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Significant Lessons From a Surprising Visitor

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
September 26, 2022 12:00 am

Significant Lessons From a Surprising Visitor

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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September 26, 2022 12:00 am

When Jesus visited the home of two sisters, they each demonstrates faithful, but different acts of service toward Him. As theologians and Christians have read the Gospel of Luke, many criticize Martha and commend Mary for their behavior, but the truth of the matter is much more complex. The reality is both sisters exhibited faithful devotion to Jesus, and both utilized their spiritual gifts, albeit through different expressions of love. There is much to be learned from both Mary and Martha today.

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Tell Mary to help me words. Sure back into the kitchen which means she's got to see the need IC which means you gotta think like Lord, why don't other people see that need like icing.

Why don't they think like icing. Why don't they help me like helping you. Why am I surveying all the sudden surrounded by you know carrots and cabbage, acts of service, theologians and Christians have read the Gospel of Luke. Many criticized Martha in command Mary for their behavior. But the truth of the matter is much more complex.

The reality is both sisters exhibited faithful devotion to Jesus and both utilize their spiritual gifts, though through different expressions of love. There's much more to be learned from both Mary and Martha today.

Stephen will teach you more in this message. Called significant lessons from a surprising visitor one little kindergartner was pretty bright kid for somebody so young for Sunday school teacher was teaching them the account of Jesus visiting the home unexpectedly and then she asked the children. Now what would you do if Jesus came to your home little boy raised his hand and said I put up Bible out on the coffee table, smart kid, we probably would to something like this actually happened in the record of Scripture. I want to show you how to sisters responded and what we can learn from them both to go back with me to the gospel by Luke finishing chapter 10 today and were now adverse 38.

I want to break this encounter down into three scene for us will call the first scene. The invitation number 38 now as they went on their way. Jesus entered a village and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house this phrase as they went on their way to be translated as they were traveling along and what that means is this is an unannounced unexpected detour. No cell phones unit is not dance. Notice Martha had no idea noted Mary her sister Seleucus just sort of setting the stage here for this unannounced visit nor not told by the way, Jesus is traveling alone or if he is 72 disciples.

Without that it been sent out recently. You are just as 12 closest disciples, and hereby look that she welcomed him into her house you need. What is it doesn't mean that the entourage just the way that on the front lawn.

Know this is official language by the matriarch when she welcomes him. She welcomes everyone with him. She welcomes them all then into her house. What we can piece together. Martha is single living with her single sister and her brother Lazarus who is not mentioned in this visit Mary or Martha that is seems to be the matriarch of the of the household and here she immediately invites in the guest of honor someone. She Artie knows not sure how and when shall refer to him as Lord.

She Artie believes who you, and shall call that in the moment, so you need to understand that that she rightly opens the door, that's remarkable. She sort of seized past works through that immediate startle of Luke is arrived, but still she opens the door and I want to pause here long enough to comment that Martha is all too often to quickly criticized for complaining to the Lord as we'll see in a moment when at least we ought to begin by commending her for opening the door and letting the man she is not a good time because she is immediately thinking of a million things.

Probably the food she doesn't have her staff or or she has to prepare how many heads represented out there. She takes a quick count, she would know whether or not the house was a mess. She still put out the welcome mat now would also pause long enough to tell you is another misunderstanding here were especially those of resident believers a long time and you read this passage and you kind of skip over everything get to that complaint don't believe she's complaining, just slow down. We miss by being too quick to capture her complaint, we witnessed the context we miss the contribution that she made and then we make the wrong application. One Protestant commentator. I read gave his interpretation of this scene, which is to be the traditional typical scene were interpretation that Mary was the one who represented quote the genuine believer so we should model what does that mean that a genuine believer doesn't cook many women are going yeah I knew it. Thank you see that theme verse from here on out this I mean a genuine believer never clean your takes care of dinner guests and all the detail behind the scene. They just spend their time studying the Bible sitting at the feet of Jesus, as it were praying interesting. If you connect this to what happened earlier in chapter 7 where Jesus was the invited guests at the home of the Pharisee Jesus later on rebukes the Pharisee for inviting him into his home, but not providing for the washing the feet not giving them the kiss of greeting the introductions all the treatment given to dinner guests because he knew the Pharisee was withholding all of that in order to insult him.

This is everything Martha is doing because she loves it wasn't wrong to serve in the kitchen. After all, somebody had to do it or they would have nothing to eat and they will eat the Lord. If we take a closer look isn't really troubled by her service fees troubled by her spirit in her priority.

So at the outset of this scene here. Let's let's take another look. Let's let's not overlook overlook the fact that out of love for the Lord.

