Blake Allen, Student Pastor, LHBC

Luke 10:38-42

38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

When has a good thing in your life turned into a bad thing? Maybe you decide to work out (a good thing) but overdo it and damage your joint or ligaments (a bad thing). Maybe you decide to go to bed early (a good thing) but you miss your alarm, oversleep, and miss a scheduled meeting (a bad thing). Maybe you like to make people happy (a good thing) but it turns into people-pleasing at your expense (a bad thing). Or like Martha, maybe you want to serve your guests (a good thing), but miss out on what’s most important, being in the company of your guests–especially when Jesus is in the house….

Good things in life can very easily become bad, especially when we fail to focus on what is most important. In Luke 10, Martha let a good thing become a bad thing: serving. There were two different perspectives in the story. From Mary’s perspective, she needed to listen to the teachings of Jesus as a disciple. But from Martha’s perspective, serving Jesus and the guests took priority. Martha was upset that Mary left her with all the chores. I think we can all relate to Martha if we’ve had siblings. And yet Mary is said to have chosen the good portion. Why? Because she was focused on what mattered most.  

Mary took the posture of a disciple. She was not distracted with the chores, the to-do lists, the mess, etc. She was not troubled with all the things going on around here. She was not anxious. She was focused on the one thing that matter: being with Jesus. 

Ultimately, Mary had the right posture. She sat at the feet of Jesus and learned from His word. To her, nothing was more important. There would be other opportunities to serve but this moment would not last forever. Jesus would eventually depart from them, go to the cross, and ascend to heaven. Their time with Him on earth was limited. 

It’s not that Martha was wrong for serving. It was that she failed to prioritize Jesus and focus on Him. Her eyes were on the insurmountable taks and not Jesus; this only led to a troubled spirit and anxiety. Jesus point this out in His gentle rebuke. As one commentator puts it: “Jesus’ response tells us a lot about the things that cause us to be worried and bothered. Unfortunately, those things are usually the wrong priority. Jesus is the priority; making much of Him is the objective of vibrant churches.”

What about you? Have you chosen the good portion? 

We are saved to enjoy the presence of God and commune with Him. Jesus made this possible through the crucifixion event. We were once separated from Him because of our sin. But God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but inherit eternal life-this is the good portion. 

Romans 10 says, if we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved. It is upon that confession and belief upon Jesus by which our sin is cleansed, and we receive the good portion. That portion can never be taken from us. Deuteronomy 32:9 tells us that God’s people are His portion too. We are forever His and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. He is with us forever. But it starts with a relationship with Christ. Have you committed your life to Christ and chosen the good portion? 

For those who have already made the decision to follow Christ: “How much of my day is he sitting, waiting for me to notice he is the one necessary thing? Far too often I tragically miss out on sitting at his feet, pushing back on the busyness of the world, to savor the love of the Lord.”

Let us all take the posture of Mary and chose the good portion. 


Father, may we prioritize you in all things. Remove the distractions. Remove the anxieties. Remove the idols. May we chose Jesus over all. Amen. 


Psalm 149:1 

Praise the Lord!

Sing to the Lord a new song,

    his praise in the assembly of the godly!