Luke 10:38-42 ESV Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. (39) And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. (40) But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” (41) But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, (42) but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
- What I really think is interesting about this
section of Scripture is it’s juxtaposition with the parable of the good
- Right, last week we read through the parable of the
- A lawyer tested Jesus asking “What must I do to get to heaven”
- Jesus asked “What do you think you need to do according to scripture to get into heaven?”
- The lawyer responds “Love God with all of who I am and love my neighbor as myself”.
- Jesus responds saying “Yup, if you do that perfectly you will get into heaven”.
- Now the lawyer KNEW he had not always loved everyone, so looking to justify himself he asks “But who really is my neighbor”.
- And Jesus illustrates that his neighbor is everyone, even people that he despises, and that he has to love everyone in a way that takes great sacrifice.
- So we have this parable, about how to walk out
perfect Christianity. And it sounds a lot like works-based Christianity doesn’t
it? Like “If you do enough good, and you do it all the time, then you will make
it into heaven. Just keep doing good works”.
- Then we keep reading and we come to today’s
section of scripture, the story of Mary and Martha.
- Jesus comes into town, on His way to Jerusalem, and He and His disciples are welcomed into this house owned by Martha.
- Immediately Jesus sits down in the house and begins teaching and preaching, and Mary, who was Martha’s sister, sits at Jesus’ feet eating it all up.
- So Martha is doing everything to get her house
in order for Jesus and she is having a bit of a freak out moment because there
is SO MUCH that needs to be done…
- And in a moment of weakness she bursts out blaming her sister, and even trying to get Jesus on her side!
- Then we keep reading and we come to today’s section of scripture, the story of Mary and Martha.
- Right, last week we read through the parable of the good Samaritan…
Luke 10:40 ESV But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”
- And look how Jesus responds, gently and with love, but with truth…
Luke 10:41-42 ESV But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, (42) but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
- What’s Jesus saying? He is saying “Martha, chill out a bit, I am here now, that’s what’s important, your sister realizes that… it’s all about me, I am eternal, my truths are eternal, my love and my saving grace is eternal… everything you are doing to serve me, as much as I appreciate it… it’s going to pass away with this world… but my love will never pass away”.
- Now, think about the context of this section of
scripture, it comes RIGHT AFTER a parable about doing good works, the good
- Now Jesus rebukes a woman for trying to do good works that directly benefits Jesus… What’s going on here?
- Honestly guy’s, I think God is trying to remind us… it’s not about good works, it’s all about Jesus.
- It’s not about working hard to be perfect, it’s all about Jesus.
- It’s not about trying to make God happy, it’s all about Jesus.
*Show Title Slide*
- Don’t Get
it Twisted! It’s all about Jesus!
- The whole point of the parable of the good Samaritan was to show us that no matter how hard we try to do enough good to get into heaven… we will always fall short.
- Then we see the story of Mary and Martha, as if God is saying… Just in case you are confused about the parable of the Good Samaritan… let me make it clear “It’s not about doing good works! It’s all about Jesus”.
- Let me tell you what I am talking about, but first, let’s pray.
PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY
Point One – Christianity is not about good works, it’s about Jesus!
Luke 10:40-42 ESV But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” (41) But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, (42) but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
- Can we really blame Martha? Jesus is in her
- I think it is tempting to blame Martha, but her situation is a very human situation.
- She wants to make a good impression on Jesus.
- She wants to make Him comfortable
- She wants to feed Him a good meal.
- Can we really blame her for that?
- But there is a question that I have to ask
Martha… and one that Martha should have asked herself.
- Who does she think she is that she is striving to help God?!
- Here is a hard truth to swallow… GOD DOESN’T NEED YOU. But you most certainly need Him.
Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, (9) not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
- In the parable of the good Samaritan you might
mistakenly assume that Jesus is saying you are saved by good works…
- But that is clearly debunked by Ephesians 2:8-9.
- And the story of Mary and Martha are almost an “In case you missed it” kind of text. Like God is saying “In case you missed the point, it’s not about good works! It’s all about Jesus!”
- Like God is saying “Don’t get it twisted, it’s
all about Jesus!”
- THE LORD OF ALL CREATION IS IN YOUR LIVING ROOM! STOP DOING THE DISHES AND SIT DOWN AND LISTEN TO HIM!
- Remember the mount of transfiguration? Remember this from Luke 9 when Jesus was transformed into His glory and Elijah and Moses were there… and Peter missed it because he wanted to serve instead of listen?
Luke 9:28-35 ESV Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. (29) And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. (30) And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, (31) who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. (32) Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. (33) And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. (34) As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. (35) And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!”
- Listen to Him, church! Listen to Him.
- Stop trying to busy yourself with good works,
stop and breath… and listen to Him.
- How much time a day are you spending just listening to Jesus?
- Are you in your word?
- Are you in prayer?
- Are you in worship daily?
- Are you listening? Or are you just doing? If you are just doing good stuff, but never listening to Jesus… then you have missed the point… you have got it twisted.
- DON’T GET IT TWISTED, IT’S ALL ABOUT JESUS!
- Stop trying to busy yourself with good works, stop and breath… and listen to Him.
- What does this mean? That we shouldn’t ever do
- Of course not! It means that you must know that JESUS comes first!
- That brings me to point two, works should come from Christ, not before Christ.
Point Two – Works should come from Christ, not before Christ!
Matthew 5:16 ESV In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
James 2:14-17 ESV What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? (15) If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, (16) and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? (17) So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
James 2:26 ESV For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
Hebrews 13:16 ESV Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
- I could go on FOREVER with verses about the
importance of good works.
- Scripture is chalk full of verses about good works…
- SO WHAT EXACTLY DID MARTHA DO WRONG?
Luke 10:40a ESV But Martha was distracted with much serving…
- I mean, she was serving… and not just serving,
but she was serving Jesus! Isn’t that a good thing?
- Her problem was NOT that she was serving Christ… it was all about positioning… she was trying to help Jesus with her good works…
- But if she would have stopped and listened she would have realized it was HER HERSELF who needed help from Jesus, and if she would have stopped and listened, her good works would have come from Christ instead of coming before Christ…
*BRICK LAYING ACTIVE EXAMPLE*
- Do you see the difference between your good
works trying to point yourself toward Christ and your good works leading out
- REMEMBER CHRIST DIED TO MAKE US PERFECT! Trying to be perfect without good works is as silly as trying to build a brick structure without a cornerstone!
Acts 4:11 ESV This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.
Ephesians 2:10 ESV For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
- Here is what Martha should have done…
- She should have sat at the feet of Jesus and listened. She should have gained life from every word that came out of the mouth of Jesus.
- After Jesus moved on toward Jerusalem Martha
would have been ON FIRE for Jesus. Her works would have been perfected in
Christ, so that she would be doing good works as Christ as the cornerstone of
- Look, you can do good works until you are green in the face.
- You can serve at church, and volunteer at the hospital, and give money to the poor, go on mission trips to foreign nations, and you can even try to love your neighbor as yourself… but if you are doing it to impress Jesus… to somehow help him out… YOU ARE BOUND FOR FAILURE.
- But if
you listen to Jesus, if you let Him change you and perfect you… if you serve
because you love Him and He has guided you to serve… Then and only then is your
service of eternal value.
- In short, if Jesus is speaking… LISTEN! He will tell you what needs to be done. Amen?
Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, (2) looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Recommitment for people who have been away for years.