Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lessons from Mary and Martha

If Jesus Came To Your House
If Jesus came to your house to spend a day or two, 
if He came unexpectedly, I wonder what you'd do? 
Oh, I know you'd give your nicest room to such an honored guest, 
and all the food you'd serve to Him would be the very best.
And you would keep assuring Him you're glad to have him there, 
That serving Him in your home is joy beyond compare. 
But when you saw Him coming, would you meet Him at the door, 
with arms outstretched to welcome in your heavenly visitor?
Or would you have to change your clothes before you let Him in,
or hide some magazines and put the Bible where they'd been? 
Would you turn off the radio and hope He hadn't heard,
and wished you hadn't uttered that last loud nasty word.
Would you hide your worldly music and put some hymn books out? 
Could you let Jesus come right in, or would you rush about?
Oh, I wonder if the Savior came to spend a day with you, 
would you just go on doing all the things you always do?
Would you go right on saying the things you always say? 
Would life for you continue as it does now day to day? 
Would our family conversation keep up it's usual pace, 
or would you find it hard each meal to say a table grace?
Would you sing the songs you always sing and read the books you read, 
and let Him know on which the things your mind and spirit feeds? 
Would you take Jesus with you everywhere you planned to go, 
or would you maybe change your plans, for just a day or so?
Would you be glad to have Him meet with all your closest friends,
or would you hope they'd stay away until His visit ends? 
Would you be glad to have Him stay forever on and on, 
or would you sigh with great relief when He at last was gone?
It might be interesting to know the things that you would do, 
if Jesus came in person to spend the day with you!
--Louis Blanchard

This morning I want us visit a home that Jesus was a guest in. That is the home of Lazarus, Mary and Martha .
38Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
 39And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.
 40But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
 41And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
 42But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
--Luke 10:38-42
 Three people jump out at us: the guest, Mary and Martha.

The Guest.
Jesus had been ministering and teaching His disciples and was tired and came to the home of Martha and was invited in. This may not have been the first time and we know it was not the last that Jesus came to her home. This was not just any person that happen alone that she invited in but it was the Son of God! He was the King of Glory.

The late Dr. S. M. Lockeridge, a pastor from San Diego, California, said these words that describe her Guest best to me, in a sermon in Detroit in 1976:
That's My King
My King was born King. The Bible says He's a Seven Way King. He's the King of the Jews - that's an Ethnic King. He's the King of Israel - that's a National King. He's the King of righteousness. He's the King of the ages. He's the King of Heaven. He's the King of glory. He's the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords. Now that's my King.

Well, I wonder if you know Him. Do you know Him? Don't try to mislead me. Do you know my King? David said the Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork. My King is the only one of whom there are no means of measure that can define His limitless love. No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of the shore of His supplies. No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing.

He's enduringly strong. He's entirely sincere. He's eternally steadfast. He's immortally graceful. He's imperially powerful. He's impartially merciful. That's my King. He's God's Son. He's the sinner's saviour. He's the centerpiece of civilization. He stands alone in Himself. He's honest. He's unique. He's unparalleled. He's unprecedented. He's supreme. He's pre-eminent. He's the grandest idea in literature. He's the highest personality in philosophy. He's the supreme problem in higher criticism. He's the fundamental doctrine of historic theology. He's the carnal necessity of spiritual religion. That's my King.

He's the miracle of the age. He's the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him. He's the only one able to supply all our needs simultaneously. He supplies strength for the weak. He's available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He's the Almighty God who guides and keeps all his people. He heals the sick. He cleanses the lepers. He forgives sinners. He discharged debtors. He delivers the captives. He defends the feeble. He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged. He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek. That's my King.

Do you know Him? Well, my King is a King of knowledge. He's the wellspring of wisdom. He's the doorway of deliverance. He's the pathway of peace. He's the roadway of righteousness. He's the highway of holiness. He's the gateway of glory. He's the master of the mighty. He's the captain of the conquerors. He's the head of the heroes. He's the leader of the legislatures. He's the overseer of the overcomers. He's the governor of governors. He's the prince of princes. He's the King of kings and He's the Lord of lords. That's my King.

His office is manifold. His promise is sure. His light is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His Word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I wish I could describe Him to you . . . but He's indescribable. That's my King. He's incomprehensible, He's invincible, and He is irresistible.

I'm coming to tell you this, that the heavens of heavens can't contain Him, let alone some man explain Him. You can't get Him out of your mind. You can't get Him off of your hands. You can't outlive Him and you can't live without Him. The Pharisees couldn't stand Him, but they found out they couldn't stop Him. Pilate couldn't find any fault in Him. The witnesses couldn't get their testimonies to agree about Him. Herod couldn't kill Him. Death couldn't handle Him and the grave couldn't hold Him. That's my King.

He always has been and He always will be. I'm talking about the fact that He had no predecessor and He'll have no successor. There's nobody before Him and there'll be nobody after Him. You can't impeach Him and He's not going to resign. That's my King! That's my King!

Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Well, all the power belongs to my King. We're around here talking about black power and white power and green power, but in the end all that matters is God's power. Thine is the power. Yeah. And the glory. We try to get prestige and honor and glory for ourselves, but the glory is all His. Yes. Thine is the Kingdom and the power and glory, forever and ever and ever and ever. How long is that? Forever and ever and ever and ever. . .And when you get through with all of the ever's, then . . .Amen!
This is who Martha invited into their home. Jesus will not go where He is not invited! We must invite Him into our spiritual homes, which are our hearts!
Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah. --Psalm 24:8-10.
John 11:5 tells us that Jesus loved the people of this house very much: “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.” He came into this home more than any other home that we can find.

It was Martha who invited Jesus to her Home and made Him feel welcome. Christ's visit was a token of His love to this family and also to ours.

Now Martha was very worried about what she was going to serve her guest. Let's be fair with Martha. She was not lazy but rather very busy working to be the perfect hostess. On this day Jesus had come with His disciples, which would have made thirteen of them plus the three in Martha's family. That’s 16 right? There could have been lots more.

Look at verse one with me:
1After these things the LORD appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
Now look at verse 17:
 17And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
 Maybe I have overlooked something, but I can’t find any place where the seventy left Jesus. Maybe Martha was overwhelmed with all the work that needed to be done, even if it was only 13 guests. This scripture in our text said that she became distracted with much serving. She might have been busy giving the servants orders but she could not keep up with all there was to do. The Message Bible said “She was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen”. She was so busy that she didn’t have time for Jesus even though He was the most important guest she could ever have. When we become a child of God do we find other things more important than we do Jesus?

Now we need to understand that what Martha was doing was not wrong in itself but there was something more important at that time. We need to understand that in the world that we live in, there are many things that calls for our attention.

We were in the homes of two of our daughters last week, and I couldn’t help but notice how busy they and their families were. The demand on their time was almost overwhelming. It reminded me of watching the little hamster running on a wheel inside a cage. Always running and never getting done running. I hope as they read this message they will find time to sit down at the feet of Jesus more often and listen for His words as Mary did.

The world we live in forces us to live in a very fast pace, just to keep up. I think that getting so busy with things that we think are important is part of the falling away time that the scripture talks about in II Thessalonians 2:
 1Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
 2That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
 3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Could it be that the devil knows that he can’t get us to fall any other way, therefore, he will cause us to be so busy that we don’t have time to visit with Jesus?

Well, Martha began to complain to Jesus because she couldn’t get Mary to help her. I can just see her calling to Mary for help. “Mary, come help me.” But, no Mary. “Mary, please come help me with this meal.” But, no Mary! “Mary! Do you hear me?” Mary might have said, “Okay! But wait! I want to hear what He is saying.”

Martha thought she could get help from the Master so she said in verse 40,
“Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.”
Jesus had somewhat to say to her. Now Jesus didn’t tell Martha that what she was doing was a sin but rather that what she was doing could wait for the more inportant things that he was saying at that time. Look at verses 41-42 with me.
And Jesus answered and said unto her, "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."
In other words Mary chose to do with her time the most important things and that was to hear what Jesus was saying, but Martha was so busy working that she was missing out on what the Lord had to say.

 Mary was being a sponge while Martha was using a sponge!
Mary was sitting while Martha was stewing!
Mary was clinging to every word of Jesus while Martha was cleaning!
Mary was worshiping while Martha was working!
Mary was listening while Martha was losing out on what Jesus had to say!

Mary’s attention to Jesus was two part .
1. She sat and listened to what He had to say.
2. She gave to Him.

Go with me to John’s Gospel chapter 12:1-3:
Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
Now whether this was the same visit as recorded in the book of Luke, I am not sure, but in this passage we find the importance of Mary’s gift to Christ.

Beacon Bible Expositions calls this, “The extravagance of love for Christ.” A pound of this ointment was a year's wages! Her worship had turned into action! Some thought it was a waste but in verse 7 Jesus speaks words that shows how important this was.
Then said Jesus, "Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this."
Without sitting at the feet of Jesus from time to time and hearing and doing His will, we can’t serve Him the way we need to. Our works must come after our worship!

I want to share with you the words of a song that tells about the good part in a good way.

Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
Oh, what words I hear Him say!
Happy place! so near, so precious!
May it find me there each day;
Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
I would look upon the past;
For His love has been so gracious,
It has won my heart at last.

Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
Where can mortal be more blest?
There I lay my sins and sorrows,
And, when weary, find sweet rest;
Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
There I love to weep and pray;
While I from His fullness gather
Grace and comfort every day. 

Bless me, O my Savior, bless me,
As I sit low at Thy feet;
Oh, look down in love upon me,
Let me see Thy face so sweet;
Give me, Lord, the mind of Jesus,
Keep me holy as He is;
May I prove I’ve been with Jesus,
Who is all my righteousness.

Mary has chosen the good part, by sitting at the feet of Jesus. What part will you chose?

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