Make Jesus Your Focus
Read Luke 10:30-42
Some things just seem out of place. Like a caged canary in the depths of a mine, they just don’t belong there. William Hinson, in a book by John Maxwell, tells of why animal trainers carry a stool when they go into a cage of angry lions. Hmm… Just why do these highly skilled men and women enter a cage of animals at least twice their size – carrying a 2-foot stool. It kind of ruins the ambiance of the safari, if you ask me. Is it for protection? Well, with their long snapping whips and faithfully loaded pistols, a stool seems unnecessary. But the trainers know something we don’t.
According to the trainer, that stool is his most important tool. When necessary, the trainer will hold the stool by the back and thrust the legs toward the face of the animal. And this is where the amazing happens. The ferocious lion then tries to focus its eyes on all four legs at once. While attempting to do this, a kind of paralysis overwhelms it, and the lion becomes weak and disabled. All because its attention is fragmented. Boy, is that ever a life lesson! And it’s a lesson that a woman named Martha learned in this passage.
This portion of our reading is all about relationships. In the first part, Jesus used the parable of the Good Samaritan to illustrate the importance of practical love shown to a neighbor. But it’s the second portion that we'll focus on today. Here Jesus spoke openly about the importance of our personal relationship with God.
Jesus and His disciples had been invited to dine at the home of two sisters, Mary and Martha. While Martha was busy worrying over the big dinner she was preparing, Mary was busy listening to the One for whom it was prepared. And as we know, Martha didn’t like it. Not content to just stew in the kitchen with her supper, Martha took her complaint to Jesus, Himself. And this is how He answered her…
"My dear Martha, you are so upset over all these details! There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it – and I won’t take it away from her." Luke 11:41, 42
There’s only one thing to be concerned about, and Mary knew what it was. Do you know what it is? Is it to do all, make all, be all we can for God... as fast as we can? We know the answer. Like a dazed and confused lion, that approach will only leave us overwhelmed and weakened.
Oswald Chambers once said that "We slander God by our very eagerness to work for Him without knowing Him." So, how do we know Him? Like Mary, we must make Jesus our focus. We have to sit at His feet, look into His eyes, and hear His heart.
That one thing? It’s a heart thing. And it’s all about knowing... the heart of God.
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