Imagine you heard a knock on your door around 10:00 am in the morning on a faithful Saturday… Hmm… ‘…who is that…?’ you asked. But the Person knocking wouldn’t respond…but preferred to ‘gently’ knock the door intermittently…
So, you decided to go open the door… Guess who was standing??? JESUS!!! Wow! What an august visitor!!! The same Jesus who heals the sick, raised the dead and walked upon the sea…now knocking your door for a visitation!!! What would be your reaction? Hmm…
Well, let me show you the story of 2 sisters in the Bible that had this experience happen to them and how they reacted to the situation.
‘Now it happened…that Jesus entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house…And she had a sister called Mary….’ (Luke 10:38-39)
Martha and Mary have just received a very important Visitor! But the 2 sisters reacted differently! Now follow carefully:
‘And she had a sister called Mary, who also SAT at Jesus’ feet and HEARD His word…But Martha was distracted with much SERVING…” (Luke 10:39-40)
Now we have 2 different reactions! At the arrival of Jesus:
– Martha jumped into kitchen and started ‘SERVING’ the Lord….while
– Mary took a very good position by the feet of Jesus, SAT down and HEARD His word!
Hmm… Now listen carefully: Martha represents Christians who are under LAW…while Mary represents Christians who are under GRACE!
Under Law: you have a perception that God is ‘demanding’ WORKS from you!
under Grace: you have the perception that Jesus has done the ‘work’ for you!
Listen: these 2 perceptions will then determine how you will react when Jesus ‘visits’ you!
Martha believed in ‘Working for God’ …while… Mary believed ‘Resting in God’! One jumped to the kitchen trying to GIVE to God….while the other sat down trying to RECEIVE from God! Hmm… So, which of the 2 reactions would you assume pleased Jesus so well? The one that was ‘working for God’…or the one that ‘sat and heard’ His Word! The one trying to GIVE to God… or the one trying to RECEIVE from God? Let’s get our answers from the Scripture!
‘…And Jesus answered… “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things…But ONE THING is needed, and Mary has chosen THAT GOOD PART, which will not be taken away from her.’ (Luke 10:41-42)
Wow! Mary’s reaction pleased the Lord! Martha was ‘Working’ while Mary was ‘Resting’ …yet Jesus gave Mary the credit! In fact, Jesus said Mary has chosen the GOOD PART! Hmm…
At times I wonder at believers who ‘mock’ the teachings of Grace …saying…it is a Gospel that makes people ‘lazy’! They prefer the Gospel that tells them to jump into the ‘kitchen’ and start working for God else He will throw them to hell! Well, it is foolishness to know what Jesus calls the GOOD PART and yet ignore it!!!
Now listen carefully: if the Gospel you are hearing always make you feel you must ‘jump into the kitchen’ before God can bless, heal, save or deliver you…you are listening to the WRONG gospel!!!
Wouldn’t you rather locate where the true Gospel is taught and ‘Rest’ in the finished work of Christ for you!
Hear this: Jesus is more refreshed when you RECEIVE from Him than when you GIVE to Him!
But you may ask: if I’m supposed to be ‘receiving’ rather than ‘giving’,..why then did the Bible say IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE’? (Acts 20:35) Hmm…
Now listen carefully: when you are dealing with PEOPLE…it is more blessed to GIVE than to RECEIVE! But when you are dealing with GOD…it is more blessed to RECEIVE than to GIVE!
The context in which Paul quoted the above statement in Acts 20:35, was to SUPPORT THE WEAK PEOPLE! So, it is better to Give than to Receive…when you are dealing at a ‘horizontal’ level with people… But it is better to RECEIVE than to Give…when you are dealing at a ‘vertical’ relationship with God! Hmm… Martha was trying to have a ‘horizontal’ relationship with God… while…Mary maintained a ‘vertical’ relationship with God! Hmm…
In conclusion: Never think that ‘Resting’ in Christ’s finished work will produce a life of ‘laxity and licentiousness’! Not at all!In fact, you will be empowered to do things that please God more when you are addicted to ‘Resting’ in His finished work!It was the same Mary who sat at Jesus’ feet, that the Bible says…
‘…Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.’ (John 12:3)
When a disciple tried to stop her…Jesus replied:
‘…But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial…’ (John 12:7)
Oh…oh! Good ‘sitters’ end up becoming great ‘servers’! You want to serve God acceptably? Then learn to SIT in the finished work of His Son for you! Mary had the privilege to have anointed Jesus before He died! After He died…some women brought spices to anoint His body…but He has resurrected! (Luke 24:1) Good ‘sitters’ end up becoming great ‘servers’! Hmm…
So back to my question which is the topic of this post: HOW WOULD YOU REACT???
My sincere advice: choose the GOOD PART that Mary chose…and you will be empowered to serve God acceptably!
Glory to Jesus!