Luke 10.38-42 – The most seductive idol of all.
Posted: 5 October 2014 in Luke

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

I can think of at least five places in the New Testament, apart from this one, where Jesus warns against worldly carefulness. Here Martha is depicted as being “cumbered about much serving,” whereas Mary is less distracted, and more able to attend upon the words of Jesus. Even though Jesus explicitly recommends it (Matt 6,25), probably very few of us would have enough faith to rely upon God for where the next meal is coming from, unless we attend upon it ourselves. However, a new car in the garage, in place of the old banger which is parked out there now, is another matter. To quote Paul, when writing to Timothy:

And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

That is not quite the ethos of the world around us, needless to say, and it is very easy to fall into the trap of wanting to “keep up with the Joneses.” It is even easier to start making excuses for our own innate tendency to idolise mammon – with or without the Joneses next door to act as a spur.

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