Lessons From Bethany     

Luke 10:38-42


     Carefully read Luke 10:38-42. When we connect these five verses with John 11 and 12, we find a very instructive picture of the inner life of a family which loved Christ and was loved by Christ. Here are five lessons we need to remember constantly. 1. GODLY FAMILIES HAVE TROUBLES JUST LIKE OTHER FAMILIES. We know that grace does not run in blood lines. God has mercy on whom he will (John 1:12-13; Rom. 9:16). Yet, here is a family in which all three siblings were born of God. Martha,Mary, and Lazarus were all born of God, loved of God,and lovers of God. Yet,they suffered all the things other families suffer: sin, sorrow, sickness, bereavement, death, and persecution. Because they were sinners still, and lived in a world of sin, they suffered in this world. 2. GENUINE BELIEVERS ARE OFTEN PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT TEMPERAMENTS AND PERSONALITIES. Mary and Martha were both saved, but they were not alike. Grace reigned in them both; but grace did not make them clones. Never imagine that a person is not saved because he does not conform to you. Grace conforms us to Christ inwardly, not to one another outwardly! 3. THE CARES OF THIS WORLD THAT LEGITIMATELY CLAIM OUR ATTENTION MAY BECOME A SNARE TO OUR SOULS, IF WE ALLOW THEM TO COME BETWEEN US AND THE WORSHIP OF CHRIST. Martha's problem was not that she served, but that she was "cumbered about much serving." Her serving became an encumbrance to her. The serving was needful, useful, and beneficial; but Martha let it become a snare. Her serving kept her from sitting at the Savior's feet to hear his word! 4. AMONG ALL THE THINGS IN THIS WORLD THAT DEMAND OUR ATTENTION, ONLY "ONE THING IS NEEDFUL." The one thing that is needful is what Mary was doing - The worship of Christ! Only Christ is needful! If you have Christ, you have all and abound. Only grace is needful! If you have the infinite riches of God's grace in Christ, you have riches that will enrich your soul forever. Only salvation is needful! If you are saved, nothing else really matters. If you are not saved, you will soon wish nothing else had mattered to you. 5. IF YOU WOULD HAVE THIS ONE THING NEEDFUL, A CHOICE MUST BE MADE. You must choose between the perishing things of this world and the Lord Jesus Christ. If you choose the world, you will soon lose it. If you choose Christ, he will never be taken away from you.


Don Fortner