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If our passion for the King begins with knowing one thing (John 9/25), it further develops by needing one thing. By its very nature, passion can diminish rapidly. If we are to have a passion for Jesus that is more than a 'flash in the pan', we need to find ways that see this relational dynamic sustained in our lives. In fact, we need just one thing.

 

Read Luke 10/38-42

 

Here is a scene made up of the "ordinariness" of everyday life. There is no miracle to catch our breath away. However the scene is filled with insights that can take us into new realm of intimacy with our King. Passion for the King needs to be nurtured at the expense of other legitimate but lesser activities

 

[1] KINGDOM PASSION FRAGMENTED - MARTHA

 

a. Martha is to be commended in that she opened her home and welcomed their honoured guest - she was committed to serve. Did she have any notice about the arrival of Jesus? We don't know.

 

b. Was Martha passionate about what she did? Absolutely! But her passion lacked priority time with Jesus.

 

c. How do we know that? Because of the three words that are used to describe her condition & attitude.

 

*Distracted - it means to draw away, to distract from primary focus. The demands of the urgent gain attention over and above the important.

 

*Worried - This word means to be pulled in a number of directions at the same time. It suggests a fragmenting of priorities that creates a dissonance internally.

*Upset - This word is often used to describe a public tumult, uproar or protest. What a descriptive word this is of Martha's internal state or condition!!

 

d. Out of that state of heart and mind, Martha responded in two unfortunate ways:

 

*She questioned the Lord and His attitude to her - "Don't you care….?"

 

*She presumed to instruct the Lord about what Mary should do - "Tell her to help me!"

 

e. You have to know that something is askew within when we begin to question & instruct the Lord!! She passionately wanted to serve Jesus. She wanted the meal to be just right for her honoured guest. We can't question her passion but……

 

[2]  KINGDOM PASSION FOCUSED - MARY

 

a. If Martha opened her home to serve, then Mary opened her heart to listen. The issue here is not right and wrong. Both sisters were passionate.  Rather, it's an issue of priority - which comes first?

 

b. They needed to eat - obviously! But there is more than one kind of food needed in life.

 

c. Mary somehow knew that passion for the King is developed by first sitting and then, secondly, by serving. That is the right sequence as we seek to grow in our passion for the King.

 

d. Passion in our relationship is not increased by doing more, trying harder, jumping higher. That choice will, in fact, diminish passion and that is why so many Christian workers suffer "burnout" & end up criticizing others as well as the Lord.

 

e. Passion is developed by needing one thing - to be in the presence of Jesus & to sit at His feet. The preparation of the meal can wait. Spending time in the lounge room gives a whole new perspective on the work that awaits us in the kitchen!

 

f. NB: "Mary has chosen what is better…" (v.42). It was a choice - it didn't just happen. Similarly, Martha made a choice, too.

 

g. Jesus graciously assessed the situation for Martha. He recognized "all the preparations that had to be made" but He did identify that while there were many things that were legitimate, only one was really needful.

 

[3]  KINGDOM PASSION CRITICIZED - MARTHA & JUDAS

 

a. To lose our priority of being with Jesus will soon see us become frustrated, negative & critical of others. That was true of Martha - she cooked up a storm of criticism and it soon erupted in that Bethany home. The soup wasn't the only thing boiling over in the kitchen!

 

b. But it was also true in another setting where Mary's passion for the King expressed itself extravagantly; at least, that was Judas' assessment of the situation.

 

Read John 12/1-8

 

There comes a time when Kingdom passion can no longer just sit but it must sacrificially serve.

 

c. In this case, Mary is again at the feet of Jesus and it is Judas doing the criticizing - NB: his logic

 

d. Please be assured that true Kingdom passion will always attract criticism - by those within & without the faith community.

 

e. In both settings, it was Jesus to the rescue as he corrects Martha & Judas & commends Mary.

 

ACTION: Do we really want to develop a passion for the King? Then one thing is needed.  What practical decisions do we need to make? Will we, like Mary, choose that which is better? The choice here is not between good and evil but between good and the best. What legitimate activities need to be abandoned for the sake of the "one thing that is needed"?  Will anything be different for us as a result of this Biblical encounter today?

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