DISTRACTED BY GOOD
A. As Christians, we have many responsibilities that are proper:
1. As parents, spouses, or children
a. 1 Timothy 5:8
b. Colossians 3:18-21
2. As employees, or employers – cf. Colossians 3:22-4:1
B. Yet sometimes what is good can get in the way of what is better
1. This happens when we fail to properly prioritize our activities
2. Allowing ourselves to be distracted by what is good – we can miss out on, or neglect that which is better
C. A good illustration of this is seen in the story of Martha and Mary
1. Here we have an account of two sisters who along with their brother Lazarus were loved by Jesus (cf. Jn. 11:5).
2. Turning to our text (Lk. 10:38-42), let’s examine…
A. THE EXAMPLE OF MARTHA AND MARY
1. Martha Was Distracted
a. She had invited Jesus to her house – Luke 10:38
1) That it was her house leads most to think she was the eldest, head of the household
2) Her hospitality is certainly commendable, a noble trait
a) Isaiah 58:7 – Isaiah said, to please God…
“Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?”
b) Hebrews 13:2
b. She became distracted by much serving – Luke 10:40
1) The Son of God, the Messiah, had come to her house – what an honor!
2) There were likely others beside Jesus: His disciples, her family, neighbors
3) She naturally wanted her sister Mary to help (Lk. 10:40)
c. She began to worry and be troubled by many things – Luke 10:41
1) These were not things that were wrong in of themselves
2) But they took priority when they should not have
3) Which caused anxiety of mind and distress of spirit!
d. Martha allowed that which is good get in the way of that which is better!
2. Mary Was Disciplined
a. She sat at Jesus feet and heard His word – Luke 10:39
1) Sitting at His feet was the ancient posture of disciples or learners (cf. Acts 22:3)
2) It indicates she was His disciple, she wanted to learn from Him
3) She was more concerned about being a good disciple, than a good hostess
b. She chose the one thing needed – Luke 10:42
1) In the end, there is one thing that is really necessary
2) That would be seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness
a) Matthew 6:33
b) 1 Timothy 4:8
c. She chose that which had eternal consequence (Lk. 10:42)
1) She chose “the good part, which shall not be taken away from her”
2) For Jesus offered blessings that would last
a) John 4:14
b) John 5:24
c) John 10:27-28
3) Of which even her sister Martha was aware – cf. John 11:21-27
d. Mary had the discipline to seek first things first, putting the better before the good!
e. From the example of Martha and Mary, what lesson can be drawn?
B. THE LESSON OF MARTHA AND MARY
1. Are We Distracted?
a. By things that may be good within themselves?
1) Our duties as husbands and wives, fathers and mothers?
2) Our responsibilities to work?
3) Our efforts in the community?
b. Jesus warned against allowing such things to take precedence in our lives
1) Family cannot come before our service to the Lord
a) Matthew 10:37
b) Matthew 12:46-50
2) Family and work cannot come before the kingdom of God – Luke 14:16-24
3) Cares of this world can render us unfruitful – Luke 8:14
4) Cares of this world can leave us unprepared – Luke 21:34
c. If we become distracted by even things that are good…
1) We will find ourselves like Martha: worried, troubled, and stressed out!
2) We may find ourselves like Esau: selling our inheritance for a morsel! – Hebrews 12:16
d. Are we distracted by the good?
2. Are We Disciplined?
a. Do we seek that which is better, the one thing that is really needed?
1) The kingdom of God and His righteousness?
2) Eternal life and the blessings which accompany it?
b. Jesus taught of the value of choosing the good part – There is…
1) God’s providential care in our lives – Matthew 6:31-33
2) Ample surplus to replace our sacrifice for the gospel – Mark 10:28-30
3) Peace and joy which the world cannot give
a) John 14:27
b) John 15:11
c) John 16:33
d) Philippians 4:6-7
c. If we are disciplined enough to make the proper choice…
1) We will find ourselves like Mary: free of anxiety, praised by the Lord!
2) We will find ourselves like Job: experiencing the end intend by the Lord! – James 5:11
d. Are we disciplined enough to choose that which is better?
A. Martha had the opportunity to serve the Lord again:
1. On a joyous occasion, after the raising of her brother from the dead – John 12:1-2
2. Then she served with no distraction, free from worry, with no rebuke from the Lord
B. Such is the case of those who learn from Martha and Mary:
1. Who put first things first, seeking first God’s will and work in their lives
2. While the Lord comes first, they become better hosts, spouses, parents, workers
3. Better than if they tried to do it on their own, without God’s help!
C. Seek first the will of God, and everything falls into place.
1. Become distracted by even that which is good, anxiety and problems will be our lot in life!
2. Are we willing to learn from Martha and Mary?