At The Feet of Jesus: The Good Part
Written by Samantha Ann Waring-Jolicoeur
Sometimes we must stop and put everything on pause. If we notice that we are going-going-going, not praying as much, have a sense that something is even a slight bit off, and busyness is gripping our lives, it may be time to stop, seek God, and let Him recalibrate our movement. We want to make sure we are in step with the Lord, surrendering daily to God all of our plans and what we think we should be doing. It is healthy to access if we are indeed doing His will. Some possible questions to ask are: Is God in all this? Is this what He is asking of me? Am I too busy? How is my relationship developing with Him?
Lately I’ve been thinking about what sitting at the feet of Jesus looks like these days in our society. I do have an idea, yet I think I still have a lot to learn. I do however know what it means to be worry and troubled about many things. I know what it is to be helter skelter, running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and to have a daily to do list greater than the 24 hours allotted us humans daily – not to mention perhaps 16 hours really for those of us that endeavor to get at least 8 hours sleep a day.
What has provoked this mode of reflection is the scripture Luke 10:38-42. Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
In these verses we read that Martha was distracted with all her preparations, but what particularly stood out to me was the type of preparations she was doing. I think this is key to note because Martha was not busy doing sinful things. As a matter of fact she was busy with the affairs of serving. She was preparing for and serving Jesus, The Lord Himself. How wonderful for her to welcome Jesus into her home and to want to serve Him and anyone else who accompanied Him. Wouldn’t you agree that Jesus is the guest who deserves the best, so what harm could there be in all this goings on and fuss Martha was making? Why would her preparations be called distractions? Well, all we have to do is pay attention carefully to how Jesus addressed Martha after her complaining to Jesus about her sister’s lack of contribution of help with all the preparations. She even questioned whether Jesus cared about her situation (serving alone) and even gave Jesus a directive regarding what to do with Mary.
As soon as Jesus addressed Martha, He said her name twice – “Martha, Martha.” I liken it to a term of endearment. It reminds of me of someone wanting to comfort someone by saying, “There here now.” He really showed genuine concern and care for Martha. I also feel as if He was saying sweetheart listen. He then goes on to say, “You are worried and bothered about so many things.” What worried and bothered about so many things? What? How could that be Jesus? Martha was doing this for you!! I believe that Jesus saw the root of Martha’s works, all her goings on, her complaining and griping about the lack of help from her sister. She was all over the place and for nothing that Jesus really required of her. She was worried and troubled about getting things right, serving right, doing so much. She had placed demands on herself to please Jesus in such a harsh and hardworking way and He did not demand that of her. Her preparations, although not intentional, at the point was idolatry and had taken priority over being with Jesus. Ridden with anxiety, going about what she must do for her Lord to make Him feel welcomed was all one big distraction as Jesus saw it. Jesus did not need or want that from Martha. He wanted one thing at the time, her attention as it states, and I will explain further a little later. Martha did not have to drive herself with busyness for Jesus or to prepare for Him to feel welcomed. She had already welcomed Him in her home. He had already felt welcomed and was there sharing His words.
Do you see the connection between Martha’s experience and excessive busyness in Ministry? What about with affairs in everyday life? This can happen to anyone of us if we are not careful. We can get bogged down with to do lists, ministry, programs, or other activities and before we know it we are praying less, doing more, and taking on things we are not required to. If we are not careful we can overbook ourselves, stress ourselves out, and our relationship with the Lord suffers. The joy of just being in His presence, resting in His arms, sharing our heart with Him, hearing His voice, and knowing His heart is no longer our priority. Martha did not even appear to be experiencing joy in all her doing for Jesus. Her preparations were cumbersome and kept her occupied and distracted. Instead of truly entertaining and being with Jesus and taking time to enjoy Jesus and listen to Him, she anxiously went about preparing things all the while griping and complaining about what her dear sister Mary was not doing. Mary who had chosen to seek Jesus, learn of Him, and bask in His presence, decided to sit and His feet and hear Him speak. Jesus not only informs Martha of her spiritual state but then uses Mary as a model of what He desires.
After Jesus told Martha that she was worried and troubled about many things, he points her in the right direction away from her distractions. He tells her, “But one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to His word. Wow! You mean to tell me that Jesus doesn’t see Mary as lazy or uncaring? Well, as we read, we see no He did not. He actually stated that what she was doing was what He required – what was necessary, and it is the good part that won’t be taken from her. To seek Him, wait on Him patiently, hear what He has to say, to learn about Him, and what is in His heart (Being with Jesus).
Do you see it? Prayer, do you see it? Yes, beloved sitting at Jesus feet and listening to Him is prayer. We don’t always have to be saying and doing something. Oh how God longs for our presence and for us to enjoy His presence. He longs for us to sit quietly at His feet (just stop for a time, give Him some time), turn of the flow for a bit, stop with the list of demands, listen to Him, let Him love on you, and you love on Him. He does not require us to be ministry work horses or work mules. He loves us. He wants us more than what we can do for Him. He does not require us to work and work and work at the expense of our relationship with Him. He does not want us to work to we are ill, over tasked, burned out, asking where is God in all of this, and distracted from the good part – what is necessary (being with Him). He wants us not our works. Ministry will happen so pray and rest. The right works, the work of God, His works, will be wrought in Him through us out of the overflow of our loving, growing, maturing relationship with Him.
If you are now like Martha Martha, working and striving in your own strength needlessly to appease Jesus, to welcome Him, or for whatever reason Jesus says “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11-28-30. How refreshing to know that Jesus did not put a heavy yoke on us and we don’t have to be burdened down with anxious doings, going about, and conjuring up preparations in His name. We don’t have to follow a set of rules to earn His love and to show Him that we welcome Him. We can take on His yoke, learn of Him, and rest. Yes rest. No more striving on our own and no more distractions. Pray. Take time to be with Jesus. Indeed, the work of God will be done and from a place in Him not ahead or at the expense of Him or our relationship with Him. So now we can rest easy. You are already prepared, and preparations are done. You said yes and welcomed Him in. He is welcomed. So now no more ministry and works idolatry, no more idolatry period. Wait on Him and for His word. Instructions will follow and with empowerment. Priority – First Jesus! Just ask God for help and He will indeed help you and I sit at His feet.
Are we doing what Mary did now? Great! We have chosen the good part, the necessary part, and that is what God gives and no man can take it away – No man can take Jesus from us.
Thanks for Reading, God Bless You
Samantha Ann Waring-Jolicoeur