So just forget about yourself
and Concentrate on Him and Worship Him
"Hunger and thirst after Righteousness"
What does this mean? We cant make ourselves hungry or thirsty. It is the natural result of going without food or water.
Perhaps we should think less of this as something we must be or do and see it as something that God will do for us, if we set our sights on Him, if we set our heart's love upon Him. That is what our text is all about this morning.
Martha Welcomed Jesus. Martha was proactive. . . she didnt wait around for someone else to do something that she could do herself. This story follows the story of the Good Samaritan and so based on the literary structure of Luke alone, we must see Martha in that positive light. This is Martha's story. It was Martha who invited Jesus in. It was Martha who extended the Good Samaritan-like attitude of hospitality. This is a dialogue between Jesus and Martha. This is Martha's story.2) Distracted by Service/Minstry
Martha was "distracted" (perispa/w) by her service (diakoni/a). The word we get Deacons from meant literally means to "wait on tables" and that is the word that used here to describe Martha's actions. She is serving. She is doing the housework. But the meaning of the word is much fuller than that.
After Jesus was tempted the angels came and served him (same word). Some texts read: "ministered to him" This possibility is brought out even more in other parts of the New Testament.
Act 1:17: he was one of our number and shared in this ministry."
Acts 1: 24Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry
Acts 6:3-4 We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."
I think you can see where this is going! By reading Luke's use of this word in Acts, we can understand the depth of the term he was using to make this point. Let's allow Luke's later testimony to help us in a fuller reading of this text. Let's translate as follows: "Martha was distracted by her ministering." I think the point is clear! Even acts of ministry can become spiritually destructive if they are not "Self-forgetting Service" - G. B. Cairns3) Needful thing: Being at the Feet of Jesus
Again, I must restate that this is Marthas story. The point is not so much that everyone should give up their work and relax before Jesus, but that we should never let our busyness in ministry make occasion for criticizing the ministry and choices of someone else who loves the Lord Jesus.
When I ask a question in English like this: "You like what I am doing dont you?" the reply the speaker expects is "yes." The person who asks that question assumes an affirmative response and that be seen in the sentence structure. The Greek language has a very specific way of doing this same thing and it is done here when Marth questions Jesus. She basically is saying to Jesus: "Lord, you care that I am doing all this work don't you; then tell my sister to help me." Oh how quickly we think the Lord agrees with us! How quickly we put words in his mouth. What a surprise it must have been to Martha when, to paraphrase Jesus response, he looks at her and says: "Actually Martha, I think you should put down that apron and broom and come over here and join Mary and me" What a surprise in indeed!
What is more, we do the same thing over and over again in our churches. We assume that Jesus agrees with us. We never ask what Jesus actually thinks or wants us to do, because, it is so obvious to us that Jesus agrees with the way we are currently doing things! Just like Martha, we say to Jesus: "You agree with what we are doing, right Lord? So send some more workers and give people more committement to the ministry of this program!" What surprise for us when the Lord responds: "That program served its purpose years ago. What you really need to do is . . . " The one thing needful is always that which bring honour to Jesus.
It is time we put down the aprons and brooms of our ministries. It is time we ask the Lord some serious questions without already being convinced of the answer. If we truly ask. If we truly seek his counsel. . . we may well be very surprised with his evaluation of our ministry. One thing is needful. To serve the Lord with gladness! To forget about ourselves, our interests, our agendas. To concentrate on Him. And to Worship him.
©1998 A. Brent Hudson