Pressing, Impressing, Or Sitting?

May I ask, dear reader, that you please visit before proceeding and read this brief devotional article?

The foregoing link, “Pressing Him”, from Chip Brogden’s insightful daily article, was the catalyst for what follows. The point brought into focus in this article is that the majority of the crowds “pressed” in on Jesus for what they could get out of Him for their temporal wellbeing – miracles, food, healing… and the like. Some even sized Him up with the view to their own political agendas of making Him their king, even to the point of insurrection and the ousting of Imperial Rome from the Holy Land.

We can all come up with the twenty-first century counterparts to these, if we’re at all aware of what’s happening in the world, especially the world of religious motivations.

But Jesus would have no part of it, for His Kingdom was and is not of “this world”. He was always about His Father’s business – exclusively.

Additionally we have the loyal, “busy” servant minded people. Here’s where it gets tricky, since “serving” can be based in spiritual pride, manifesting from our own view of “righteousness”, which insofar as Scripture is concerned, is that of “filthy rags” [see Isaiah 64:6]. These efforts come from our ego and not from God’s anointing and the direction of the Holy Spirit.

So we understand that it is possible to get lost in impressing Jesus with our own personal agendas about what we think will please our Lord. We may not even realize that this is what drives much of our religious zeal and works.

This can amount to attempts at not only “impressing” God, but others, or even ourselves with Martha like serving – “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” [From Luke: 10:38-42.]

Who among us has not been care-full and troubled about things being just right?

If I Were Martha, I’m not sure I’d know how to handle that remark.

If you’ve ever been in a situation where you’re basically working your fingers to the bone to get a job done, and someone else is just sitting there [from your perspective], oblivious to the fact that you could use a hand, you can identify with how this feels. If it doesn’t happen at home, it’s a pretty typical, familiar scenario in just about any workplace.

The matter here, however, is that Jesus seems to be inviting Martha to examine her motives for serving Him. Was it what He was asking of her, or was it from her anxious self wanting to please Him, or might it have been religious tradition dictating her every thought, mood, and move about how a woman was to act as a hostess? What was the driving force behind Martha’s anxiety and anger?

This is good fodder for examining ourself to see if we are in the faith [see 1 Corinthians 13:5]. Or at least it may be worth contemplating what our modus operandi is in relating to Jesus, Am I pressing like the crowds, impressing like Martha, or sitting at the feet of Jesus as was Mary? Where are my “marching orders” coming from? He may want to show us our truth concerning this matter, at least if we can sit still long enough to simply spend some time with Him, hear Him, and understand what He is actually asking of us personally.

After all, might He simply want to remind us, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”? [Matthew 11:29,30.]

He may only wish to spend time with us and to call us His friends. “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” [John 15:15]

The Word made flesh and dwelling among us, Emmanuel – God with us – would like to call us friends, to sit with us, to cherish our companionship!

I cannot imagine anything more exciting than to hear this from Jesus! Yet how easily this can be missed due to all the “pressing” and “serving”.

Originally published on my website:


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