Archive for June 12th, 2009

One Habit is Needed


John 12:1 – 8


As I read this story, I was reminded of a similar occasion found in Luke 10:38 – 42, when Jesus was in the home of Martha, and again, Mary and Lazarus were there.  In both settings, Martha is ‘distracted by all the preparations that had to be made’; Lazarus is likely ‘among those reclining at the table with Jesus’, and Mary is ‘at the Lord’s feet’.  In both settings we have those who are distracted from Him by all their duties for Him, those who are content to be in the vicinity of Him, and those who press through to Him.


There are a couple of things about this that have struck me.  One is the aspect of habits.  All are doing the same thing in the latter setting as they did in the prior.  Though in the prior, Martha rebukes Mary for not helping her, still in the latter setting, Mary is not helping her.  Mary has established a habit.  Similarly, and maybe a little more thought provoking is with Martha.  Though she is rebuked by Jesus Himself, still she is doing in the latter the same thing she did in the prior—again, habit.


In fairness to Martha, I have to point out that Jesus does not rebuke her for being the type of person she is, (obviously a type ‘A’ list-maker) but that she has allowed her list to distract from the fact that ‘only one thing is needed’.  Type ‘A’s are necessary.  My wife and I both are type ‘A’.  If Martha was like Mary, they might not have the house they were meeting in and would likely have been eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  God needs type ‘A’s; He just needs us to be properly focused.


The other thing that I take from these stories—from the examples of one who was distracted, one who was content, and one who pressed through—is that there are people in life that influence us in similar ways.  There are many who distract us from God.  There are some who lead us to the vicinity of God.  But rare are those who clear the way to God.


Let us not miss the one thing that is needed.  Let us not be distracted from God that we would not be a distraction to others.  Let us not settle for just being in the vicinity of God, making it easier for others to settle as well.  Rather, let us press through to God Himself and perhaps clear a path and lead the way for others to do the same.

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