We’re continuing to look at the theme of invitation, with the question; what does Jesus invite us to do?
Jesus invites us to get ourselves right with Him first.
This needs to be our priority every day. It is not a once and for all thing. But it’s too easy to busy our lives with “good things”. Jesus doesn’t want us to do this. He doesn’t want us to busy ourselves with “good things”.
The account of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42) is about doing the right thing at the right time. But it is more than this. This event in Jesus’ life encourages us to take action only after spending time in Jesus presence, getting ourselves right with God our Father.
Getting right with God involves asking myself:
- What do I need to deal with in my life before I can go on and do the right thing?
- What is God asking me to sort out?
You may consider yourself a “do-er” and think that that is good enough. But it is essential to get right with God, through Jesus, first.
Getting right is about confessing sins, letting God show us what sins we need to confess, revealing to us which areas of our life are not in line with His truth.
Mary hung on to every word Jesus was saying. Is that our attitude?
But why was Jesus in their home in the first instance? Jesus was passing by and Martha opened up her home to Him.
Martha takes the initiative, and without hesitation Jesus willingly accepted Martha’s invitation. Then Jesus “took over” and took the initiative. No doubt He was speaking about God, the Kingdom of Heaven, His mission.
Mary was soaking it up, like a sponge in water!
We need to welcome Jesus in to talk to us – chat with us. Our response is to listen and respond – chat back. It is a two-way conversation.
Mary, sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening and catching what He was saying, was getting herself right with Him.
On the other hand, Martha, having invited Jesus in, got in a muddle, and busied herself with the wrong things.
But notice what Jesus says, He said “you are worried and upset about many things”
The words “many things” struck me! It appears that Martha wasn’t just distracted by doing things to welcome their visitor, there were other things that were also distracting her from spending time in God’s presence and chatting and listening to Him in a two-way conversation
Martha was acting in a natural way – preparing the house for Jesus’ presence. I’m sure she wanted it to be just right.
There is no harm in wanting to offer your best to Jesus, but I think that Jesus picked something up supernaturally that Martha was concerned with more than just household chores.
She was “worried and upset about many things”.
Sometimes it is possible for us to allow our “doing”, our service of Christ, to degenerate into mere busy work that is no longer full of devotion to God. We can be so busy for Jesus that we forget to spend time with Him. If we’re not careful and don’t listen and chat to Jesus, our service can become self-serving.
So how do we learn to recognise and know God’s voice? How do we respond to the invitation to sit at Jesus’ feet and catch what He is doing and saying to us? How do we know what God is calling us to do?
We listen, and catch what God is doing, and respond accordingly. As we listen and catch, we begin the life-long process of getting ourselves right with God.
Based on a sermon delivered on Sunday 2nd February 2020.