“One Thing is Needed”

23 October 2011


1. Introduction

At age 40 Saul was yesterday’s man –no longer hearing God 1. Sam. 28:7.

At age 80 Moses was today’s man – hearing God and raising a generation.


2. Hearing God is a choice


(a) Both Mary and Martha received Jesus – made Him welcome (v38).


(b) Mary sat at Jesus feet and heard His word (v39).

- sit at feet = humble self to be a disciple – to learn.

      - heard His Word         = desire for intimacy

                                          = willing to obey

      - ‘Hearing’ is foundational to relationship, it is a heart issue.


- NT church constantly experienced revelation – direction from the Holy Spirit e.g. Act.8:26 Philip e.g. Act.16:6 Paul.


(c) Martha was “distracted” with much serving.


(d) Impact of Loss of Intimacy with the Lord


(e) Intimacy with God is a choice

(i) Affirms value – Martha, Martha

(ii) Exposes heart – worried and troubled

(iii) Identifies priority – one thing is needed

(iv) Refuses to be manipulated by Martha.

3. Revelation must lead to Serving

(a) Bethany = Place of resurrection (v1)


      (b) Mary had current revelation (v3)

§  She understood what God was doing now and about to do.

§  Lazarus sat at the table – relax, enjoying the experience.

§  Mary in touch with what God is about to do.

§  Jesus about to surrender His life – go to the Cross – salvation of the World.

§  Their comfortable relationship was about to be up heaved for sake of Global harvest.

§  God always has eye on harvest of souls.


      (c) Mary flowed with what God was doing (v3)

            (i) Generosity  - Very costly anointing oil

                                    - Paid price to purchase the oil

                                    - Oil =presence and manifestation of the Holy Spirit

                                    - Willing to give generously, extravagantly

            (ii) Humility      - Willing to serve

                                    - Stooped down to the feet of Jesus – knelt

                                    - Stooped to minister to feet

                                    - Mt.25:34-40 – “Do to least of brethren = do to me”

                                    - Bring presence of the Holy Spirit to people in need.

            (iii) Love          - Willing to give of herself totally

                                    - No concern for opinions of people, image, appearance

                                    - Hair became matted, dirty. (1 Cor.11:15)


      (d) House filled with the fragrance of oil

                                    - one person’s generosity impacted atmosphere of the house.

                                    - one person’s generosity exposed offence, theft, hypocrisy.


·         We need to hear the call to the harvest of souls!