In the 1700’s, Thomas Scott was a young man who felt a call to go into the ministry, but he didn’t know much about it. He became acquainted with John Newton, the author of the hymn “Amazing Grace,” who was pastoring a church at nearby Olney, England, at that time, and they began corresponding. Newton wrote to him: “The first lesson in the school of Christ is to become a little child, sitting simply at his feet, that we may be made wise unto salvation.” (Newton, Letters, p. 248) Newton’s words pierced Thomas Scott’s heart, and he became an evangelical Christian, who walked 14 miles on Sundays to preach to patients in a London hospital. He served in the ministry the rest of his life, and wrote a Bible commentary that was named after him. Undoubtedly that “first lesson” Newton gave him, made a strong impression, and guided him to that successful ministry: “simply sit at His feet.” That is the key to the effective Christian life. And that is just what we see in our passage here in Luke 10 today as well:
“Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with [a]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.’ 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.’”
Last Sunday we saw how Martha’s experience with Jesus can serve as an allegory of what happens in each of our lives with Him:
— First, like Martha, we must each personally ask Jesus into our lives
— But also like her, even when we have asked Him in, we are still “a work in progress” and have some changes in attitude and lifestyle, and so on, to make.
So this morning, as a followup, we are going to look at THE single most important thing that needs to happen in each of our lives after Jesus comes in. Martha didn’t regard it, at first, as the most important thing — and honestly, many of God’s people today do not see it as that important either. But that it SHOULD have the highest priority in our lives, Jesus makes very clear, both here and elsewhere in scripture. What is that “one thing”? It is what we see Mary doing here: Verse 39 says that Martha “had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word.” Continue reading