Read Luke 10 here or click on the speaker icon below to listen to it.
Luke reminds us that it wasn’t just the 12 apostles that Jesus sent out. Here He sends out seventy-two others, saying, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.”
We too have been sent out. The harvest is indeed plentiful. Woe to those who reject Jesus.
When a lawyer approaches Jesus asking how to inherit eternal life, Jesus turns the question back on him. The man replies, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus affirms His response. But the man keeps pressing, asking who his neighbor is. We are told that the man is seeking to justify himself. He wants to know that minimum he needs to reach to be “okay.” But that isn’t how it works in God’s kingdom.
Jesus responds with a parable about what it looks like to love our neighbor. A priest and a Levite – both religious leaders – each pass by and ignore a man attacked by robbers and left on the side of the road half dead. But a Samaritan – someone shunned and despised by the religious elite – has compassion on the man. He stops, binds up his wounds, puts him on his animal, and takes him to an inn to care for him, leaving money behind for any additional costs incurred to help this Samaritan man fully recover. THIS is what loving our neighbor looks like. The Samaritan man got it, while the religious leaders missed it.
Jesus then enters a village and the home of two women. Again we see an example of one getting it and one missing it.
If I’m honest, the Martha and Mary story always makes me a bit defensive. And I know it is because a handful of my weaknesses are exposed. “Martha is the one who invited Jesus over,” I say. “Martha is cleaning the house and preparing food...making the guests feel welcome and comfortable,” I say.
Yes, Martha recognized how important Jesus is...enough to invite Him over. And yes, Martha is doing good work that needs to be done. But it is not the BEST work. Sitting at the feet of Jesus and letting other things go — a messy house, things not as Pinteresty as they could be, a meal not quite perfect — is the most important thing at this moment.
I need this story as much as I hate to see myself in Martha. Scott Sauls says, “While Martha is busy trying to be like Jesus, Mary spends her energy being with him. And in being with him, Mary becomes like him.”
God, help me always put you in the proper position in my life. Help me let everything else go when it competes with sitting at your feet.
Where do you see yourself in each these stories: