- Sermon Notes
Jesus’ Answer for Worry
February 21, 2021
1. How much of your life has been consumed by worry?
2. When it comes to worry, it’s been said that the average person will spend. . .
a. 40% of their time worrying about things which will never happen.
b. 30% of their time worrying about their past which can’t be changed.
c. 12% of their time worrying about criticism from others, most of which is untrue.
d. 10% of their time worrying about their health, which gets worse with stress.
e. 8% of their time worrying about real problems which they will actually face.
ILLUS – Travel Insurance
3. Worry is not a virtue.
4. Nor do people typically wear their worry like a “Badge of Honor.”
5. Yet worry wears easy, at first that is.
6. What I mean is, worry is easy to put on.
7. But once you put worry on, it’s like a tight pair of skinny jeans. . . very difficult to take it off.
8. So, what is the answer for worry?
9. Tonight, we will look to the words of our Savior for the answer in Luke 10, from the famous story about two sisters, Martha and Mary.
10. For in Luke 10, we will learn how to take off the robe of worry and put on the mantle of faith.
1. As I mentioned the last time we were together, when we arrive at Luke 10, there is another major shift in Jesus’ ministry; Jesus was transitioning His ministry from the region of Galilee in the north to Jerusalem.
Luke 9:51, When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem. . .
2. As Jesus nears Jerusalem, Luke shifts the focus of his Gospel to a meal in the home of Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus, the man whom Jesus raised from the dead.
3. The three siblings lived in a village called Bethany which was located a few miles east of Jerusalem.
Transition – What happened during the meal in Martha’s home reveals the first part of Jesus’ answer for worry. . .
I. Serve Christ Wholeheartedly
• Martha had invited Jesus to her home for a meal, along with His entire entourage. (38)
• Martha immediately went to work, preparing a meal for Jesus; a meal she had hoped would be fit for the King of kings.
• This would be no small task.
• Martha needed help and lots of it.
• Surely, Mary, her sister would rise up and help Martha impress, I mean, bless Jesus. . . right?
• Nope. The moment Jesus sat down to teach; Mary sat down too, right at Jesus’ feet to absorb His every word.
• Poor Martha was left to do all the heavy lifting alone.
APPL – Now, before we point fingers at Martha and get all in a huff because of her eventual meltdown, I believe Martha should be commended for her desire to serve the Lord.
• It is right and commendable when Christians want to serve the Lord.
• In fact, Jesus is called Lord for a reason because He is supremely worthy of our trust, loyalty, and service.
• The Apostle Paul served Christ wholeheartedly.
Colossians 1:28-29, We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.
• Well, how is serving Christ wholeheartedly an answer for worry?
• Because when we serve Christ wholeheartedly it offers us the opportunity to take our eyes off of ourselves and put them on Jesus.
• Too many people spend too much of their lives focused on themselves.
• But when we fix our eyes on Jesus and serve Him wholeheartedly our lives are filled with meaning and purpose, worry fades away.
• It was true for the Apostle Paul and the Lord wants it to be true for us as well.
• Serve Christ wholeheartedly.
Transition – But may I offer a word of caution? When you serve Christ wholeheartedly. . .
A. Serve Christ’s agenda not your own
1. Martha frantically looked around. . . where was Mary?
2. Suddenly her eyes locked on her target.
3. Martha shook her head in disbelief. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
4. Mary, her beloved sister, was sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to Him teach!
5. Martha could never pull off a meal fit for the King of kings all by herself.
6. Martha began to huff and puff; she was ready to blow her sister down.
7. Now, Luke gives us an important insight into Martha’s heart.
8. The word “distracted” in verse 40 means “to be pulled away” by something.
9. What was pulling at Martha? Her agenda!
APPL – When serving Christ wholeheartedly, never let yourself be pulled away from Jesus.
• When do Christians get discouraged, overwhelmed, or burned out?
• When they get pulled away from Jesus.
• Whenever you get pulled away from Jesus, it won’t take long before you find yourself overcome with worry.
• Worry wears easy when you get pulled away from Jesus and His agenda.
• Make this your prayer. . .
Matthew 6:9-10, Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
APPL – How can you tell if you are being pulled away from Jesus? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some early warning system?
ILLUS – Car dashboard warning lights
• Spiritually speaking there is an early warning system.
• For Martha, I am sure it began with a look, a death stare at Mary.
• Then it progressed to annoyed sighs.
• From there it transitioned to grumbling.
• Perhaps there was the clanging of pots and dishes.
• The early warning system was Martha’s attitude.
• Martha’s worry gave Martha an attitude, and not a Christ-like attitude.
Transition – Which leads us to another important principle.
