By Bill Spaans:
In chapter 10 of his gospel Dr. Luke includes three well known stories – the sending of the seventy, the parable of the good Samaritan and the account of Mary & Martha. I believe that these stories are presented together by Dr. Luke for a purpose. Together they have much to teach us about how we are to live out our Christian walk.
First, Jesus sends his disciples to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom. Such telling is accompanied by miracles, and the greatest of these may well be transformed lives when people come to accept Christ as Lord! This sending by Jesus also comes with a warning. Verse 16 says “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.” What this teaches us is that in the end the result is not up to us. We can and must share the gospel; however when we do so the response is up to those who hear!
Second, in the story of the good Samaritan we see that it is not sufficient to be busy in church work as the Priest and the Levite undoubtably were. In their “busyness” they either lacked compassion or were so busy and preoccupied that they ignored the need of the person lying along their path. We need to share the good news of the Kingdom in our actions as well as in our words!
And thirdly, the story of Mary & Martha teaches us that we must sometimes take time to recharge our spiritual batteries. Martha kept busy with her serving and was resentful of Mary who took time to listen and learn. Jesus said “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” This may be a hard word for some of us “doers” to hear! Today also there are many things that vie for our time, and many of these things are useful and necessary. However, there are times when we need to be quiet with the Lord and learn from Him.
So what Luke conveys in this chapter are three important life-lessons from Jesus for us as believers: first, we must be prepared to share the gospel; second we can often do this best by offering a helping hand to those around us; and third, as we go we need to take time to recharge our spiritual batteries. Let us seek to be faithful in the telling, the doing and the listening in our Christian walk each day! And to God be the glory!