Sermon – November 12, 2017: “The Prime Necessity”

Luke 10:38-42

Parallel Account

No parallel account

However, Martha and Mary are mentioned by John (chapters 11 & 12).

  • Lived in Bethany.
  • Sisters to Lazarus.
  • Mary is identified as one of the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet (also Mark 14).

Luke’s reason for recording

  • These three stories focus on relationships moving from relationship with fellow man, relationship with Jesus to relationship with God.
  • Luke stresses the inherent relationship between how one reacts to people and how one relates to God.

For understanding…background info


  • Taken very serious
  • Guests were believed to be sent by God.
  • Therefore, seen as a sacred duty.

Why Martha was upset

  • Martha felt obligated to fulfill her duty as host.
  • Most likely saw Mary shirking her duty.
    • If she shared the home she should have shared in hosting responsibilities.
    • Even if she did not share the home Mary had familial responsibility.

Jesus’ response

  • The use of the noun meris (portion, part and share) doesn’t downplay what Martha’s responsibilities but indicates that there are other responsibilities as well.
  • The trick is determining what responsibilities are more important.

Luke cues in

  • Luke uses the word perispao – distracted or pulled away from.
  • Martha’s felt obligation pulled her away from the prime necessity.

The conflict between two “necessities”

  • Martha felt obligated to perform a cultural “necessity.”
  • Mary felt it was necessary to sit at Jesus’ feet and learn.

The Lesson

  • There are many necessities in life, however, the prime necessity is a relationship with Jesus.
  • If we don’t see this as the prime necessity the other “necessities” eventually become worthless.
  • Understand that making a relationship with Jesus the prime necessity doesn’t mean shirking other duties and responsibilities.
  • Our relationship with Jesus has an impact on all of our other relationships.

The Transformation Expectation

  • Are you putting other necessities in front of your relationship with Jesus?
  • God wants us to make our relationship with Jesus the priority.
  • Make time to pray, study God’s word, meditate on his word and serve God.

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