Tuesday 22nd January
Luke 10:38-40, John 12:1-8, Luke 7:36-50
Our primary text today is Luke 10:38-40, however the other passages noted above will be looked at in comparison to this story. Jesus, in Luke 10, has just finished telling the Pharisees and Scribes who their neighbours are and how getting lost in God’s service is irrelevant if they are not putting it into practice in their daily lives. Knowing God’s Word in thought is not enough if we are not living it out in our everyday deeds of ‘Good Works’. Jesus emphasised in His parable that it was those who were supposed to be scholars of God’s Word were the ones that walked past the beaten man on the floor.
In the next verses, 38-40, Jesus adds a new dimension to this teaching. This story is of Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus. Martha welcomed Jesus into her house, most probably for food and fellowship. The passage tells us that Martha busied herself in preparing for and serving Jesus. The word specifically used in verse 40 is ‘distracted’ (herself with much serving.)
Martha’s sister however was doing the opposite. Instead making herself busy she simply sat at the feet of Jesus and heard His words. Martha challenged Jesus to rebuke the apparent slothful sister, yet Jesus rather than rebuke her, commended her. In fact Jesus highlights that Martha’s need for serving Him, caused her to be troubled and worried and miss who was in her house. Mary on the other hand, knew that Jesus’ Words were life, an everlasting stream of wisdom and grace. Jesus is highlighting here not that serving is wrong or un-necessary but rather that the attitude of worship and adoration was and is priority over getting lost ‘doing’ in the Kingdom of God.
I want to reiterate that Jesus is not saying that serving Him is not important or that we should be idle in our worship to God. On the contrary, it is in the acts of service to God that we are worshipping Him, both in a church context and also in our everyday lives. The point of this story is much the same as seen in our church lives across the world. The essence is this; so often we get lost in ‘doing things’ for His Kingdom and for Him, that we loose focus in who we are serving and the art of just sitting at His feet in His presence. How much time in your life do you just sit at the feet of Jesus, in worship and adoration, listening to His voice and soaking in His presence?
There are two other examples I wanted to pick up on of the attitude of serving at Jesus’ feet. They may or may not be the same person, however the act of service to Jesus is still in submission to His authority and Deity. The first is in John’s gospel. This woman’s act of submission to Jesus is both a prophetic symbolism for His future burial but also a sacrifice of costly perfume (approximately a years wage). She humbly anointed her Master’s feet in an act of service and submission, adoration and worship.
The next example is found in the seventh chapter of Luke. Again a sinful woman realising the presence of a Gracious God, humbly washes with her tears and kisses Jesus’ feet in an act of total submission. His feet most probably dirty and dusty, proved of little relevance to this grateful woman.
What is the significance of these three passages? Simply the acknowledgement of One who is greater than themselves. What response did they have? To humbly sit, anoint, wash and kiss the feet of their Saviour. They knew that both Jesus’ words and presence were far greater than getting lost in service to Him rather than serving Him and sitting at His feet. Submission, humility and love were all key characteristics of these women. Our attitudes should be the same as these women; for it is only in this attitude that we can have an intimate relationship with the Saviour.
“For who loves much, is forgiven much….” (Luke 7:47)