B. Serve Christ with a Christ-like attitude
1. It was getting hot in Martha’s kitchen.
2. Martha was living her worst nightmare. Her meal was going to be an epic failure.
3. For Martha, there was only one person to blame, well actually two: Jesus and Mary!
4. All of her attempts to get her sister’s attention went unnoticed.
5. Martha felt ignored and underappreciated, even by Jesus.
6. When she could take it no more, Martha marched over to Jesus and gave Him a piece of her mind, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” (40)
a. Notice that Martha blamed Mary for the failure of her meal; not her own agenda to impress, I mean, bless Jesus.
b. Notice Martha also accused Jesus of not caring about Mary’s great transgression.
c. Finally notice that Martha commanded and demanded that Jesus tell Mary to stop listening to His teaching, get on her feet, and get back into the kitchen.
7. I am sure you could have heard a pin drop as those words fell from Martha’s lips.
8. What ruined Martha’s meal? Not Mary. Martha’s attitude ruined her meal well before it was served.
Warren Wiersbe rightly notes, “If serving Christ makes us difficult to live with, then something is terribly wrong with our service!”
Philippians 2:3-5, Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus
Review – Serve Christ wholeheartedly.
• Serve Christ’s agenda and not your own.
• Serve Christ with a Christ-like attitude.
Transition – One of the things that stands out to me is the timing of Jesus’ response.
• Surely Jesus was aware of what was going on in Martha’s heart.
• Why didn’t He take her aside and tell her to scale down her agenda?
• Why did Jesus wait for Martha to explode?
• Because Jesus was waiting for Martha to come to the end of herself so that He could teach her about her choices.
• Jesus was waiting for a teachable moment.
• Could it be that there are times when He waits for us as well?
• Next, we can summarize the second part of Jesus’ answer for worry in verses 41-42 this way. . .
II. Choose Christ Continually (41-42)
• Contrary to Martha’s accusation, Jesus was concerned about Martha’s worry.
• The “many things” that bothered Martha were her excessive preparations for her meal, her agenda.
• Martha chose her duties as a hostess over spending time with Jesus.
• As a result, Martha’s duties became too much for her to bear and she broke.
Transition – But it is important to note that Jesus’ answer was not to give Martha what she had asked for.
• Jesus heard what she had said.
• But He wanted to show Martha a better way.
• What’s the better way, the good way?
A. Choosing Christ is choosing the good way
1. After Martha’s meltdown, all eyes were on Jesus.
2. How would Jesus respond to Martha’s accusation and command?
3. In a word, tenderly. Jesus said, “Martha, Martha” not in anger or irritation but with compassion. (41)
4. Outwardly it may not have looked like it, but inwardly, Martha was ready to receive.
5. She was ready to receive life-transforming instruction from Jesus because she was at the end of her rope.
6. Jesus told her, “you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part” (41-42)
7. What was Jesus saying?
8. That serving Jesus is good.
9. But serving Jesus without Jesus is not good.
10. Jesus is our good and communion with Jesus is for our good.
Again, Warren Wiersbe offers wise counsel, “Few things are as damaging to the Christian life as trying to work for Christ without taking time to commune with Christ.”
APPL – To serve Christ wholeheartedly, we must first choose to fellowship with Christ.
• Make your time with Christ a priority.
• You will never overcome worry or be effective in serving Jesus if you have not first sat at Jesus’ feet and received from Him.
• The truth is you cannot give if you have not received.
• The truth is you cannot bear good fruit if you have not taken time to be with Jesus.
John 15:5, I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
ILLUS – The difference between communion with Christ being “important” versus “essential.”
APPL – Are you running on empty?
• Overcome with worry?
• Frustrated, discouraged or defeated?
• Choose Christ continually because choosing Christ is choosing the good way.
John 7:37-38, If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.”
Transition – What Jesus said as He finished His gentle correction of Martha is deeply profound.
“Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (42)
B. Choosing Christ will never be taken away
1. Please read Jesus’ again.
APPL – When a person chooses Jesus, that blessed communion, and all that flows from it, will never be taken away.
• Life is filled with constant change.
• Things come and go, begin and end, are given and taken away.
• I believe, in many ways, change can become the source for much of our worry.
• But Jesus said there is one thing that we can choose which will never be taken away from us, our relationship with Jesus.
• Please never let anyone or anything get in the way of your time with Jesus.
• Treasure Jesus. Choose Christ continually.
2. Jesus’ words did not fall upon deaf ears.
3. Martha took Christ’s words to heart.
4. In fact, there was another dinner at Martha’s home which took place right after Lazarus was raised from the dead and prior to Christ’s death and resurrection.
5. John records what happened at that meal. Please see if you can notice a difference.
John 12:1-4, Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him. Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
a. Lazarus was reclining at the table with Jesus.
b. Mary was worshiping Jesus.
c. Martha was serving the meal.
d. What’s missing? Worry! Why?
APPL – Because Martha had taken off the robe of worry and put on a mantle of faith.
• Will you do the same?
• Jesus is waiting for you.
• In fact, He is inviting you to do so.
Matthew 6:25-34, For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear for clothing?” For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Luke 10:38-42 NASB
38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who was also seated at the Lord’s feet, and was listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with [a]all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do the serving [b]by myself? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary; for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”