Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20090715.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part XXXVIII: Christ's Identity As God's Worldwide Savior By His Priority On Spiritual Matters
Lesson: Christ clearly put the priority of one's fellowship with God above all other very good and even Biblical callings in life, revealing He is a holy God's true Savior of the world. Thus, we also should follow Mary's example and put our spiritual fellowship with God above all other callings in life!
- The Apostle Paul urged Timothy not to become distracted by civilian affairs that he might fulfill the calling of his Commanding Officer, the Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Timothy 2:4.
- If Christ Himself is God's true Savior of the world, we should expect Him to have made one's relationship with God His first priority in life, a truth that is evident in His visit to the home of Mary and Martha:
- Christ's Identity As God's Worldwide Savior By His Priority On Spiritual Matters, Lk. 10:38-42.
- To appreciate the events that are briefly discussed in Luke 10:38-42, we must understand the setting, that it involved a special time, the Feast of Tabernacles, when preparations were very extensive (as follows):
- Alfred Edersheim's authoritative work, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (1972), ii, p. 144 indicates Jesus' Luke 10:38-42 visit to the home of Martha and Mary came at the Feast of Tabernacles.
- As such, the stipulations of the Law and cultural practices made it a very busy time to host a guest:
- Leviticus 23:42 directed Israel to live in makeshift booths for seven days during this feast.
- Two booths were built in this home setting: one served as "the sitting apartment" in the courtyard where hosts and guests, both men and women, would sit during the day (Ibid., p. 145), and another booth was built for Jesus to use a night for sleeping while the sisters slept in the house, Ibid., p. 146.
- Also, Deuteronomy 16:13-14 taught the people of Israel were to rejoice in this feast with family, servants, widows, orphans, Levites and foreigners, Zond. Pict. Ency. of the Bible, vol. Two, p. 523. If some of these people were present, more than just Jesus, Mary and Martha would be at the meal.
- Though Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha, there is no mention of him or of Jesus' disciples, so they were likely celebrating the Feast in Jerusalem, Ibid., Edersheim, p. 145.
- With the preparations of the meal involved in the Luke 10:38-42 setting, Mary and Martha would have needed to scurry back and forth between the house where their utensils for serving were usually located and the booth in the courtyard where the meal would be served, Ibid.
- In such a setting, it is easy to see how Martha could have felt overtaxed in her mind regarding the welfare of the two courtyard booths and her need to scurry between house and eating booth to serve Jesus, Mary, herself and whatever other guests they had as family, foreigners, Levites, orphans, etc.!
- From the text, we know that Martha gave herself exclusively to the serving duties required for the occasion of the Feast of Tabernacles, while Mary gave a priority to fellowship with the Lord at His feet even above these important and even Biblical duties, Luke 10:38-39.
- However, Martha's commitment to the serving effort literally "distracted" (perispao) her (Luke 10:40a; Ibid.; Moulton & Milligan, The Vocabulary of the Greek N. T., 1972, p. 508) from fellowship with Christ, and this distraction led to frustration both with Mary and even with the Lord Himself! (Luke 10:40b)
- Martha finally complained to the Lord, asking why He did not seem to care that Mary had left her alone to do all of the serving, leading Martha even to tell the Lord what to do in the situation, Luke 10:40b,c!
- Jesus gently but clearly rebuked Martha's anxiety and troubled mind, noting that only one thing was important, fellowship with Him, and that calling and priority Mary had correctly chosen, Luke 10:41-42a.
- Accordingly, Jesus said this part would not be taken from her, that He would not make Mary help Martha at the cost of sitting at His feet to fellowship with Him, Luke 10:42b.
Application: (1) May we trust in Christ as God's true Savior of the world. (2) May we subject all other callings, regardless how important or even Biblical, to the highest calling of true fellowship with God. (3) If we are frustrated in our walk, we have somehow replaced fellowship with God with other things, and must return to fellowship with God, that our service actions might be true and truly effective!