Scripture: And Jesus answered and said to her, “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
Is it practical to be occupied with Jesus? Does it help you? Does it put food on the table? Does it prosper your finances? Does it make your physical body healthy? Let’s take a look at what it did for Mary. You can find the story of Mary and her sister, Martha, in Luke 10:38–42.
Mary was seated at Jesus’ feet when the Lord came to visit them. Martha, the elder sister, was busy working in the kitchen, ensuring that there was enough food and drink for their guest. Who was Martha busy serving? Jesus
And while Martha was frantically running in and out of the kitchen, Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet, beholding His beauty, beholding His glory, and hanging on to every word that proceeded from His lips.
While Mary was resting and drawing living water from Jesus, Martha was restless, frantic and stressed from serving Jesus. One sister was focused on serving, while the other was focused on receiving.
Look what happened after a while. Martha’s stress from serving finally led to this outburst of frustration: “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me” (Luke 10:40). In one moment of anger, she blamed two persons: The Lord Jesus as well as her sister Mary.
Now, listen closely to Jesus’ response, and you may just find yourself in the Lord’s description of Martha: “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.”
What is the “one thing” that is needful? Is it to busy yourself in serving the Lord? Is it to be troubled about many things? No, the one thing that is needful is for you to sit at Jesus’ feet, and keep your eyes, ears and heart on Him. One sister saw Jesus in the natural, needing her ministry.
The other sister saw Him as God veiled in flesh with a fullness to draw upon. Which sister do you suppose complimented Jesus and made Him feel like the God that He is? Mary. Martha obviously forgot that this God-Man multiplied loaves and fishes to feed a multitude. He has not come to be fed but to feed!
Now, is it practical to just be occupied with Jesus? Absolutely. We find that later, in the Gospel of John, Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair to prepare Him for His burial (John 12:3–8). On resurrection morning, some women came with ointment to anoint Jesus’ body, but it was too late then.
They were doing the right thing, but at the wrong time. The Lord had already risen. But Mary did the right thing at the right time. This shows us that when you do the one thing that is needful, you will end up doing the right thing at the right time, and God will cause all that you touch to be amazingly blessed!