She is responding to the way she knows best, the way God is created not with verse 39 she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listen to his teaching. Understanding these days to be seated at the feet of a respected rabbi or teacher is the official position taken by a student who is now prepared to learn that were told were given the same expression were were told over next chapter 22 and verse three that Paul was 230 was officially educated at the feet of Gamaliel. The brilliance attorney. So when you read this phrase that Mary is now sitting at Jesus's feet that by implication means that Jesus is beginning to teach a transition has occurred.

This is no longer conversation over by the punch ball Jan Jesus Doug Peter not save you thing that this is moved now into a room somewhere more than likely Jesus is sitting on a very typical Yvonne raised perhaps cross-link it, and everyone sits around him which would've been that fashion. Mary is among them.

The only point out another there's another misunderstanding in the typical treatment of this text in that Mary supposedly never helped Martha do anything.

She was never in the kitchen to begin with. She was just your solid rapture so godly, so pure that as soon as Jesus showed up. She sat down at his feet. Teach me.

So what happened this transition finds Jesus moving from being welcomed. Know that having his feet washed, greeted with kisses introduced to the household, though always not named everything that the Pharisee did not do. Now he shifts into an official teaching rabbinical position and we know that Mary had been helping because of what Martha is about to complain, but let's not go there to quickly let's let's move in the scene to call this the interruption notices the first phrase in verse 40 but now, in contrast, Martha was distracted with much serving people typically read this and say yeah you know she was wrong to be so busy for the Lord. She's not going to be instructed by her action, but by her distraction is a difference. People say well you look at her. She she shouldn't have been so busy serving the Lord what I think really if that's true then we were all in trouble. As soon as we start serving of her people in my position.

Sunday is not a day of rest and it probably is. And for many of you serving prep you just finished an hour of surveying. There's more to do this this afternoon or evening. The truth is the Lord commands us for serving. In fact, he Ephesians 210 says he created you for work deeds that he is prepared beforehand. The apostle Paul told Titus to teach those believers on the island of Crete to be eagerly devoted to good works. Titus chapter 3 and verse eight over in Romans chapter 12 in verse 13 the apostle Paul told the Roman believers.

In fact, he commanded them practice hospitality wash feet, clean your house, cook the meal, walking the man do that is interesting.

The word Luke uses here for Martha being distracted literally means to be dragged away to be pulled along emotionally and mentally. Again, Martha's actions were wrong. Her attitude was that, up until this point. Based on her complaint will see in a moment.

Mary has been helping Martha all those immediate needs of hospitality somewhere between chopping the cabbage which was one of their staples and cleaning the carrots. Martha becomes aware, Mary's gone wares. Mary carried sitting there. You know cabbage maybe sums burning. I've no idea where she goes looking for her and she spots, of all places, sitting down sitting down too much. She literally walks over and interrupts the Lord's lecture. I didn't get the idea. This is formal instruction of a rabbi part of the cons in there and interrupts the lecture just sorta stops everything. Verse 40 and she went up to him and said, Lord, do you not care straw bracket around that phrase and ask yourself yourself. How often you said that the Lord Lord do not care. Do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone tell her that to help me know she was working with me. She was helping me and she left me to come over here and sit down with you, teach is a very important element to this context that will help us understand this better Bible scholars point out the timing chronologically, which is very helpful has been to me this is taking place either during the Jewish festival of booths were or just preceding this is an annual time when life is supposed to become simplified the faithful Jewish people would build little lean to's out in their courtyards where they would spend their evenings they would be reflecting on God's amazing deliverance from Egypt. They been delivered there to reflect on that and the provision that God is given them.

As they wandered out outdoors.

This was not the time for traditional meal that would be set aside. This is as one author pointed out the time for sandwich not a feast with five courses you see what Martha is driven by her nature and temperament, we would call it today for wiring driven by that to do what to put on a feast she does. She loves doing that for others that she cares about is your default she she can throttle it back to us sandwich for the King of the universe. Given cheese and cracker. During this festival we typical meal was simply fruit and vegetables whatever whatever was quickly, easily made so they could reflect on their deliverance. There's another problem I think buried in this complaint that surfaces in our own lives today. Verse 40 teller tell Mary to help me. In other words, sure. Back in the kitchen but what she really saying she is suggesting that what Mary is doing is not as important as what I'm doing. She's implying that she ought to be serving like I'm certain which means she's got to see the need that I see. Which means you gotta think like I do. Wherever it is in the world where you are passionate about serving you see the need Lord, why don't other people see that need like I see. Why don't they think like I think, why don't they help me like helping you. Why am I surveying all the sudden surrounded by you know carrots and cabbage along. We are effectively complaining to the Lord with the spirit of Martha that he is in making our brothers and sisters think like us and serve like us and see the need, like us, I appreciate the writing of Warren Weathersby who, in his commentary on this text. God has made us with different personalities and gifts given the complement one another for service use illustration of imagining they were all gathered in a nearby restaurant for soup after church for all their and were all in the lion getting a bowl of soup and the lady up in the front of the line gets a bowl of soup and she's walking to her table. She stumbles into a chair, falls the soup spills everywhere and there. She sits on the floor in the puddle of soup.

