LUKE 10:38-42 – Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 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.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
THEME OF THE DAY. A SERIOUS CONSEQUENCE OF BUSYNESS. Through the course of history, a lot of sermons have been preached from today’s scripture. Also quite a few books and articles. Most likely warn us of the danger of being a “Martha” and so busy serving that we fail to be a “Mary” and sit at Jesus’ feet to listen to His teaching. And that is good, right, and a danger to be constantly aware of in our often too busy lives. But there is something else to consider in this text. It is a serious consequence of busyness. It is the lack of sound theology on the Person of our God. It is being so busy we create an image and understanding of God based on our own perceptions and thinking instead of the scriptures. The evidence of this weak theology of God or this ignorance of His true character abounds among Christians and in churches. In fact, not a few Christians and churches applaud themselves on not emphasizing doctrine and theology. The argument is “Doctrine divides. Theology is cold and not relevant.” Any position a Christian or church holds that downplays, ignores, or resists the high place doctrine and theology is to have in its beliefs and practice places themselves in a spiritually dangerous place for two reasons.
First, it is contrary to the Bible. Doctrine and theology (the study of God) is everywhere in the Word of God. Secondly, when doctrine and theology are absent, then personal experiences become the validation of a work of God or movement of God. The Bible never points us to experience first, but sound doctrine and truth that leads to true spiritual experience. Be careful to claim an experience with God then look to scripture to support it. That is how a church abandons the faith and Christians drift away from truth. This is also how cults form by denial of truth or allowing subjective experiences to be the source of truth, but in today’s scripture, something else of significant spiritual consequence occurs.
Allow the words of Martha to Jesus sink in – 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.” Pay attention to what her life of busyness caused her to say. Her busyness reveals how shallow was her understanding of the Person and Character of Jesus. And that will always be the case. If we choose a life of frenzied activity and busyness, we cannot know God for Who He really is. We will create a god of our own imagination, and fail to know Him as He really is through time in the scripture. In her words to the Lord, she admits how immature she was in understanding Jesus. First, she slanders His character. Yes, she does. The God of love is standing right before her and she says, “Lord, do you not care?” She interpreted who Jesus was by what she saw and felt, not the truth of His loving Person. But there is more . . . she then commands the Creator – “Tell her then to help me.” Martha, Martha, slow down. Think what you are doing. Don’t let busyness cause you to blaspheme the Lord. The scary part about this is she didn’t realize what she was saying. Friends, stay busy. Neglect to spend quality time with the Lord, and not only will we fail to know Him, but we will misinterpret Him leading to attacks on His Person and character.
PRAYER: “Father, forgive me for allowing busyness to steal time away for me getting to know You through Your Word.”
QUOTE: “Busyness will develop ‘bad theology’ in us because it keeps us from the place of ‘good theology’ – God’s Word.”