Only One Thing Matters
Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to His teaching.
Martha was frantic with all the work in the kitchen. “Master,” she said, coming in to where they were, “don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to give me a hand!”
“Martha, Martha,” He replied, “you are fretting and fussing about so many things. Only one thing matters. Mary has chosen the best part, and it’s not going to be taken away from her.”
Mary sat at the Master’s feet, which is the position of a disciple. That word might best be translated as “student” or “apprentice” for us today. A key element of a disciple’s life is attention to Jesus. Sitting and listening to Jesus’ teaching is the only thing that matters, as we see here. This is not a self-centered piety. As we authentically fill with Him, we will no doubt affect those around us and make the world a better place, bringing more of heaven to earth, just as Jesus Himself did.
Jesus is asking us to order our affairs properly. Time with Jesus is more important than preparing an elaborate meal for Him. Activity, even ministry, can prevent us from more important endeavors–such as hearing God’s word so He can touch us and teach us.
“Service of the hand cannot supersede service with the ear, since the ear guides the heart and hand,” says Darrell Bock in his commentary on this passage. “The disciple who reflects on Jesus’ teaching receives a meal that is never removed. To sit at Jesus’ feet is the disciple’s priority. The worries of life should never prevent one from consuming God’s word. This is Luke’s message to disciples: sit at Jesus’ feet and devour His teaching, since there is no more important meal.”
What if we actually lived our life in light of this?
What we are talking here is a reorientation of one’s life around the reality of the spiritual realm. The reality that Jesus is a real person, and that He is Lord of all and the reason we are here. This is what many call “soul care”. We each have a soul that is living and it requires nurture through authentic connection with God. We are made for connection, for consanguinity (great word).
I love Mindy Caliguire’s words on this, so I’ll just quote her:
“Through that nurturing connection, our souls receive rest, healing, strength and power for transformation. But how do those connections with God happen? They are cultivated by intentional, deliberate activity of carving out time and space to pay attention to and become open to this ongoing work of God in our lives. And when we carve out that time and space, it has the effect of helping us to ‘sit down’ at the table with God, to ‘get quiet’ and to ‘lean in’ expectantly to receive what He has to offer our thirsty souls. We are no longer striving; we are resting and open.”
Beautiful. Again, what we’re really talking about here is a reorientation of your life around the reality of the spiritual realm. What if only one thing really does matter? What if it’s much simpler than we make it? Perhaps Jesus was right–that carving out time to sit at His feet and listen to His teaching is the one thing necessary to follow Him because all else will flow from this. Maybe the pathway to peace really is that simple.
Could it be??
What would happen in our souls and all around us if we started to schedule our days, our lives around time with God? Time spent sitting at His feet, listening, soaking, absorbing His teaching and Life? Instead of the other way around–fitting Him in when it’s convenient.
A reorientation of your life around the reality of the spiritual realm. Around the reality of Jesus of Nazareth.
In the Name of Jesus,
Soli Deo Gloria