Worry About Many Things or Focus on One Thing

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” —Luke 10:38-42

It can be easy for us to get caught up in our worries. We get distracted and don’t see Jesus, even when he’s right in front of us. But while focusing on our worries only makes us more anxious, Jesus invites us to focus on him, the author and perfecter of peace. In this Sunday’s message, Lead Pastor Josh Kelsey uses the story of Martha and Mary to illustrate how focusing on Jesus is the solution to our anxiety.

Phase 1: Merimnao

  • Merimnao: the occupation of the attention of the mind
  • Martha enters into this phase when she notices that Mary is not helping her serve and is instead sitting at Jesus’ feet.
  • When a circumstance like this arises, we have a choice to not engage. We can choose to not pick up the net.

Phase 2: Perispao

  • Perispao: distracted; draw around as in pulling a net up and around fish
  • The facts of her circumstance capture Martha’s attention. Martha’s mind is distracted and thoughts of her circumstances have consumed her.

Phase 3: Turbazo

  • Turbazo: the outward expression of frustration and/or anger in speech, face, and body language
  • Martha enters this phase when she goes to Jesus and asks him, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?”
  • Scholars believe Jesus would have likely been sitting down when Martha approached him. Martha, in her frustration, stormed into the room and stood over Jesus expressing her anger.

The Solution: Sit at His feet and listen

  • Jesus tells Martha that though she is worried about many things, only one thing is necessary: to sit at his feet and listen.
  • Our cares and our worries matter, but none of them are more important than sitting at the feet of Jesus. 
  • It all matters, but it doesn’t matter unless we seek God first.

Dinner Party Questions

  • What nets threaten to capture your attention on a daily or weekly basis?
  • What nets have we kept close and not casted? How can we cast them properly this week?
  • What would it look like to sit at the feet of Jesus this week?

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