February 18, 2014


It is an old story, but its lessons still speak to us: Jesus was relaxing in the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Mary sat near Jesus, absorbing every word. In the kitchen preparing food, Martha became agitated when Mary wasn’t helping her. Jesus’ words echo down the centuries: “Martha, Martha, . . . you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41, 42).

It is possible to be distracted, worried, or troubled about many things, but one thing matters above all else: knowing Christ passionately, and listening to and obeying His Word.

In telling the story Luke makes this insightful comment about Mary, who “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said” (Luke 10:39). It seems that this calm, devotional spirit is becoming secondary to many other trifling things today.

Surveys indicate that fewer than half of all Seventh-day Adventist families have family worship. Fewer church members study God’s Word daily. Devotional life seems to be waning among God’s people.

Some things are periphery; some discussions border on the edge of faith. Some issues may seem significant, but in reality have little real importance.

But knowing Christ matters. To hear His voice speaking through His Word matters. To spend time discovering His will in His Word matters. To neglect or minimize the authority of God’s Word, to downplay its significance, or to dismiss it as a product of its time with only some vague, moral principles is to miss the heart of Jesus’ lesson to Mary and Martha.

Some things really matter. Listening to and obeying Jesus’ Word are at the top of the list. n