Martha's Encumbrance           

Luke 10:40


     Martha's anxiety to provide the best entertainment possible for her honored guests and her excessive zeal concerning temporal things caused her to forget the far more important spiritual things for a brief period of time. She brought upon herself a solemn rebuke and an embarrassing word of reproof from the Savior that must have made a lasting impression.

     MARTHA'S FAULT SHOULD BE A PERPETUAL WARNING TO ALL WHO CARE FOR THEIR SOULS. Beware of the cares of this world (Matt. 13:22). When the cares of this world interfere with the worship of Christ, they bring leanness to our souls. It is not open sin and the flagrant breach of God's law alone that leads our souls to eternal ruin. Far more often than not, it is an excessive attention given to things that are perfectly legitimate in themselves. We must ever hold the things of this world with a loose hand. Never allow anything to have first place in your heart but Christ (Matt. 6:33; Col. 3:1-3). "Beware of covetousness!" That which you purchase by giving up worship and communion with Christ, you purchase at a very high rate! "A little earth upon the fire within us," wrote J. C. Ryle, "will soon make that fire burn low."

     THOUGH MARTHA GREATLY ERRED, SHE WAS A GENUINE BELIEVER. She truly loved Christ, though for a time she certainly did not act like a woman who loved him. Several things demonstrate the reality of her love for the Savior. (1) She took the Lord's public rebuke with humility,as being an act of his love. "Faithful are the wounds of a friend!" (2) Two of the greatest confessions of faith to be found in the Bible fell from the heart and lips of this beloved woman: "Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee" (John 11:21-22). "She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world" (John 11:27). (3.) She continued to serve the Lord in this same capacity, only with a better spirit (John 12:1-2). Remember Martha, and never judge one to be an unbeliever because at times he acts contrary to his profession. Remember Martha, and do not judge yourself to be an unbeliever because at times you act contrary to your profession (I John 2:1-2).


Don Fortner