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.

Luke 10: 38-42 (KJV)


“But one thing is needful.” Only one thing is necessary.

What is the one thing?

You don’t love someone because they are useful to you. That wouldn’t be love.

You love someone for their own sake.

Our relationship with God is not some kind of deal—any more than our relationship with any other person should be—and it involves no use or exploitation on either side.

God loves us for ourselves. We must learn to love him for His.

The one thing that matters is God in himself, just Him.

The one thing that matters to God is us in ourselves, just as we are. He wants us, not our good works.

Mary has chosen Jesus for his own sake. Jesus wants Mary for hers.

That is all that is necessary.



Pupil of Rembrandt, Christ Conversing with Martha and Mary

3 thoughts on “The One Thing

  1. Guess I will stick to the unfair treatment of Martha just as I stick to the Prodigal Son’s older brother. Unfair I cry. 👿


    1. Well… I think that might be the point. These stories are meant to shock us. God is unfair, from a human point of view, because he doesn’t give people what they deserve, or what we think they deserve, and he has different ideas from us about what is most important. So The Prodigal Son is forgiven and restored to the heart of the family, no questions asked, although we think he doesn’t deserve it, and Jesus would rather Mary sit at his feet and just listen than help her sister make his lunch. I don’t get the impression Jesus was very interested in lunch, generally.


Leave a Reply to Deirdree Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s