We're reading through Luke and Acts at church, and in Luke 10:38-42 comes a clash between Martha and Jesus over Mary not helping out in the kitchen when Jesus' visits but instead sitting at Jesus' feet. An invitation, as my friend Joe preached recently, not to choose between busyness and contemplation, but to 'rest inwardly' on Jesus. How I need that!
Some further scribbles from my notebook...
What does Jesus talk to Mary about?
We know from chapter 10:22 that Jesus alone makes his Father known.
And given chapter 11:1-13 is an invite to speak to the Father I think we can conclude that's what Mary is hearing about. That's the necessary thing. Without this we have nothing else.
And so I need to be in the the sound of the gospel - whether as I read the Scriptures myself, as I read them with others and we apply the gospel together, under preaching, through baptism, the Lord's Supper and the prayer of the church family. By all and every means possible my dull heart needs the gospel of Christ to put to death my sin and turn to Christ.
But two more questions...
How can I know the Father?
Jesus makes him known, but Luke doesn't teach relationship without atonement. That's an error when The Father is cast as the father in the story of the sons. The father there is Jesus - who comes out to seek both sons... just as Jesus came into the world to seek us. That story and this incident occur on Jesus' journey to Jerusalem. His death alone makes it possible for me to know the Father through the Son.
"...one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42
"Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Luke 24:26Two things are necessary - to listen to Jesus... and for Jesus to die. The word of the gospel puts these together articulating audibly the news of the Christ's cross.
Why would I want to know the Father?
- Firstly, I wouldn't. In myself I disbelieve the gospel, I'm adverse to God and love myself above all else.
- Secondly, as I hear the gospel I encounter 'the beloved son' (Luke 20) the cornerstone and crushing stone. In the gospel I see my opposition to the Son, our pursuit of his inheritance for ourselves, our self-justification (Lawyer in the good Samaritan story), our anxious labouring, which sets me up against the Gift.... and I receive a call to another way.
- Thirdly, what there is the treasure of the gospel. We can see the joy of the Father and the Son in the Spirit, in Luke 10:21, and if we call on the Father, in the name of the Son, we're promised the Spirit (Luke 11:13)
One person is necessary
Two things are necessary, my hearing from Jesus what he says of his Father who sent him, raised him and appointed him judge of all. The necessary is Christ. To welcome him, to receive his help in my helplessness (like the man by the road in the good Samaritan story) is both the end of me and my new beginning.