EVERYTHING flows from sitting at his feet and hearing his voice
Read Matthew 6:33
The word ‘priority’ came into the English language around 1400. It meant ‘first’ or ‘primary.’ For 500 years, the word was only used in a singular fashion. It wasn’t until the 1900’s that people started to speak of ‘priorities.’ Given the definition of the word ‘priority,’ it’s hard to reconcile using it in a plural tense. While we’d love to believe we’re capable of extreme multi-tasking, in reality, we can only focus on one thing at a time. Only one thing can be first. Only one thing can be most important. Only one thing can be our priority. Jesus clearly identifies this reality when he says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
When Martha welcomes Jesus into her house, she begins serving Jesus. However, her sister Mary begins sitting with Jesus. Mary listens to his teaching, enjoys his presence, and embraces his message. In Luke 10:42, Jesus commends Mary’s priority by saying, “one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Given the reality that we can only have one priority, Jesus a rms Mary’s choice to sit at his feet. Certainly, Mary has other options and potential distractions, but she knows what her main priority is – being with Jesus and learning from him.
These words of Jesus, “one thing is necessary,” give great clarity to the life of faith. The thing Jesus asks of us before he asks anything else, is that we sit at his feet. We must learn to abide in him – as a branch abides in the vine. To be clear, Jesus is not saying that sitting at his feet is the only thing he asks of us. That would diminish the other commands we read in the Scriptures. What Jesus says is that everything flows from sitting at his feet and hearing his voice. If we get our priorities wrong, we’ll view following Jesus as living for him, instead of with him. If we get our priorities wrong, we’ll end up killing our joy, dampening our life, and extinguishing our hope.
We live in a world filled with options. Clarity can be a hard thing to identify. All of us have a list of things that are important and tasks that we must accomplish. Today this passage reminds us that we all are called to embrace one priority – sitting at the feet of Jesus and allowing our life to flow from that connection. Mary gets it right. May we follow her example.
Reflection and Response
Take a few minutes to imagine yourself sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to him teach. What has Jesus been teaching you about? How is he encouraging you and empowering you with his words today?
By Ryan Paulson