“…one thing is needed…” NKJV
“…one thing only is essential…” Msg
“…only one thing is important…” NCV
“…but really, only one thing matters…” Voice
What is this one thing? Who said this? And why?
We all probably know this verse. Martha, Martha, Martha! Jesus said. “You are worried and troubled about many things.” (Luke 10:41 NKJV)
So what was Jesus saying? Worried in Greek means to be anxious about, to be troubled with cares, to have a distracting care.
Troubled means to make turbid, disturb, to be troubled in mind, disquieted, confusion. It comes from the word turbe (in Latin turba, means a crowd).
The next verse says, “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42 NKJV)
By the definitions, the first part might read, “And one is needful, required, a necessity.” Mary chose the good part or portion. Not the better part. Another word is used in Greek for better. She chose that which is good and beneficial, excelling.
Worried about much? How often do we obey Jesus’ command to “not worry about [our] life” (Matt. 6:25a NIV)? It would be to our advantage to heed Paul’s words, “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayer, letting God know your concerns.” (Phil. 4:6 Msg)
When worries occupy our mind or the busy cares of life bulge our itineraries, they hold us captive, as the “captivity of activity,” and our prayer time usually suffers.
Martha received Jesus into her home, yet, she busied herself with other things rather than sit at His feet. Jesus scolded her. Can’t you see Him shaking His head and, in essence, saying, “Martha, Martha, you’re distracted with too many anxieties and cares; you have too much going on in your head; there’s a crowd in there making an uproar, disturbing your peace.”
Both women had nourishment on the mind, Martha’s was physical and Mary’s was spiritual. And Mary chose that one thing, “and it will never be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42b NCV)
Service without kneeling is not the beneficial part.
I love this version of both verses, “Martha, dear friend, you are so upset over all these details! There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it-and I won’t take it away from her!” (Luke 10:41-42 TLB)
*Are you too full of cares and anxieties?
*Is there a hole in your life begging to be nourished and filled?
*Have you “treasured the words of His mouth more than [your] necessary food”? (Job 23:12 NKJV)
*If you have welcomed Jesus into your heart’s home, is it more important to attend to the rattle of the pans of work or to spend time in the Lord’s presence?
No great soul ever grew in intimacy with the Lord on the streets of a busy life, only in the seclusion of prayer.
When busyness keeps us from hearing the whispers of our Beloved and keeps us too distracted to feel the comfort of His arms, we will never discover what Mary did.
We’d better be on our knees in prayer before we’re on our feet at work!
Have you discovered and chosen the one thing necessary? Serve Him first with your adoration!