St. John's & Zion Lutheran Churches

Come and Sit at Jesus’ Feet

Sermon on Luke 10:38-42

Text: As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Aren’t Sunday mornings wonderful? We get a chance to take a break from our daily schedule and to gather together to hear God’s Word! It’s a chance to shut everything else out and focus our attention on the words of love from our God. Yet, even here we are not safe from the distractions of life. Things happen during the course of the week and we have trouble leaving them alone. Our minds wander on the things that we want to do later today, tomorrow, or later this week. These things rob us of the peace and joy that are offered in God’s Word. This morning we will visit the home of Mary and Martha. My friends, COME AND SIT AT JESUS’ FEET. 1. Leave Care And Trouble Behind. 2. Listen To The Saving Word Of The Lord.

Jesus came to the village of Bethany, some two miles from Jerusalem. While there, he stayed at the home of his friends, Mary and Martha. Verse 38 tells us that “Martha opened her home to him.” She loved her Savior and welcomed him with open arms. She, also, began to prepare a meal for Jesus. Again, she showed her love for Jesus by wanting to take care of his physical needs. The preparation for this meal was no small matter, especially if you realize that she had to prepare this meal for at least 15 or 16 people. You ladies can appreciate how much planning and preparation would go into a meal like that. She wanted everything to be just right.

While she was frantically trying to get all of this together, she looked around for her sister Mary, so that she could get some help. Where did she find her? Verse 39 tells us that “Mary . . . sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.” Here Martha was, running around trying to get everything done, and Mary is sitting down. One can well imagine Martha’s feelings of injustice. Haven’t we all had to do things while others sit idly by? Martha felt that way. So, she said to Jesus, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” You can almost hear the irritation in her voice. Martha felt she was being unjustly treated, and she wanted some action taken.

Some action was taken, but it wasn’t quite what Martha expected. Instead of hearing Jesus say, “Mary, get to work,” Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Instead of a reprimand for Mary, Martha found herself being reprimanded. She had become so busy with all the cares and concerns about feeding Jesus and his disciples that she had lost sight of what was truly important. The food and lodging could wait. Something of greater urgency was taking place, and that was the opportunity to learn from Jesus.

Note that Jesus started by saying, “Martha, Martha.” Yes, it was a rebuke, but there was also a great deal of love there, as well. He called her by name and gently reminded her that all of the cares and troubles she was so worried about were not as important as she thought they were.

When we look at Martha, we may feel very critical of her. However, we need to remember that she was still serving her Lord out of a heart that was filled with love for him. Jesus did not rebuke her for her service, only for the fact that it had gotten in the way of learning from her Lord.

So also, we often get distracted from sitting at the Lord’s feet to learn from him. Many things pull at us. We want to do things and the weekend is the only time when we can do them, so we forget about church. We were out late the night before, so we need Sunday morning to sleep in. Yes, these examples are easy to see. Yet, there are other times when each of us is guilty of not sitting at the Lord’s feet as we should.

We may be here physically, but our minds are elsewhere, thinking about things we want to do. Our minds tell us things, such as, ‘I’ve heard this all before. I wish that we could learn something new.’ We may listen intently during the service, but as soon as we go out the doors, we act as though we didn’t hear a word that was said.

The troubles and cares of this life get to us, as well. Something happens in our lives and we focus our attention on that, rather than God. A family problem, an argument, and things of that nature distract us from sitting at Jesus’ feet and learning from him. Sometimes, even when we’re serving the Lord, we get so wrapped up in our duties that we forget why we are doing them. So many times we are like Martha, who had every good intention, but got distracted by things that are not nearly as important.

Dear friends, let us come and sit at Jesus’ feet. Jesus tells us to leave all of our troubles and cares behind. ‘Throw them out,’ he tells us, ‘and come and sit at my feet.’ Let us listen and learn the saving Word of the Lord. There is only one thing that is needful. We need the Word of God.

We need the Word of God, for it is the only place where we can find God’s plan of salvation. First of all, we need to have the Law preached to us in all of its severity. We need to hear words like Jesus said in Mark 7:21&22, “From within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.” I also need to hear the stern pronouncement that all who sin deserve eternal damnation. It’s not that I want to hear these words. However, I need to realize that I am a sinner, who deserves nothing but God’s wrath and punishment. I need to realize that I am not capable of living the perfect life that God demands of all of us. Hearing the Law points to my inability, my guilt, and the punishment I deserve.

God also put the Gospel message in his Word. There, I find sweet words of comfort. I rejoice when I hear Gospel message that Jesus spoke in Luke 19:10, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Jesus came to save me, a lost and condemned creature, from all of my sins. He did it all for me. He lived for me. He died for me. He rose from the dead for me. All this he did that I might be saved and that one day, heaven would be mine.

If someone gave you a gift anonymously, you might try to find out who gave you that gift. You and I have been given the greatest gift of all – our salvation. Surely, we want to find out all who can about the one who gave us this gift. There is one place we can do so, and that is in the Word of God, his Bible. Let us sit at his feet and learn about our Savior, Jesus.

There are many opportunities to do so. God has given us the privilege to gather as a congregation, where we can study God’s Word. There are our Sunday morning services. As we come to the end of summer, our various classes will resume. We have Sunday School, where our children can learn the basic truths of God’s Word. We have our confirmation class, where the truths of God’s Word are taught in a more concentrated way. We have our adult Bible classes, where we can further our knowledge. God offers us a wealth of opportunities.

Indeed, all of these are valuable, but there is an opportunity that is sometimes overlooked and that is a personal, daily reading of God’s Word. We often get so busy from dawn to dusk, that we may fail to sit down and spend time with God as we read his Word. Our jobs, chores, children, meals, and so forth all are so pressing. However, the Lord also comes to us and says, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.” God wants us to sit at Jesus’ feet and learn from him. May we make use of every opportunity to do so.

God also wants us to be a good example for others. Parents and grandparents can serve as wonderful examples. Let your children see how important your faith is to you. Don’t just send them to Sunday School or confirmation class. Show them that you are interested in what they are learning. Talk to them about what they have learned. Help them with their memory work. When something comes up in the news or at school, you can discuss with them what God says about it. We have influence over our children for such a short time. We learn from Proverbs 22:6, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” If a child is taught from early on what is important, he starts out life a leg up on those who do not know where to turn for help when the troubles and cares of life come along. You do your child a great service and, in doing so, you are serving the Lord. Follow the example of the women who brought their children to the Lord to have him touch them. When the disciples tried to keep the children away and not bother Jesus, he said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Let us come with our children and together sit at Jesus’ feet learning the saving Word of God.

Sunday mornings are wonderful. They give us an opportunity to join together to learn from God’s Word and praise him for his love. May we make the most of every opportunity to sit at Jesus’ feet and learn his Word. May every word we hear plant itself in our hearts and may our lives be filled with the fruits of faith. Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it. Amen.