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Don't Just Do Something, Sit There

Spending time with God is more important than getting many things done or doing all things well.


Have you ever wondered how Jesus spent his evenings and his nights? Some of his disciples came to him early on to ask about the fringe benefits of discipleship. Jesus told them the foxes had holes and the birds had nests, but the Son of Man had no permanent place to put his head. So I gather that there were times in Jesus' life when he slept out in the field, with the sky for a blanket and a stone for a pillow.

But there were other times when Jesus enjoyed the warmth and hospitality of good friends. There was probably no home in all of Israel more valuable to him than the home of Martha, Mary, and their brother Lazarus in the village of Bethany. During the closing hours of his life, when other hearts and homes were shut to him, the door of this house in Bethany was open.

In Luke 10:38–42, Jesus and his disciples are on their way to the capital city for the last time. To get there, they have to go through the village of Bethany, a suburb about two miles east of Jerusalem. When Martha hears that the disciples and Jesus have hit town, she insists they come to her home for dinner. She wants to show them through her hospitality how much she loves them.

It's always a bit of a threat, I think, for a woman to have a preacher in her home for dinner. So to have 13 of them sitting in the living room is like an Olympic challenge! I'm still in awe of what skilled cooks are able to do. A good cook can take cold food from the refrigerator at one time, put hot food on the stove at another time, and make it all come out at the same time—and everybody has a good time! From where I sit out there in the living room, the whole thing seems like a kind of minor miracle to me.

But as Martha was trying to pull off the miracle, ...

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Haddon Robinson was a preacher and teacher of preachers all over the world. His last teaching position was as the Harold John Ockenga Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

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Sermon Outline:


I. Martha was not faulted for her service

II. Good service with a bad spirit is bad service

III. Allow Christ to serve you before you serve others