Monday, February 16, 2015

A visit at Martha' House, part 16: The good share

But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41-42 NASB)

Jesus has such lovely manners! He could have slammed Martha with condemnation for her manner of address, her irritation, her attitude toward her sister, but He did none of those. Instead, he talked about the good choice Mary had made, and did it without really mentioning Martha's specific choice. 

Mary, he said, had chosen the "good part", and that is the part I want to choose, as well. The word translated here as "good" is agathos and it is used to indicate good or useful. The word translated as "part" is meris and means "a part of the whole". Vine's describes the word as "a share, as of an inheritance". Putting the two words together, we find that agathos meris indicates the "best part" or the "best share of the inheritance". Thayer translates the two words together as a phrase meaning "the good part, which insures salvation to him who chooses it". Mary's choice gave her something very valuable, didn't it?

Of all the things the two women could have chosen that day, all the parts of the visit, Mary chose the one part that would give her salvation from the consequences of her sin and eternal life, as well. Mary's choice is even more appealing when we realize what Martha's choice netted for her. At the end of all her busyness, she probably had a clean house and a big meal, as well as an angry, frustrated heart and a very grumpy attitude, but no time spent with Jesus, no peace, no joy. This dichotomy of choice is true in my own life, as well. When I choose to spend time with Jesus, I find peace and joy in His presence, as well as direction for my day. When I choose the way of Martha, I find that same grumpy attitude that she found. Being busy makes the day go faster, and that sometimes seems like a good thing to me. Being busy and grumpy, however, is not. 

What I want to do, what I must do, is choose the path of Mary, who made time with her Lord the priority of her life, above all others, for I want what Mary gained. Dear ones, you, too, have a choice to make. Will you choose the path of Mary? Will you choose the path that leads to eternal life, to joy and peace? 

"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14 NASB)

Hear the words of Jesus. The wide, broad gate looks easier and more sensible, He said, but it is the way of the world, and leads only to destruction. It is that narrow gate, the road less traveled, that Mary chose, and it is the one that, though narrow and more difficult, you and I must choose, as well, for it is the path that leads to eternal life.

{There is one more phrase in this section that is so beautiful I'm saving it for tomorrow, so be sure to check back.}