Where does Jesus rank in your life? That's a very important question which deserves a very thoughtful and honest answer. The great minister D.L. Moody once said, "I'd rather a thousand times be five minutes at the feet of Christ than listen a lifetime to all the wise men in the world." Amen to that! What a wonderful way to view the supremacy of Jesus compared to anyone or anything else in this broken world. I also have to admit that each time I hear or read Moody's quote my mind immediate goes to a story in the Bible from Luke chapter 10. The scene is in the home of Mary and Martha and a group has gathered together to fellowship and share a good moment together. While there we see two distinct places one could've congregated. In one room we have Martha who is working extremely hard in her role as host. She's preparing a meal and tending to the task of providing for everyone's physical and material needs. However, in another room we see Mary and others gathered around the feet of Jesus listening to every single word as if it's their last opportunity with the Master. As Martha meets earthly needs we see Jesus taking care of the spiritual needs of His flock.
In a moment of weakness and frustration, Martha storms into the room and confronts her sister Mary. Martha is upset at her sister because she isn't helping in the other room and finds this to be rude and lazy on Mary's part. Jesus, steps in and reminds Martha that she is too troubled with things which ultimately don't matter, but Mary had chosen to partake in something eternal. That eternal decision by Mary was what you and I need to do more often which is sit at the feet of Jesus and listen.
There's three things we can glean from being at the feet of Jesus in this passage. The first of these three is there's room for revelation at the feet of Jesus. Did you know the Lord is speaking? Yes, right now the Lord is speaking. No, it's not an audible voice, but through His holy word the Author and Finisher of our faith is speaking to the entire world. The problem comes from our refusal to listen. Just as Martha chose to occupy her time in another room, we also choose to neglect the words of Christ by never sitting at His feet and soaking up the wisdom from His word.
I'm reminded of a story I read years ago about a Native American man who had been asked to do business with a certain company located in a large city. The men were looking to do some construction on the land of the Native American and were hoping to sign a deal soon. After a long meeting the deal was finalized and the business owners wanted to treat everyone involved to lunch. As they were walking down the crowded sidewalk the Native American gentleman stopped everyone and asked if they heard the crickets chirping. The business owners somewhat laughed and looked around at the loud, overcrowded streets and told the gentleman there was no way to hear crickets in an environment like that. The Native American grabbed some change from his pocket and threw it on the concrete sidewalks and immediately a large number of pedestrians stopped in their tracks and focused their attention on the coins clanging on the ground. He then walked over beside the nearest building and picked up a small cricket and showed the men of the company. The Native American said, "You see, I told you there were crickets here. The reason you couldn't hear them is because you hear what you're listening for. I love nature and heard the crickets as soon as we got outside. These people were fixated on money and they heard what their heart was listening for." Sadly, a lot of people are missing the voice of The Lord because just like those pedestrians they're tuned in to something else.
The second lesson we learn from the passage is there's room for rest at the feet of Jesus as well. It's important to have quality alone time with Jesus and we continually benefit the more often we do it. The amount of time and energy we put into chasing success in things which will amount to nothing in eternity is staggering. Instead of finding our rest in the Lord we wear ourselves down (and those around us) by placing unnecessary pressure and expectations on our lives. We get burnt out, turned off, and ultimately find ourselves in a miserable state. In other words, we turn into Martha when Jesus is inviting us to have rest like Mary was experiencing. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30 "Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." In the rat race of life those words are a timeless reminder to us all that true rest is found only in knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.
The third and final lesson to learn is there's room for reality at the feet of Jesus. Eventually we'll all answer to God and give an account of our lives. There'll be no second chances or going back to re-do anything. Time will have given way to eternity and we will bow to our Creator. Jesus gave a strong, but loving reality check to everyone in the room when He said that "one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." There are many things you and I hold dear, but what of those things will we take with us into eternity? Which of these precious accomplishments or possessions will impress a Holy God? What status could we rise to that would cause the One who spoke the universe into existence to look on us as having achieved anything significant? The reality at the feet of Jesus is one of perspective and understanding. Our Lord teaches us to observe the time and be aware of our temporary existence on this earth. Most of all we come to the reality of our need of salvation. Jesus and Jesus alone is the answer to such a dilemma. We stand in need of forgiveness and mercy from the wrath of God and the Gospel points to Christ as our only hope. He is the payment for our sin debt and the Giver of life to our dead souls.
In these trying and confusing days we all see the chaos which has overtaken the world. It's easy to get depressed and consumed by the fear and anxiety see and feel. However, there's room at the feet of Jesus. There's room for you and I to find refuge in this storm. There's room to listen to truth as it drowns out the lies and uncertainty all around us. There's room for rest in the midst of all this difficulty. There's room to see the reality of what's at stake and meaningful in times like these. As you and I navigate slowly through these uncharted waters it's encouraging to know Jesus is inviting us to gather around Him, sit at His feet and listen as He speaks like only He can. Let's calm our nerves, open our hearts, and engage our minds with the Friend who sticks closer than a brother. Much like Mary, we'll be glad we did.