What do you and I need most in our lives? What is THE most important thing in our lives? In Luke 10:38-42, we read about one of the visits that Jesus made to some of His close friends: Mary, Martha and Lazarus. “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus” (John 11:5). While Martha was busy trying to make everything just right for Jesus, Mary “sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word” (v. 39). Frustrated by what she perceived to be her sister’s lack of concern, Martha approached Jesus and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me” (v. 40). Observe carefully Jesus’ answer: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things…” (v.42). Couldn’t Jesus just as easily have said those words to any of us?
Take special notice of the next words that Jesus said: “But ONE THING is needed.” Martha was so busy — even busy doing good things — that she was neglecting the most important thing in her life. It was Mary who had “chosen that good part” which would not be taken away from her (v. 42). Jesus contrasted the “many things” IN life with the “ONE THING” that is essential TO life.
Martha was preoccupied with the physical and the earthly, which is temporary, but Mary was absorbed with the spiritual and the heavenly, which is eternal. On another occasion, Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4).
There are many things — even many good things — that demand our time and attention. “But ONE THING is needed” above all: a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
We form this personal relationship with Christ — in fact, a family tie with Him — when we, like Mary, listen and respond to His word. When we submit to Christ in faith (Hebrews 11:6), repentance (2 Peter 3:9), confession (Romans 10:9-10) and baptism (Acts 22:16), we begin a new relationship with Him. We grow in our relationship with Christ by continuing to “sit at His feet,” hearing and heeding His words as revealed in the Scriptures.
Our relationship with Jesus Christ is the KEY to the abundant life now (John 10:10) and eternal life with Him in heaven (John 14:1-3). Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never KNEW you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'” (Matthew 7:21-23). Trusting in their good works alone, NO personal relationship had ever been established with God through His Son.
Life is full of issues, but there is ONE needful thing.