We continue today in our study in the Gospel of Luke by looking at Luke 10:38-42. This is one of the great passages in the Bible about discipleship. And it's important for us to understand that in the end, this passage is really not about Martha, it's about you and me. This is a huge big-picture passage about discipleship and Jesus is not making a snarky comment to Martha here. Jesus is actually looking after Martha's soul. But what Jesus says to Martha is just as applicable to His male disciples as it is to a female disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. It's not about Martha. It's about you. And I want you to look at three things with me.



I. The Discipleship of Women

I do want us, first, to give attention to what this passage teaches us about the discipleship of women in verse 39 because it is huge. Mary is with Jesus and it says "she sat at the Lord's feet and listened to His teaching."

Jesus honors women as His disciples and that is very important for us to understand, especially in congregations like ours which are confessionally committed to complementarianism. We believe in male/female role relationships. We believe that the Bible says a lot about how men and women relate in the home and in the church and we believe in an all-qualified male eldership. We believe that the shepherds of the church are to be men and so very often in the back of minds of women who visit and women in our congregation there is this sneaking suspicion that chauvinism is afoot. And so I want to say three things real quickly about that.

The first thing is this: Dear sisters in Christ, the reason we believe in male shepherds in our congregation is simply because the Bible is so clear about this. This is so important to understand. I understand that there can be a suspicion and that's some kind of chauvinism afoot. But this is misguided. Please understand that our first commitment is to the authority of the Word of God. That's why we believe in male shepherds in this congregation.

But the second thing is this: Understand that the authority that has been given to the male shepherds of our congregations is for the express purpose of edifying all of you, women and men, as disciples to do the work of ministry (Eph. 4).

Your elders exist to equip you, sisters in Christ, and you, brothers in Christ, to do the ministry of the church. And so our service and such spiritual authority that we have is all designed to bless you and to equip you to do the ministry that God has called you to, whether it's in your homes or in your vocation or in all of the avenues of ministry that are open to those of you in the church.

Third, I would say this: Our commitment to male spiritual headship in the home and in the congregation is a manifestation not of chauvinism but actually of deep respect for women which I hope mirrors the respect that Jesus shows Mary in this passage.



II. The Posture of the Disciple

There's another thing that I want you to see and again, look at verse 39 again. I want you to see the posture of the disciple because I want you to see the devotion of the disciple. What's Mary doing? She's sitting at the Lord's feet and listening to His teaching. She's in a posture that acknowledges what? Jesus' authority.

That is what a disciple does. A disciple is devoted to the authority of Jesus and sits under His teaching.

Is that you? You know, in this world that's in love with its own opinions, do you like to tell Jesus how it ought to be or do you like to hear Jesus tell you how it ought to be? Do you sit under the authority of His teaching and close your mouth and say, "Speak Lord, for Your servant listens."

And how do you do that in this world today? You do it by gathering under the Word of Christ Lord's Day after Lord's Day, week after week, because where can you hear Jesus speak today but in the proclamation of His Word? That's where you hear Jesus speak today.



III. The Distraction of Discipleship

In verses 40 to 42 Martha comes out, Jesus has just descended upon her house bringing who knows how many people with Him, and she's scurrying around trying to get something on the table for them, trying to clean up, trying to straighten up. Mary's in there listening to the teaching and Marta comes in and she gives Jesus an earful. "Jesus, please tell her to come help me." And Jesus, Jesus knows the tendencies of our hearts and what Jesus says to Martha is not a hard rebuke, it's something that is indicative of His understanding of what her own unique temptation was. And her temptation was to be all caught up in the busyness of very important details and to forget the most important thing.

And my friends, if ever there was a culture in which we are susceptible to that very temptation it is ours. We live in the busiest culture in the history of the world. We are constantly surrounded by, and bombarded by, busyness.

And you know what? Most of our busyness is superficial busyness. And that busyness is an enemy to discipleship because it keeps our eyes focused on a multitude of less important things and we forget the most important thing. And the Lord Jesus says to Martha, "Martha, in the midst of all the things that you have to do, don't forget the most important thing."



IV. The Delight of Discipleship

One last thing. I want you to see the delight of discipleship in verse 42. Jesus says - "One thing is necessary." You know what the answer is? "Fellowship with Me." Jesus is saying to Martha, 'The most important thing in this world is fellowship with Me.' Everything else pales in comparison. 'Mary,' He says to Martha,' has chosen fellowship with Me.' No one will take that away from her.

The soul's communion with Christ is the one necessary thing. Everything else passes away. Your wealth here will pass away, your vocation here will pass away, your family here will pass away, your relationships will pass away, the institutions that you invest your life in will pass away, the communities that you invest yourselves in will be gone, but the soul's communion with Jesus Christ by faith in Christ in response to the free offer of the Gospel will never end. It is the one necessary thing.

Dear friends if there is anything in this world that you care more about than your communion with God through Jesus Christ, then there is a part of your heart that is committed to idolatry.

And you see this is what Jesus is saying - "My disciples treasure Me more than anything. My disciples delight in Me more than anything. My disciples long to be in My presence more than anything. My disciples value Me before anything in this world." Is that you?

Do you see why I said this passage is all about discipleship? It's not about Martha. It's about you and me.

It's about whether we understand the one necessary thing and that's something that men and women together need to understand. May God by His Spirit open your eyes to it.