Only "One Needful Thing"

A querist asks, “What do we need most in our lives, or what is the most important thing in our lives?” Looking at Luke 10:38-42, we read the account of one of several visits that Jesus made to His beloved friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus (cf. John 11:5).

While Martha was busy trying to make everything just right for Jesus, Mary “sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word” (Luke 10:39). Frustrated by what she perceived to be her sister’s lack of concern, Martha approached Jesus and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me” (Luke 10:40). Let us carefully observe Jesus’ answer: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things …. But one thing is needed” (Luke 10:41-42). Martha was so busy with the everyday affairs of this physical life — even the doing of good things, that she was neglecting the most important thing in her life — that which is spiritual (cf. Colossians 3:1-3).

It was Mary who had “chosen that good part” which would not be taken away from her (Luke 10:42). Jesus contrasted the “many things” in life with the “one thing” that is essential to life (cf. John 14:6; John 11:25). Martha was preoccupied with the physical and the earthly, which is temporary (2 Corinthians 4:18a), but Mary was absorbed with the spiritual and the heavenly, which is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18b).

There are many things — even many good things that demand our time and attention here in our earthly existence. However, the “one thing” that is needed above all, is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We form this personal relationship with Christ — when we, like Mary, listen and respond to His word (Luke 10:39). When we submit to Christ in faith (Hebrews 11:6), repentance (Acts 17:30; 2 Peter 3:9), confession (Romans 10:9-10) and baptism (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16), we begin a new relationship with Him (Galations 3:26-28).

We grow in our relationship with Christ as we continually “sit at His feet” — hearing and heeding His words as revealed in the Scriptures (1 John 1:7; cf. Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:23) . Our relationship with Jesus Christ is the “key” to the abundant life now (John 10:10) and eternal life with Him in heaven (John 14:1-3). Beloved, life is full of issues, but there is only “one needful thing.” Won’t you please respond to Him, as you "obey" His teaching (Romans 6:17), even "today"? (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets