One Thing is Needful (LUKE 10: 38 – 42)

Hospitality is great, and so is any other activity that we perform either for helping someone, improving ourselves, or just having fun.

When Jesus came into Bethany, he meets two sisters Mary and Martha. The scripture says Martha welcomed Him, and then it stated she had a sister called Mary. From that point, you will know that Maty was not the social type. Her personality in this scripture paints a picture of one who is hungry for knowledge, information, personal growth. Because the bible says she sat at Jesus’ feet listening to His message.

On the other hand, Mary was a typo of the one who wanted to be busy about everything, involved in every activity, be noticed on what she is doing, trying to accomplish multiple tasks at the same time, and the end finishes none.

Then she comes to Jesus and complains of not being helped by her sister, a typical again who thinks being busy means being productive.

She has missed out on the “one thing needed” for true hospitality. There is no greater hospitality than listening to your guest. How much more so when the guest is Jesus! So, Jesus says that Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.

Jesus’ words to Martha may be seen as an invitation rather than a rebuke. Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is a need for only one thing. The one thing needed is for Martha to receive the gracious presence of Jesus, listen to his words, know that she is valued not for what she does or how well she does it, but for who she is as a child of God.

We can only find our true value in spending time at the feet of Jesus, studying his word.

Many believers likely identify with Martha, being pulled in different directions, feeling worried and distracted by many things.

Much of our busyness and distraction indeed stems from the noblest of intentions. We want to provide for our families, we want to give our children every opportunity to enrich their lives, we want to serve our neighbors, and yes, we want to serve the Lord. Indeed, where would the church be without its “Martha’s,” those faithful folks who perform the tasks of hospitality and service in the house of God?

And yet if all our activities leave us with no time to be still in the Lord’s presence and hear God’s word, we are likely to end up anxious and troubled. We are likely to end up with a kind of service that is devoid of love and joy and is resentful of others.

We should hence never neglect the guest by busyness but rather choose that one thing that is needful, learning and growing in his word.

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