“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.’” (Luke 10:40, ESV).
I have written on these verses in a previous post. In reading again through my previous post and this story from Dr. Luke’s gospel, I think I may have overlooked an important point.
It’s not that my former exposition was inaccurate. It’s not that my theology was incorrect.
It’s that there is just another element to the story that I need to emphasize….
Martha was taking care of Jesus and His entourage while they were visiting in her home, but her sister Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to His teaching. When Martha complained to Jesus about Mary’s irresponsible behavior, Jesus responded that Mary was doing what’s really important (vs. 42).
Although we want to be spiritual Mary’s, we’re really superficial Martha’s. We busy ourselves in doing good works and then don’t have have the time or energy to fulfill our spiritual calling.
“By faith Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter when he was grown up. He chose to be mistreated with God’s people instead of having the temporary pleasures of sin. He thought that the abuses he suffered for Christ were more valuable than the treasures of Egypt, since he was looking forward to the reward” (Hebrews 11:24-26, CEB).
A few years ago I wrote a book entitled, The Kingdom Order: Living for the Future in the Present. It took me 12 chapters and about 250 pages in the book to make the same point about the Christian life that the Hebrews writer makes in these 3 verses describing the godly legacy of Moses.
Like Moses, Christians live life by looking forward to their reward–living forward!
Human beings were created for eternal life! God created people for eternity and eternity is ever present in the life we now live.
So, when you follow Jesus, you start to live life life forward…
“Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil” (Job 1:8, NASB).
In this verse God is describing Job to Satan, showcasing him as an example of faithfulness among human beings. God repeats this same description to the devil in vs. 2:3. And, the book of Job begins with this same description: “There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil” (vs. 1:1).
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28, NASB).
In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series of meditations on Romans 8:28 we established that we are broken people living in a broken world and God is redeeming us and all His creation. God’s redemptive plan for the created order is not an accident of creation but is God’s design, His eternal plan.
“And my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2: 2-5, ESV).
The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians that he did not proclaim the gospel to them using intellectual arguments. He said he proclaimed the simple truth of the gospel through the life-changing power of the Holy Spirit so their faith would not be based on human reasoning but on the life-giving power of God.
“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8, ESV).
Isaiah had a vision of being in the presence of God in His heavenly temple.
Isaiah became fearful because he was a sinful person standing in the presence of a Holy God.
” Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:13-15, ESV).
Sometimes when we make a mistake and sin, we attribute the cause for the evil that we do to God. We say it is God causing this temptation in order to build our faith. Some may even flippantly say, “the devil made me do it.”
“For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first” (2 Peter 2:19-20, ESV).
Peter speaks here of false teachers who “bring in destructive heresies” (II Peter 2:1) and the people they lead astray with these detrimental teachings. If you succumb to these false teachings or their teacher, then you are a slave to whatever is controlling you.
“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! It is like fine oil on the head, running down on the beard, running down Aaron’s beard onto his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon falling on the mountains of Zion. For there the Lord has appointed the blessing—life forevermore” (Psalm 133, HCSB).
While it may be the gathering of God’s people at Jerusalem during one of the annual festivals that inspired the Psalmist to write this brief reflection, he assures us that God’s blessing abounds wherever brotherly love among God’s people abounds.
And what is the blessing that emanates from living in harmony with one another?
“Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.” Two months after the Isrealites left Egypt they arrived at Mt. Sinai. Moses climbed the mountain and received special instructions from the Lord to prepare the people of Israel to make a covenant with God. The covenant at Sinai called Israel to absolute loyalty to Him as their God and to a lifestyle that reflected His nature and His will through obedience to His law. While the Sinai covenant was good, it was incapable of enabling the Israelites to follow its commands. It is not until God graciously bestowed His Spirit that human beings were able to obey God’s commands. By the sacrifice of Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit, God now makes it possible for us to be empowered by His Spirit to obey and fulfill His covenant plans for us to be His holy nation–like a kingdom where everyone is a priest. When you have His Spirit dwelling in you, then God has made you one of His special treasures and you can have a personal, priestly relationship with Him.