Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Worried and Troubled

 

And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. (Luke 10:39 NKJV)
And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. (Luke 10:41 NKJV)
 
Mary vs Martha
Martha, bless her heart, was a worker.  She was preparing a meal in her home for her friend, the Lord Jesus.  But her responsibilities were overwhelming her.  She was worried and troubled about many things.  That may mean that her nature was to worry.  She might have been worried about other things but having a meal fit for a king was obviously on her mind.
 
Now Mary was wasting her time.  She was sitting at the Lord’s feet listening to Him.  She obviously enjoyed his presence and his conversation.  Likely she was listening to Him teach.  But she was not helping Martha.  Both were good friends of the Lord.  Both were trying to give the Lord the respect and honor he deserved.  But the Lord commended Mary while cautioning Martha about her priorities.  Sitting at the feet of Jesus was much more important than making sure that the brisket was tender and tasty. 
 
Mary also Wasted Ointment
Mary was the one who wasted about a year’s wages worth of ointment just before the crucifixion of the Lord.  All the disciples criticized this act of worship, but Judas was incensed.  He was an embezzler and could have taken his ten percent off the top if the ointment had been sold and the money used for the needs of the poor or for the needs of the disciples that followed the Lord.  But the Lord was not going to need support, he was going to be crucified.  Mary seems to be the only one of the Lord’s followers who really grasped that.  Perhaps it was because she had sat at his feet and had listened to what he said.  She didn’t hear what she wanted to hear, she heard what he actually said.  So, she prepared for his burial before He died.  She said her nice things and showed her love before His death.  Most of us wait until someone has died to say the things that we should have said while they were living.
 
I know that there is some confusion as to what Mary is what Mary in the Gospels, but I am convinced that Mary of Bethany was not at the cross.  She took care of her respect and eulogy here by anointing Him before His crucifixion.  I suspect she didn’t want to see and didn’t see the agony that he endured when he was crucified.  She loved Him and He loved her.  Their relationship must have been special.  She was disappointed in him when He didn’t keep Lazarus, her brother, from dying.  But she saw the Lord’s tears and she saw Him raise Lazarus from the dead.  I am sure that she realized that she had limited what she thought He could do. She shows in her anointing Him “for His burial” that she may not have understood His plan for Lazarus, but she understood His plan for salvation.  As a result, she has become the basis for many Gospel sermons that convince people to trust the Lord for salvation.
 
We Get it Wrong
I was taught as a child to be industrious.  I was taught as an accountant to plan for the future.  I was taught as a Father to be the bread winner and to provide for my family.  As a result, I missed out on many opportunities to just enjoy my family. More than that I missed out on opportunities to enjoy the Lord.  I always thought I should make sure my preaching schedule was full.  If I wasn’t preaching, I should be visiting.  If I wasn’t visiting, I should be writing.  As a result, many times I missed that “good part” that the Lord said could not be taken away from Mary. 
 
Missionaries waste their lives, the givers waste their resources, the worshippers waste their time.  But nothing that we “waste” on the Lord is ever wasted.  I know that we need to be industrious and busy for the Lord.  Paul set a good example in this regard.  Yet his legacy is seen in the letters that he wrote, and many of them were written from prison.  Incarceration seems so limiting and it seems to be such a waste, but prison allowed Paul time to write letters that benefit all of us yet today. 
 
Oh, that we all might allow ourselves to waste time and money worshipping the Lord and enjoying His presence.  Perhaps we would be more trusting when we don’t understand what is going on.  Perhaps we would be less worried and troubled about many things.
 
Bruce Collins
 
Meditation for the week April 14, 2019
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