Monday, February 23, 2015

The Only Way

After Jesus left the lawyer to contemplate new truth, the Word says He entered a certain village.  While Luke does not name the village, the gospel writer John tells us it is Bethany.  It is where Mary and Martha live and as we listen to the Word we hear it telling us that Martha welcomed Jesus into her home.  Things were a lot different for Jesus in Bethany than back in that Samaritan village!   This story of Jesus being in the home of Martha and Mary is peculiar to Luke and is not a very long story, but it is one that has fascinated Biblical scholars as well as students and disciples. 

Much has been written and preached about the different ways these two women responded to Jesus being in their home.  Martha is the kind of person who keeps the church busy with stuff.  And while some of the stuff may indeed be spiritual, a lot of the stuff which keeps the church busy often seems more like stuff that just keeps people busy.  Of course, Martha was serving Jesus.  He was the object of everything she was doing.  But, as the story unfolds, she becomes upset that her sister is not responding to Jesus in the same way.  It is as if her way is the only right way. 

Here is, perhaps, the even greater danger for us as disciples who seek to live together in a community of Jesus centered people.  Countless numbers of churches have fractured because some could envision and allow only way of responding to Jesus.  Forgetting that the Holy Spirit blesses each believers with different gifts for the common purpose of building up the body of Christ has given birth to more churches than church planting groups.  Martha and Mary may have been sisters, but each one had a different way of responding to Jesus and caring for needs of the Kingdom.  Both had a place then even as they do now.

No comments: