“It is all about Him—That is Christ! IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU!
Please enjoy the “Gospel” as found in the “Leather Journal” of Pastor Phil Newton of the South Woods Baptist Church Memphis, TN. Sermons and other church ministries can be seen at https://www.southwoodsbc.org/leadership
“All About Him”
“Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part” (Luke 10:38–42).
How do we respond to the revelation of Jesus Christ? What we know of Him comes from Scripture. More than reading facts and details about Jesus, the Word of God by the illumining work of the Holy Spirit, makes Jesus known to us. Many can tell stories they’ve heard and read about Jesus. That’s certainly a good thing, especially in light of the billions that know absolutely nothing about Him. Yet, just knowing stories about Him may inspire us to aspire to such a life of humility, service, and sacrifice exemplified in Jesus. Yet with all the aspirations, we may not know Him. Jesus came for much more than to model a way to live. He came to be our life.
In knowing Jesus as our life, we have come to the place where the revelation of the Word by the Spirit has opened our eyes and hearts to the desperate need for forgiveness of sins through Jesus in His death and resurrection. What before had seemed to be merely inspirational, now becomes everything. The reality of our sins laid on Him so that He bore away the guilt and condemnation affects the way that we see Him. Instead of just a figure to inspire, He is life itself, the One upon whom we cast ourselves to receive the pardon He has accomplished and promised. In that act of faith, He unites us with His life. We belong to Him. His life indwells us by the Spirit. Our focus is to live life in Him and for Him. How does this life in Christ work out in practice?
We worship and serve. These two expressions of gratitude and delight in Jesus can be seen in this clip of Martha and Mary, as Jesus visited their home. What a privilege! Jesus, the Son of God and Savior whom Martha and Mary knew, recognizing Him as the resurrection and the life—as evident later in John 11. We can analyze—and maybe, over analyze—these sisters in their response to Jesus’ presence. Martha, who must have been older than Mary, as well as the homeowner, busied herself in preparing a feast to celebrate Jesus with them, and to serve Him with the best meal she could prepare. We might attempt the same! Meanwhile, Mary drifted away from the kitchen to sit at Jesus’ feet to listen to Him speak the Word. What was Jesus teaching? We don’t know, but it’s likely that He taught on realities of the kingdom of God, maybe the significance of His kingship or His impending death and resurrection. Whatever He spoke was life and light to their souls. Martha stayed in the kitchen. Was she wrong to do so? I think we can be certain that unless someone stayed in the kitchen to prepare the meal there would have been nothing on the table. Was Jesus’ response that “Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her,” a declaration of service being worthless? Not at all. We need service for the necessary things of life to happen. But we don’t need agitated, self-bent service. That’s what happened to Martha. Jesus tenderly pointed out how her act of service—a very good thing in itself—had consumed her so that she lost sight of whom she served and why she served. In the midst of doing something so good and necessary in serving a meal to Jesus, she made it more about herself and her success, less about an act of devotion to Him. Mary gave herself to devotion to Jesus, her heart immersed in hearing and worshiping Him. Did that mean she would always sit at His feet? No, for times of service would come. Our service to Jesus must flow out of devotion and worship toward Him or else we slip into the danger of making service about ourselves. Everything, service or worship, must be all about Jesus! That’s when true devotion happens.
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