Her desire to get things done never seemed to be a problem before. She was masterful at serving up dinners for three or fifty-three. She was the brains and her sister was her right hand woman when it came to putting on the best hospitality in Bethany.
And then came Jesus.
Jesus always changed the status quo. His presence drew people away from what had been the routine course of life to a new normal focused on God. Mystifying some, antagonizing others, enticing only a few to draw closer and find out more.
Mary was drawn to sit at Jesus’ feet, openly receiving His Presence in her home. However, the duty to present a proper table narrowed Martha’s view to a point of distraction.
Gotta’ getter done! Surely the Lord could understand THAT.
Martha’s demand that her sister review her priorities and do the RIGHT thing to help her over-burdened sister made perfect sense. Right?
“But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41-42 - NASB)
Could it be that the reason Jesus said Martha’s name twice was because she was SO distracted? Busy as a slave to the task rather than fostering rapport with Him.
This is not to say that welcoming people into one’s home for a meal and fellowship is bad. On the contrary. We are all called to be hospitable; generously and cordially receiving guests. But I have to wonder, what if Martha had received Jesus with Mary BEFORE her energies became focused on the meal? Would her preparation have resulted in a more cordial table of hospitality with a sweeter season of fellowship?
The welcome we extend to others is simply a continuation of the welcome we’ve received from Christ. What better way to get to know someone than over a home cooked meal at your table? Nourishment filling our empty stomachs and healthy connections sustaining our hungry hearts.
It’s what our Lord does for us. He prepares a table for us in the most unlikely places at the most inconvenient times. Jesus calls us to Himself before He calls us to do His will. He desires to fill us up for service from His own hand. Our spiritual service to Him is sacrifice of our grandiose plans and wait on Him. Time well spent at the feet of the Master.
Relationship with Jesus creates the Kingdom of God from the inside out.
“One more step, Michael. When you’re ready, let go. I’m here. I’ll catch you.”
My husband, David, who was speaking at a summer camp, got our 6 year old to help him in a visual aid during his message. The plan was for Michael to climb up a 6’ ladder, one rung at a time, and freefall backward into his daddy’s arms. As Michael advanced to the next height, he could hear his dad’s voice behind him encouraging him to “let go” and trust. For a short time, Michael couldn’t see or hear David, but he knew what the plan was. Don’t goof off, get silly, or switch things up and there would be a happy ending. Michael was obedient and held true to the plan. His confidence in David’s trustworthiness was a wonderful example.
It’s been a long time since I thought of this story.
Three things stand out to me:
1. Michael and David knew the plan from the beginning.
2. Michael took the steps needed to fulfill the plan.
3. Michael finished the plan, relinquishing all control for the final outcome to David.
When the world began, a Father and a Son knew a plan. The Son took the steps needed to fulfill the plan. The Son finished the plan, relinquishing all control for the final outcome to His Father. Jesus Christ, fully divine and fully human, came into this sin-sick world and lived a life of perfect trust in His Heavenly Father. There was never a time when Jesus would be out of fellowship with his Dad, except for the cross. On the cross, Jesus would need to experience that devastating sin-separation from the Father. There was no other way for the plan to be completed.
Nailed to a cross, Jesus is raised up for all to see. The sun is obscured. He cries out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” He has been abandoned; separated from The Father by the sin of the world. Then John writes in chapter 19 verse 28, “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, *said, ‘I am thirsty.’”
The price is paid.
The plan is complete.
Through parched lips wet with sour wine Jesus affirms, “It is finished!”
With one last act of trust Jesus,”… crying out with a loud voice, said, "Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT." Having said this, He breathed His last.” (Luke 23:46) Jesus fell free into the gracious hands of Father God.
Our Savior lived a life of trust in God the Father to the point of death so that we can know the freedom of surrender to Him and His perfect will. Because Jesus took the fall for our disobedience, we, who place our faith in His work on the cross on our behalf, won’t have to.
The challenge for us is to relinquish control and allow God to work in us and through us to accomplish His plan, to His praise and honor and glory.
Hello! My name is Vicki Johnson, aka, gracefilledgirl.