Will you choose the Good?

Luke 10

Today, the scene is set in Martha and Mary’s home. Jesus has set his face toward Jerusalem, and this story is propelling his journey to the cross. Mary and Martha, sisters, are arguing, as sisters do. Martha has invited Jesus and his crew of AT LEAST twelve hungry men (possibly more if some of the seventy or seventy-two disciples have come along) over for dinner. She’s got a lot of social pressure placed on her, because to have people in her home and NOT feed them, and feed them well, would look bad on her whole family. It would be shameful. 

And Mary is just sitting at his feet. 

Martha, rushing, busy, sweating, harried.

Mary, content, lounging, comfortable, relaxed. 

I feel for Martha. “LORD, don’t you care that my sister isn’t working as hard as I am” she says in frustration, with slightly gritted teeth. “She isn’t serving you the way that I am, isn’t trying to be as good for you as I am! TELL HER TO GET UP AND HELP ME!” Of course she is troubled, worried, bothered, anxious. 

We are all Martha. We are all so worried. So anxious and bothered. So troubled. 

But Jesus just calls out to her, to us. “Martha, Martha…” Can you hear the compassion when he says her name? When he says your name? You are so busy, so laden down with cares and concerns, with worries, about how you will succeed, how you will make sure everyone is taken care of, how you will serve. But Jesus isn’t worried about all that. He calls out to you and says something beautiful. 

There is only one thing necessary. It’s the good thing that Mary chose, to sit at his feet, listen to him, rest in him, love him. 

Will you choose the good?

Is that your one thing? Do you want to serve, to prove how strong, and powerful, and mighty, and good, and honorable you are? Or are you willing to sit at the feet of Jesus, to learn from him, grow from him, but most of all love and rest in him? To be sure, there is a time to serve. Jesus is in the room teaching how to live. But, will you listen to his words? We can get so busy “serving him” we don’t actually hear what he says. There are those casting out demons and performing miracles who don’t know the Lord, and whom the Lord doesn’t know (see Matthew 7).

The one that is necessary, listening to the words of Jesus and resting in him, give our service purpose and grounding. 

Will you choose the good?

Will you choose to rest in the one whose yoke is easy, whose burden is light, who will give your soul rest?

Will you choose the good?

Jesus, primarily, calls us to himself. There will be a time for service, but the first and foremost command is to be with him, in peace and rest. Are you listening to that call? For some of us, the command to “come and die” is terrifying. But for some of us, “come and rest” is worse. We have to admit that we are not superheroes, no matter what we tell ourselves. We might just be people, like everyone else.

Will you choose the good?

Jesus gives us rest. This is the upside down kingdom we receive when we have a relationship with Christ. We take up his work so we may rest. We serve with him so we may reign with him. We take in his death so that we may live.

Will you choose the good?

-Jacob Ballard

Read or listen to today’s Bible reading passages at BibleGateway – Deuteronomy 3-4 and Luke 10

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