“… And a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to His teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving.” (Luke 10:38-40)
When it happens … when someone we love and respect comes up to us …sits down with us … just their presence brings encouragement and strength and it is such a good thing, isn’t it? We see it at weddings, funerals, worship services, and social gatherings! We all know the feeling … don’t we?
There are so many recorded events that took place during the short life of Jesus Christ on this earth that are intended to teach, remind, and encourage us. Events where lessons were taught, love was shown, forgiveness was extended, and bonds were strengthened.
Just such an account takes place at the home of Martha and Mary, sisters of Lazarus! Yes, that Lazarus … a personal friend of Jesus … the one whom Jesus would come later to raise from the dead!
The scene is easy to picture. Preparations were being made for Jesus and those who were accompanying Him! Martha was hurrying around getting everything ready and in its place … but Mary … Mary made the deliberate choice to come over and sit at the feet of Jesus … and listen … listen to His words of righteousness, faith, service, and love for the Father!
Wouldn’t you have loved to have been in that house … sitting with Mary … taking in every word Jesus offered up for consideration and application? I sure would have!
Even though we can’t physically be in that house today … every time we sit down with His Word … read of His teaching … consider His varied miracles … learn of His compassion … and see His complete willingness to do His Father’s will … we are in the place that Mary found herself … listening to the Master Teacher!
Jesus went on to finish His earthly ministry … to die on the Cross for each of us … to be buried and raised from the dead by the power of His Father and finally ascend to the right hand of God until such time as His Father says “it is time for the Judgment!”
There are times in our lives when we search for quietude, for the sounds of silence and they truly have a legitimate place in life. But there are other times when we desire the presence of others even as Job’s friends who came and “sat silently for seven days and seven nights.” (Job 2:11-13)
There are times … yes … there are times when we just need to know someone we love and care for so much is THERE! There to comfort … to love … to offer encouragement … perhaps even admonition because they love and care about us and our well-being!
We have all come to realize in a very personal way due to the extenuating circumstances we are all facing in our daily lives this one truth among so many … Presence matters! We have had impressed upon our hearts the real need to be with others!
Being isolated from our friends, brethren, and often even other family members who live in other places, we have hopefully arrived at that place where we realize the value of spending more time with our immediate family together in the home … getting to know and arrive at a better understanding of one another!
But there is an even more important and relevant blessing that comes from this ‘social distancing’ … and that is one each of us needs to give some very serious attention to! We’re talking about spending time together with God’s good Book … getting to know and understand our God and His expectations of us that are grounded in the wonderful and sacrificial love He has demonstrated and the longsuffering and patience He continues to show mankind … to each of us!
In the case of Mary, she clearly recognized the need for presence … specifically, the presence of the Lord … to listen with her heart, and to apply to her heart … the “words of life” coming from the Master Himself!
Mary didn’t have to join in with Jesus during the conversation. Did she have questions to ask of Him, probably! Would He answer them, of course! But she didn’t feel the need to bring attention to herself … to be the center of attention! You see … for Mary … it was enough just to “sit at His feet and listen to His teaching.”
Our God still wants, desires and in fact, expects us to be in His presence … to give Him our hearts, time, and lives! James writes in James 4:4, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” (NKJV)
It is so sad to see families that are so preoccupied with temporal and earthly things that they have little or no time for the eternal things! What they are missing is so comforting!!
Mary had one thing on her mind and Jesus tells us in Luke 10:42, “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
And so we say ‘Thank you, Martha, for showing us how to be mindful of others!
And so we say, ‘Thank you, Mary, for showing us how to be mindful of our Savior and the need for His presence … every day we have to live!
And so we say, ‘Thank you, Father, for giving us time to spend in your Word!”
Bill Fairchild, Jr
P.S. How are you doing on your daily Bible reading?