Welcome SGT Family! Here are a few notes that go with the message today! If you would like a pdf click here!
Luke 10:38-42, Personal Translation (pdf of my interlinear translation)
But as they went, He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha received Him. Also to her was a sister called Mary, who, while sitting down towards the feet of Jesus, was hearing His word. But Martha was being distracted around much serving; and having stood by, she said, “Lord, is there not a concern to you that my sister leaves me alone without assistance to serve? Therefore speak to her so that she will help me.” But, answering, the Lord said to her, “Martha Martha, you are anxious and disturbed around many things, but one thing is necessary; for Mary has chosen for herself the good portion such that will not be taken away from her.”
Martha was distracted.
Περισπαω from περι “Around” and σπαω “to draw [like a sword]. To draw different ways at the same time, hence to distract with cares and responsibilities . . . to be drawn around in mind or to be distracted, preoccupied with cares or business.”
If I am distracted it means that something has come along and caused me not to be attracted to something that otherwise would get or needed my attention. The attraction is interrupted; I was a-ttracted but now I am dis-tracted.
The word “tract” in many English applications means to draw out, capable of being drawn out, etc. so A-ttract is “to pull to” something. To dis-tract is “to pull away” from something. Can you see that in both there is a particular focus point. One moves to the focus point, the other is pulled away from the focus point.
Martha had been “drawn away” by the duties of serving. It was almost like something gripped and her and simply pulled her away. But she didn’t want to go alone. She had determined that what was needed in that moment was for her and her sister to prepare a meal for the guests or to serve them in some way. It was a big enough job that Martha felt like she needed help. Her perspective crashed into Jesus’ when He said, “Martha Martha, you are anxious and disturbed around many things, but one thing is necessary” and that Mary had chosen that part.
- Distracted by our priorities
One of the things that Martha had her eyes on was the need to serve those who had come to her house. Now, whether she enjoyed it or not is another question. In this story we see that she feels the job should not be hers alone. It may be that she needed help or it may be that she resented her sister on principle for not helping.
- Distracted by a preoccupation of what others are doing, not doing.
In any case, we see the second thing that gets Martha’s attention and that’s a preoccupation with what Mary should be doing.
- Does Jesus care?
Maybe it’s not too much to mention that she is also distracted by the fact that Jesus does not seem to care that Mary isn’t helping. She wants Jesus to tell her to leave His side and His words and get in that kitchen and help! [Jesus not only doesn’t seem to care that Mary isn’t helping, He also seems to not care too much whether He gets served. How many times have we occupied ourselves and others with doing things that God never asked us to do?]
What pulls you away from God? What pulls you away from holiness? What pulls you away from your intention to pray and get closer to God?
Mary made a choice. Jesus affirmed her choice.
Only one thing is needed. Isn’t that too simple? How long have you paid lip service to God by saying you trust Him and you want Him first when in reality you are fully occupied with making your own luck?!
I have struggled for a week or more with distraction. I have been concerned wondering what is wrong. My dreams Friday night were busy; different short scenarios where someone would run and get something that was needed or do something to fix a situation. Saturday morn I woke up with a sense of desperation.
All at once I had a thought. One that I am accustomed to having but couldn’t find in the last week. More than a thought. More like a heart cry: “Lord, I just want you.” Everything broke open and the Lord began to show me that I had been experiencing the kind of distraction I was planning to preach about. But I was given fresh insight that showed me that it is not as simple as just being busy and the solution is not as easy as just stopping the busy-ness. I also realized that it can be painful.
- It’s about arriving at that place where, like Mary, you are able from your heart to choose the good portion. “Lord, I just want you.” Only one thing is necessary.
- It’s about understanding that this must be given to you.
- It’s about being able to recognize distraction.
- It’s about being honest with yourself about what you really desire most.
- It’s about choosing not to make excuses for yourself.
- It’s about coming to terms with the revelation that only one thing is needful. Do you believe this?