As Pastor Steve shared with us this past Sunday, both Mary and Martha had good reasons and intentions behind what they were doing. Mary wanted to listen and learn from Jesus, while Martha desired to serve Jesus. Both actions are admirable and have their place. And yet, Jesus points out that one activity is better than the other.
The danger of doing things for Jesus.
Wanting to serve Jesus is obviously a commendable thing. Who would ever argue against such a thing? However, it is all-too-easy to jump into “doing things” for Jesus, that we end up missing what Jesus is really after. Our modern-day churches are full of very busy people who are involved in all kinds of endless church activity, all in the name of Jesus. But in the midst of all of this busyness, our church communities often leaves behind the thing that really matters.
The higher value of being with Jesus.
Jesus does not want us to simply do things for Him… He is inviting us to do things with Him. And the task of joining Jesus in what he is doing in the word begins with us sitting at His feet and learning from Him. Before we can make a difference in this world, Jesus invites us to spend time with Him.
The many replacements for being with Jesus.
It is so easy to replace Jesus with countless other things. And, I am not just referring to the distractions of this world, or the obvious sins that might derail us. No, the real danger is when our good intentions and our spiritual pursuits end up replacing Jesus. Rather than going to church to spend time with Jesus, we can easily go to church instead of spending time with Jesus. Rather than reading our Bible to spend time with Jesus, we can read our Bible instead of spending time with Jesus. Rather than singing worship songs to spend time with Jesus, we can easily sing worship songs instead of spending time with Jesus. Things that might seem to be spiritual and centered on Jesus can easily replace Jesus Himself. Just ask Martha.
And so, may spending time with Jesus be our real goal. May we clear away the clutter in our lives and do whatever we need to do to truly spend time with Jesus, even if that means laying down all the things that we are doing “for Jesus”, so that we can be “with Jesus.” Because, that is the better thing.
May we walk in the Image of God this week!