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Only One Thing

What comes between me and Jesus? Do I let money, time, my to-do list, or the opinions of others stand in the way?

Today I read three related Bible stories: when Mary anoints Jesus (Matthew 26:6-16, Mark 14:3-11, John 12:1-8), when the sinful woman anoints Jesus (Luke 7:37-39), and the account of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42).

In each story, someone can’t see beyond the things of this world.

  • Judas Iscariot only sees the money. How could anyone waste so many denarii?
  • Simon the Pharisee only sees the reactions of others. What will people think if they see a sinful woman in my house?
  • Martha – dear, much-maligned Martha, who really did love Jesus – only sees the mountains of food and dishes. How can anyone sit still when there’s work to be done?

Oh, what a contrast with those who can only see Jesus!

  • In Mary’s eyes, no cost is too great to anoint her Savior and prepare Him for burial.
  • The sinful woman doesn’t care what anyone thinks when given the chance to express her gratitude for Jesus’ forgiveness.
  • To Mary, no time is better spent than time at the Master’s feet, drinking in His teaching.

I want to be like these women. I want to be so devoted to Jesus that money means nothing compared to the joy of giving to Him, that I prefer the favor of God to the opinion of man, and that I never begrudge a minute spent serving Him or sitting in His presence.

Jesus told Martha, “‘But only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her'” Luke 10:42 NIV.

Every minute of every day, I want to choose what’s better. I want to be completely devoted to my Lord. He deserves nothing less.

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