Work or Work of God

Luke 10: 38 – 42

Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. And she had a sister called Mary, who was also seated at the Lord’s feet, and was listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do the serving by myself? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; but only one thing is necessary; for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Yesterday I mentioned the “one thing” which is most important. The idea of the “one thing” came from Jesus. He said that only one thing is necessary, inferring that Mary had chosen and was partaking of the “one thing.” What was that one thing which Jesus thinks is most important and, truly, the only necessary thing?

Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to his teaching. It seems like the one thing, then, had to either be sitting at Jesus’ feet or listening to his word. One would presume it was the latter. Jesus said in John 6: 29, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” Rephrased, if you want to do the work of God, then the work is to believe in Jesus. Presumptively, that was what Mary was doing. Martha was working, but Mary was doing the work of God. How is that for perspective? It appeared that Mary was goofing off, but Jesus said she was doing the real work, the only important work in fact. Or ask this, which one was really serving Christ?

My mind translates all of this into a mandate to seek God, Son and Spirit. The work of God is believing in the one He sent. The beginning of that is in seeking. Jesus said Mary was doing the one thing which is necessary when she sat at his feet listening to his word. She was fulfilling God’s calling. Today, we still sit at Jesus’ feet, but we listen to him speak to us through the Bible. His teachings are there. We also use meditative prayer and conversation with him to hear him speak to our lives. If we wish to do the works of God and if we want to accomplish the one important thing, I believe that means we must seek God through His Word and through time spent with Him.

Consider today, if you will, what the “one thing” means to you. What did Mary do that Jesus said would not be taken away from her? She provided a model for us, so it is good for us to ponder what happened in that interchange. I hope it means prayer and meditation come before housework.