Mary’s Marvelous Listening Lesson


“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”” Luke 10:38-42

Maybe you’re like I am and have heard preached and yourself studied a zillion times the story of Mary and Martha who entertained Jesus as their guest and who went about His visit in two entirely different ways until Jesus made plain and clear Martha’s complaint about Mary not helping with the serving paved the way for Jesus’ lesson that the most important thing of all isn’t the serving but is sitting at the feet of Jesus instead.

No matter how many times I’ve thought about Mary and Martha, seems the Lord has yet another lesson for me. A lesson I had not realized before. He does that with me a lot in His Word. Taking me to ever deeper levels and layers of understanding by the teaching of His Holy Spirit. Deep like this. To new lessons like this one.

Nothing wrong with serving the Lord, of course. We should! But Jesus teaches us in this story that the most important part isn’t the serving but instead is the spending time at His feet talking to Him, right? Praying to Him, right? Spending time with Him, right? In intimate fellowship with Him, right? Yes, spending time in His intimate fellowship is indescribably important and a blessing beyond measure and should be done continually, absolutely! But does Jesus tell us in this story that the most important part is TALKING TO HIM? NO! This is what I had missed FOR YEARS. He says the most important part is sitting at His feet HEARING HIM!

Should we pray to the Lord? ABSOLUTELY! Continually, in fact, per God’s Word. But what’s the most important part according to this story? HEARING GOD!

You might not believe how many people over the years have told me they believe they have a relationship with Christ because they PRAY TO HIM! Countless people have told me they TALK TO GOD but make clear they don’t LISTEN TO GOD, don’t STUDY THE BIBLE, don’t GO TO CHURCH and ASSEMBLE WITH OTHER BELIEVERS IN CHRIST, and don’t SPEND TIME HEARING GOD’S WILL FOR THEIR LIVES with the COMMITMENT TO FOLLOW JESUS rather than to merely believe in Jesus. There is a whole lot of talking going on, but time and again people tell me they TALK TO GOD but don’t share anything with me anyway about doing any listening.

They’re not alone, you know. Even those like myself who are totally devoted to Jesus can find ourselves doing a whole bunch of talking and not a whole lot if any at all of listening to God. I’m not referring only to listening to God by studying the Bible. THAT IS THE NUMBER ONE WAY TO HEAR GOD, absolutely! But God’s Spirit also speaks to us personally to our hearts in line with His Word, and also may speak to us if He desires through other believers in Jesus.

But are we taking the time to LISTEN TO GOD, or are we hogging up all the talking time?

I love to talk, and I love to pray. And I LOVE TO LISTEN TO THE LORD both IN HIS WORD and as HIS SPIRIT SPEAKS TO MY HEART in line with His Word. But what is most important of all? HEARING GOD. And with HEARING GOD must come OBEDIENCE TO GOD. For JESUS CHRIST IS LORD.

Friend, please PRAY TO THE LORD continually. But please don’t neglect the LISTENING part. HEARING GOD. Please be sure to sit at the feet of Jesus with your Bible open and your heart and ears open and hear God as He speaks wisdom and instruction and love and comfort and encouragement and chastening and conviction and anything He desires to your heart.

Let’s be sure to listen, shall we? Let’s HEAR THE LORD. Let’s sit at His feet and HEAR GOD! Yes, absolutely YES!


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