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40 Luke 10.38-42

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“Something About Mary…”

Luke 10:38-42

v    Opening illustration:

v    We are introduced to two women in our text today

Ø     Martha and Mary

§        Two women who approach being around Jesus quite differently…

·        Martha, busy serving

·        And Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus

READ Luke 10:38-42

v    A couple of comments by way of observation…

Ø     V. 38 ~ Jesus and Disciples were on their way…

§        To Jerusalem

·        9:51 to 19:28 is called the “travel narrative” or “Journey to Jerusalem”

·        3rd year of ministry

·        Jesus sets his sights on the cross

·        These 10 or so chapters are mostly unique to Luke

·        Sayings and parable dominate

·        Not so much interested in chronological order but theological content

¨     Because…

Ø     V. 38 ~ Village = Bethany

§        That is where Mary and Martha lived

·        2 miles outside of Jerusalem

§        Very important village

§        Where John Baptized (Jn 1:19-28)

·        Asked “Are you the Christ?”

§        This was Jesus’ HQ outside Jerusalem

·        Jesus been here many times

¨     Woman anointed Jesus’ head with perfume (Mk 14:1-8)

¨     Spend night there after clearing temple (Matt 21:17)

¨     Just outside Bethany Jesus withers the fig tree (Matt 21:19)

¨     Raised Lazarus from the dead (Jn 11:1ff)

¨     Triumphal entry started here

Ø     Probably village where he told 2 disciples to get donkey for triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Mk 11:1)

v    Remember, Jesus raised Mary’s brother Lazarus from the dead

Ø     So perhaps he is there at the house as well

v    I would also like to comment on bad interpretations of this passage

Ø     Not about Different temperaments in church

§        Type “A’s” and “B’s”

Ø     Not the difference between the active life and the contemplative one

Ø     Not about a bad example vs. a good one

§        Mary vs. Martha

·        She was serving the Lord

¨     Nothing wrong with that!

§        James – Faith without works is dead

·        And Jesus recognizes that

§        As he points out…

·        This was a choice between the Good and the Better

¨     V. 42

Ø     And that is the choice we have in the Christian life many times

v    But what this passage is all about is where Mary is…

Ø     At Jesus’ feet

§        Mary is found in Scripture 3 times at the feet of Jesus

·        And the first one is here…

Lk 10:39 ~ Instruction

v    “Martha had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said”

Ø     Mary was @ Jesus’ feet for instruction


v    While Martha was busy in the kitchen, Mary was at the Lord’s feet listening to…

Ø     Every word that proceeded from Jesus’ mouth”

§        In this way she was showing herself to be a good Jew

·        Dt 8:3 ~ Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord

¨     Mary knew who Jesus was, knew her Scripture and knew where she should be

Ø     At the feet of Jesus listening to every word that was coming from his mouth

v    Imagine with me if you will, being in the presence of Jesus (God/Man)

Ø     Knowing that every word that came out of his mouth was truth

§        Every word was edifying

§        Every word was good for you

§        Every word was as Phil 4:8 puts it

·        true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable

¨     We cannot even comprehend that type of listening

Ø     Never having to be on guard, never questioning, never doubting

Ø     We never do that with anyone

§        Because no one has all the answers to life and faith like Jesus

·        No one has the pure motives like Jesus

·        No one can be trusted like Jesus can

v    Whether you realize it or not…

Ø     We are always practicing discretionary listening (with an ear for untruth)

§        In School

·        Revisionist history

§        In our jobs

§        In the news

§        Even in Church

·        I am not perfect

·        I do not have all the answers to life and faith

¨     But Jesus does

Ø     And Mary knows that and sits at his feet for instruction

v    And…

Ø     That is the mark of a true disciple…

§        A desire to learn from the master

·        To sit at his feet

Ø     RQ: And how do we sit at his feet today?

§        By sitting at the feet of the Bible

·        2 Tim 3:16

¨     All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness

Ø     God-breathed (theopneustos)

§        From the very lips of God

·        And we should be reading it as such

Mortimer J. Adler, in How to Read a Book, has observed that the one time people read for all they are worth is when they are in love and are reading a love letter. They read every word three ways. They read between the lines and in the margins. They read the whole in terms of the parts, and each part in terms of the whole. They grow sensitive to context and ambiguity, to insinuation and implication. They perceive the color of words, the order of phrases, and the weight of sentences. They may even take the punctuation into account. Then, if never before or after, they read carefully and in depth.

Shouldn’t we read the "love letter" that the Eternal Lover of our souls has given to us so that we may better know him and his purposes.

The second time we see Mary at Jesus’ feet is in John 11

Jn 11:32 ~ Comfort

v    Here we see Martha and Mary again

Ø     Their brother Lazarus has just died

§        V. 20 ~ Martha learns that Jesus is coming and runs out to meet him

·        And here we see that Martha understood Jesus’ gentle rebuke back in Luke 10

¨     That she sat and learned from the master who he was

Ø     For she mouths the second greatest confession about Jesus

§        READ V. 27


v    Martha returns and tells her sister Mary that Jesus is not far off

Ø     In verse 29 it says…

§        READ v. 29 through 32


v    Mary runs and falls at Jesus’ feet a second time

Ø     This time not to learn…

§         But to be comforted

·        V. 32 ~ Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.

¨     This should not be misinterpreted..

