Truth Restored

A Reading of Luke 10:38-42

{ The following is an excerpt of a message from our Spring 2019 Restore Moms Retreat at King’s Ranch. You can learn more about our Restore Moms ministry to adoptive and foster moms here! }

Restore Moms Retreat Spring 2019

When I was preparing a message for the Restore Moms Retreat this Spring, with the theme of Truth Restored, the Lord led me to Luke 10:38-42. Leading up to the retreat, any time a woman would ask me what scripture I was teaching, I would tell them “Mary and Martha,” and I would get the same response. It wasn’t positive.


We don’t like this story.


Without delving into all of the reasons why – and there are plenty – I think the main reason we don’t like this story is hermeneutical. It’s the way we are reading it. I’d like to offer another way today.


This is the kind of story that, after reading it, leaves you with more questions than answers. In pursuit of efficiency, we have settled for an easy interpretation that either elevates the contemplative personality over the action type, or reminds us not to go to excess when we practice hospitality, or guilts us into a more consistent daily quiet time.


But Jesus didn’t say, Martha, you should be more like your sister Mary, who identifies more with an Ennegram 5 (“the investigator” personality) than a 3 (“the achiever”).


He didn’t say, Martha, why don’t you just fix up some sandwiches super quickly so that you’ll have time to listen to part of my teaching, too?


He didn’t even say, Martha, if you will sit here and listen to my teaching, you will look up and your kitchen will be miraculously clean, lunch prepared and waiting on the table!


He said, One thing is needed.


Martha missed the same thing we miss. What Mary was doing that day in the living room, sitting at the feet of Jesus, wasn’t irresponsible OR holier-than-thou. “Sitting at the feet” was a picture of the Judaic rabbi-student relationship, and the “good portion” she chose had nothing to do with personality, time management, or studiousness. The one thing is Jesus.


Being a student in the 1st century world was different than today. Students were apprentices of one teacher/master, and they learned all that their master could teach so that they could go on to become masters themselves. There was no sharing students with seven other teachers. No bell ringing to signal the end of class. The rabbi-student relationship was intimate and personal.


All that I am, all that I will be, originates from an ongoing, daily, consistent, intimate, apprenticeship relationship with my teacher. This is what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.


A disciple, not a servant. A student, not an employee. An apprentice, not a client. A guest at the party, not the host.


And the raveling of the gospel – this is my favorite part! – is that people who are discipled disciple. People who are taught, teach. People who are apprenticed, apprentice.


And people who have been welcomed,

open wide their doors to the ones no one else wants.


Scholars say that for a rabbi to enter a woman’s home in order to specifically teach her was unknown.


People who have been welcomed,

open wide their doors to the ones no one else wants.

To the unknown.


That’s what it means to me to have truth restored to our little adoptive family.


He called me. And he is doing it.


When I try to do what He has called me to do, I fail every time. Like my sis Martha, I end up in a puddle of anxiety brimming over into accusations against the very people I love, to the point that I think I know what God Himself should be doing!


But “the one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24)


He called me. And he is doing it.


We sit at the feet of a teacher who not only calls us to great things, but empowers us to accomplish what he calls us to – indeed accomplishes them for us, through us.


It is “Christ in me, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)


Whatever he is calling you to do today – whether its hosting a meal, writing a book, befriending a neighbor who feels hated by the church, or loving a child who doesn’t love back and maybe never will – if it gets done, it will be him doing it. We are off the hook. We have only one thing. It is not a to-do. It’s a relationship. Jesus offers us a portion that is better than any we could call for ourselves. Himself.

Restore Moms Retreat Spring 2019

Veronica ReevesComment