The person with the gift of her see would immediately go over and sit down and get out her handkerchief and wiped off the soup them. So sorry this happened.

You sit here with you and when you're ready to get up I'll get up with the person with the gift of administration is ignoring the wallet, but assuming that if we just set the chairs up a little differently, and maybe organize the tables a little better this when that happens on a fix that. The person with the gift of teaching would say I really listen.

There are three reasons she tripped and fell and you need to write these down the person with the gift of giving is to stand there waiting for the woman to get back up his glory give her her bullets.

She's ready the person to get that house and even around her going to the hallway looking for a mom and up bucket because they saw the fact that there's a mess needs to be cleaned up. God makes us see the need, the same event and respond differently but but when the flash governs the gift the person with the gift of her see him say why am I the only one sitting down here caring about this person that guy over there. You check it out.

The chair set up care about people with the person with the gift of giving is wondering why they don't ever get the evening soup there always giving there's a way the person with the gift of teaching is wondering why nobody's writing down what they're saying. The person with the gift of helps is complaining all the way down the hallway that there always the one getting the mop and cleaning up the mess was lost. Joy serve the Lord with what led there's a principal to learn here that our service can be quickly spoiled in the can spoil us by wrong spirit that moment.

This is, this is Martha Lord there's stuff to do, make Mary see what I see and respond the same way now.

The original construction of this phrase implies that she is going to get a positive response.

This is a rhetorical question, Lord, do you not care and I know you do. And so, send Mary back in the kitchen. She's expecting it to say you're right you're right. I thought about that Martha. So Mary would you go back and help around.

Instead, the Lord offers this list called the scene three and label this simply the instruction verse 41, but the Lord answered her, Martha, Martha stopped doubling the name implies, affectionate instruction use references is not harsh Jerusalem Jerusalem how I would love together using handouts or checks. This is very tender, compassionate, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, the word for anxious here refers the Greek word to being worried about circumstances.

You can't change that you can control. So then, just a meal here. This is a mindset saying you're worried about many things that you can change but one thing is necessary.

One thing matters more than many things to follow this. Don't miss this Martha's problem was focusing on something that didn't matter as much as something else. Jesus is not saying mother everything you been doing, then matter should have been doing any of that. Now he saying everything you been doing is at this moment distracting you from something else you ought to take time here and now to do balance work with worship begin.

The problem is not her activity. The problem is her priority. She reflects what we struggle with her own lives, there will always love there will always be a thousand, saying that are good that pull you away from this one good thing. Responsibilities overshadow our relationship with Christ. That's what she's demonstrating wasn't just about the meal she was cooking telephoto that was there going to enjoy it. It was about a meal that Jesus was delivering for her, and in fact this is that tug-of-war we could call it. This is the tug-of-war we feel between sitting with Christ and serving Christ balancing responsibilities with that relationship by Pentecost in his commentary. Put it this way, struggling with being occupied for Christ and being occupied with Christ.

Balance. Jesus goes on in verse 42 to say Mary is chosen. The good portion, which will not be taken away from her.

He's playing on words here that the word for portion is the same word used for a portion of food so is essentially saying she's chosen the best meal Martha you need another while you are focused on our meal.

Mary was focused on a meal as well and that meal will take her through life. Don't overlook that meal. As you work on this in the book that were not told what happened next but I can imagine after this tender instruction that Martha sits down next to her sister and received this meal from the Lord. She learned I'm sure will be terribly embarrassing for her to have this record in the Gospels.

She may live long enough to read it, aghast, embarrassed, but the Lord put it in there because we struggle the same way with that she learned we do have a clue that she did effective the last time Jesus visits their home also seems to be unannounced. This time were told in John's gospel that there were 12 disciples with him, and Lazarus is mentioned. So now you get 16 people stuffed in that home for dinner and what happened.

John writes, so they gave dinner for him.

There notice and Martha served, Mary took a pound of expensive ointment and anointed the feet of Jesus. Martha, still Martha Mary still married and they're both responding in their way out of love for the Lord. But this time Martha offers not one complaint only one who complained that situation. Jesus, I close with a very brief four-line poem written by Charles Wesley. The hymn writer who studied this passage came to the same conclusion faithful to my Lord's commands. I will choose better part I'll serve with Martha's hand and listen with Mary's heart and called today's lessons to get lessons from a surprising visitor. It's the final lesson in the series called into the spotlight. We've posted them to our website. When you visit wisdom online.org and navigate to our sermon library. Look for the gospel of Luke. You'll find all of these messages. There will also mentioned that we sometimes have to edit these messages to fit in a radio broadcast, but on the website were able to bring you the full length version. Stephen's message again.

You'll find that wisdom online got join us next time. For more wisdom


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