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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE - Chapter 10 - Verse 42
Verse 42. But one thing is needful. That is, religion, or piety. This is eminently and peculiarly needful. Other things are of little importance. This should be secured first, and then all other things will be added. See 1 Ti 4:8; Mt 6:33.
That good part. The portion of the gospel; the love of God, and an interest in his kingdom. She had chosen to be a Christian, and to give up her time and affections to God.
From this interesting narrative we learn—
1st. That the cares of this life are dangerous, even when they seem to be most lawful and commendable. Nothing of a worldly nature could have been more proper than to provide for the Lord Jesus and supply his wants. Yet even for this, because it too much engrossed her mind, the Lord Jesus gently reproved Martha. So a care for our families may be the means of our neglecting religion and losing our souls.
2nd. It is of more importance to attend to the instructions of the Lord Jesus than to be engaged in the affairs of the world. The one will abide for ever; the other will be but for a little time.
3rd. There are times when it is proper to suspend worldly employments, and to attend to the affairs of the soul. It was proper for Mary to do it. It would have been proper for Martha to have done it. It is proper for all—on the Sabbath and at other occasional seasons —seasons of prayer and for searching the word of God—to suspend worldly concerns and to attend to religion.
4th. If attention to religion be omitted at the proper time, it will always be omitted. If Mary had neglected to hear Jesus then, she might never have heard him.
5th. Piety is the chief thing needed. Other things will perish. We shall soon die, All that we can gain we must leave. But the soul will live. There is a judgment-seat; there is a heaven; there is a hell; and all that is needful to prepare us to die, and to make us happy forever, is to be a friend of Jesus, and to listen to his teaching:
6th. Piety is the chief ornament in a female. It sweetens every other virtue; adorns every other grace; gives new loveliness to the tenderness, mildness, and grace of the female character. Nothing is more lovely than a female sitting at the feet of the meek and lowly Jesus, like Mary; nothing more unlovely than entire absorption in the affairs of the world, like Martha. The most lovely female is she who has most of the spirit of Jesus; the least amiable, she who neglects her soul—who is proud, gay, thoughtless, envious, and unlike the meek and lowly Redeemer. At his feet are peace, purity, joy. Everywhere else an alluring and wicked world steals the affections and renders us vain, gay, wicked, proud, and unwilling to die.
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