. “But one thing is needful: for Mary hath chosen the good part” (vs. 42). Mary had chosen to sit at the Master’s feet to learn His will. Compared to this, the “many things” are of little importance. Jesus said, “But seek ye first His kingdom and His righteousness; and these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). Nothing without this will do us any good in this world, and nothing but this will do us any good in the world to come! The cares of this world will choke out the word of God if our priorities are wrong (Read Lk. 8:11-15). Mary is commended for we find her often returning to the feet of Jesus (Matt. 26:6-13; Mk. 14:3-6; Jn. 10:1-9).
Two meals were being prepared in the house of Martha and Mary that day. Mary was sitting at the table of the Lord, partaking of the “bread of life.” Jesus said, “If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever” (Jn. 6:51). Mary was feasting upon that “which shall not be taken away from her.” Martha was preparing a physical meal that would provide nourishment for only a few hours at best. Housekeeping and all manner of physical toil will be carried on by others after you die. The house you now live in, and the kitchen in which you now serve will one day be occupied by another. In fact, the tabernacle, the physical body in which you reside, will one day return to the dust (Eccl. 12:7). But if you long for, hunger and thirst for, and live by the words of Christ, you shall live forever.
Sometimes we are just too busy, “cumbered about many things,” to serve the Lord effectively. Even the care we exercise toward our own family may cause us to lose our soul. Jesus said, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt. 10:37). Many in the church today are so busy with work and household affairs that they do not have time to serve the Lord as they ought. The Lord commands us to study (2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Pet. 3:18), to teach our children (Eph. 6:4), to assemble with the saints (Heb. 10:24-25), to account others better than self (Phil. 2:3-4). All these take time! The interest of many in spiritual matters melts away because of secular matters until the word of God is choked out.
Let us like Mary, sit at the feet of Jesus, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, with vibrant interest to be more and more like Him. – Fifth Street East church of Christ Bulletin, January 12, 2003.
Worshiping Jesus in
By Micky Galloway
It cannot be denied that we are to worship God, however, I want to suggest some thoughts to consider regarding the question of singing songs of worship to Jesus.
Jesus accepted worship from both men and angels. This both angels and righteous men refused to do. When John attempted to worship an angel, the angle refused (Rev. 22:8-9). Peter refused to accept worship from Cornelius (Acts 10:25, 26). Paul and Barnabas refused worship in Lystra (Acts 14:8-18). The fact that Jesus accepted worship from men and angels indicates that he is God and worthy of such veneration. The Hebrew writer said, “And when he again bringeth in the firstborn into the world he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him” (Heb. 1:6, ASV).
At his birth Jesus was worshiped by the wise men who came from the east to find him (Matt. 2:11). The man who was born blind, whom Jesus healed also worshiped him and Jesus accepted his worship (Jn. 9:38). After the miracle of the calming of the storm on the sea, the Lord’s own disciples worshiped him (Matt. 14:33). Note: though Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith during the storm (vs. 31), he did not rebuke them for worshiping him. After Jesus was raised from the dead, the disciples worshiped him (Matt. 28:16-17). Then again in Luke 24:51-52, in connection with his ascension we read, “And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy” (ASV).
The scene presented of Jesus in heaven by John shows him worthy of receiving worship. “And they sing a new song, saying, Worthy art thou to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and didst purchase unto God with thy blood (men) of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, and madest them (to be) unto our God a kingdom and priests; and they reign upon earth. And I saw, and I heard a voice of many angels round about the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a great voice, Worthy is the Lamb that hath been slain to receive the power, and riches, and wisdom, and might and honor, and glory, and blessing. And every created thing which is in the heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and on the sea, and all things are in them, heard I saying, Unto him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb, (be) the blessing, and the honor, and the glory, and the dominion, for ever and ever. And the four living creatures said, Amen. And the elders fell down and worshipped” (Rev. 5:9-14, ASV). – The Spirit’s Sword, July 9, 2017.