Luke 10:38-42 Our Posture Toward Jesus

6 December 2016

“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)


We find these sisters two other places in Scripture acting in very similar ways to what they are doing here. We can observe a pattern of behavior in each and glean some understanding of what Jesus feels in the most important part of being a disciple.

First of all, let us examine the physical posture of each sister in these accounts.

In Luke 10, Martha speaks (almost rebuking Him for not forcing her sister to help her) to Jesus while standing. Mary is at the Master’s feet.

John 11 gives the account of Jesus going to raise Lazarus from the dead. Once again, we see that Martha meets Jesus and rebukes Him while standing face to face. On the other hand, Mary comes to Jesus saying the same words but she falls down at his feet.

In John 12, Martha is busy serving the guests once again. Mary is anointing the Savior’s feet with very expensive ointment.

We cannot ignore the physical position of each woman in these encounters. I believe it is there posture which brings dramatically different reactions from Jesus.

In Luke 10, Jesus says that Mary has chosen the good part and He will not tell her to stop worshipping Him in order to help with serving. This is not to say that there are not important logistical things that need to be done. But we need to get the NECESSARY things done in time before worship so we can be focused on Jesus. Further, are we drawing attention to ourselves by how much we DO at church, or are we drawing our own attention to Jesus?

In John 11, the sisters say basically the same thing to Jesus but perhaps in a much different tone. Martha speaks to Jesus face to face and when Jesus answers her, she seems to get no true comfort in the doctrine of the resurrection. When Mary comes to Him saying the same thing, she falls at His feet. Now, the same words bring the Savior to tears! It is her humble petition to the Son of God that brings dramatically different results.

In John 12, Martha is busy serving again. She is the older sister and she should be the focus of the story. After all, it is HER house. But the focus of the account is on Mary. And where is she? She is once again at the Savior’s feet. This time she is anointing them with ointment before His death.


By humble posture and focus on the “good part,” Mary has gained a deeper understanding of Who Jesus is. In fact, I believe the scene in John 12 shows that she had a better understanding than any of the twelve apostles!

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24th November 2017 18:13

Tags: devotional, discipleship, luke


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Elder Bryce Lowrance

















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