Ø     This is a cry of sorrow, not of censure

Ø     This is a cry to be comforted, not of condemnation

v    And God’s comfort is action-based

Ø     It has been said…

§        God’s comfort is not an armchair. God’s comfort is his leading, feeding, reassuring and heartening us.

·        That is exactly what Jesus does here

¨     He empathizing with Mary and then acts on her behalf

Ø     V. 35 states “Jesus Wept”

§        Showing his empathy, sympathy, mourning of loss

A little girl lost a playmate in death and one day told to her family that she had gone to comfort the mourning mother. "What did you say?" asked her parents. "Nothing," she replied. "I just climbed up on her lap and cried with her."

v    Sometimes the best comfort is mourning alongside those who mourn (Rom 12:15)

Ø     And that is what Jesus does here

§        He understands the terrible loss

·        And he understands our times of distress as well

¨     Not as a distant God…

Ø     Buut one who knows what it feels like

§        For, as Heb 4:15 tells…

·        We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin


Ø     We must remember that when we need comfort

§        We serve a God that knows what it is like to need comfort

·        Illustration: Passion of the Christ

¨     Scene where Mary is watching her son being tortured

¨     Flashback: Jesus as boy falling and needing comfort

·        E.g. Garden of Gethsemane (Peter, James and John)

¨     He needed comfort

Ø     He understands our need

Ø     And not only the son understands, but…

§        2 Cor 1:3-4 informs us that God the Father comforts us

·        Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles

Ø     And if you are still not reassured…

§        We must remembering who we have living inside us…

·        The “Parakletos” = Comforter (KJV)

¨     And that is how we gain the action of comfort

Dr. R. A. Torrey was one of the great Bible teachers of a past genera­tion and founder of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (BIOLA Univer­sity). He and Mrs. Torrey went through a time of great heartache when their twelve-year-old daughter was accidentally killed. The funeral was held on a gloomy, miserable, rainy day. They stood around the grave and watched as the body of their little girl was lowered into the grave. As they turned away, Mrs. Torrey said, "I'm so glad that Elisabeth is with the Lord, and not in that box."

But, even knowing this to be true, their hearts were broken. Dr. Torrey said that the next day, as he was walking down the street, the whole thing broke anew-the loneliness of the years ahead without her presence, the heartbreak of an empty house, and all the other implica­tions of her death. He was so burdened by this that he looked to the Lord for comfort. He said, "And just then, this fountain, the Holy Spirit that I had in my heart, broke forth with such power as I think I had never experienced before, and it was the most joyful moment I had ever known in my life!

Oh, how wonderful is the joy of the Holy Ghost! It is an unspeakable glorious thing to have your joy not in things about you, not even in your most dearly loved friends, but to have within you a fountain ever springing up, springing up, springing up, always springing up three hundred and sixty-five days in every year, springing up under all circumstances unto everlasting life!

The last time we see Mary at the feet of Jesus is in John 12

Jn 12:1-3 ~ Honor and Worship

v    READ Jn 12:1-3

Ø     Here we see Mary once again at the feet of Jesus

§        This time in worship and honor


v    This is perhaps one of the most poignant pictures of how we should be worshipping our Savior Jesus

Ø     Mary takes the most precious thing she has, a pint of expensive perfume

§        Probably her dowry!!

·        Probably worth $20,000-$30,000 in today’s money

¨     And shows what worth she places on Jesus

¨     By pouring it on his feet

¨     Wiping it with her hair

Ø     This act of worship shows how just how much worth Mary ascribes to Jesus

v    Actually, the word “Worship” 300-400 years ago was pronounced “worth-ship” meaning “to attribute worth to someone”

Ø     That is what we are doing today

§        Ascribing worth to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

·        Because of who he is

¨     God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God

·        Because where he is

¨     At the right hand of God almighty

·        And because of what he has done

¨     Mary had good reason to attribute worth to Jesus

Ø     He raised her brother Lazarus from the dead

¨     And we have good reason too

Ø      READ Eph 2:1-5

v    You see…

Ø     Each one of us was dead, as dead as Lazarus spiritually

§        But through Christ and his atoning work on the cross

·        We are now alive

¨     If that alone is not worthy of our worth-ship, I don’t know what is!

v    Poem by Sybil Shearin

Some people worship idols and the stars that shine.
Others worship money and the luxury to wine and dine.
I worship only at the feet of Jesus who died just for me.
He paid my sin debt on Calvary.
Tell me what your gods have done for you.
Will your god always be there to carry you through?
What price did it pay for your sinful soul?
Was it merely silver or perhaps was it gold?
Let me introduce you to the One True Living God today.
Salvation is free and you will never have to pay.
Accept Jesus Christ and at His feet worship only.
He promises never to forsake you or leave you lonely.
Just like a little child ask Him to come into your heart.
Asking is the beginning of a brand new start.
Seek Him while He can be found.
Knock on His hearts door and free your heart that is bound.
He alone can forgive your sin.
The priest cannot cancel the sin debt your soul harbors within.
Only at the feet of Jesus salvation and redemption can you find.
Only at the feet of Jesus are the answers for all mankind!
This year as the Christmas season begins and ends,
Make sure you and Jesus become more than just friends!
Only at the feet of Jesus will your soul be set free.
Only at the feet of Jesus the Christ from Galilee!

v    May we all follow Mary’s example and…

Ø     Fall at the feet of Jesus

§        And accept the free gift of eternal salvation

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