There are a few major things that happen in the tenth chapter of the Gospel of Luke. First, Jesus sends out the 72. They go out and spread the news about the kingdom, doing miracles and seeing God at work through their ministry. Next, Jesus is asked by a very knowledgeable legal teacher what has to be done to inherit eternal life. Jesus responds with loving God and loving neighbors. That statement launches Jesus into a parable about all the religious types not being neighborly and a presumed un-neighborly Samaritan acting the neighbor by caring for a man in need. All of that is followed up with Mary and Martha..Mary took the time to sit at Jesus’ feet and learn but Martha was too busy.
Here is what we have – we have some Galilean fishermen who get a glimpse into the kingdom of God as if God were revealing the mysteries of the kingdom to little children (10:21) that kings and prophets of old wanted to see and hear but did not. We have a legal expert who knows the Law as well as anyone but needs help actually hearing it and doing it. Then we have one lady who cannot see or hear what Jesus is saying because she is too busy, while her sister (like a child) is both available and willing to listen and learn.
I wonder how often our busyness (like Martha) or even our own knowledge of the Bible (like the teacher of the Law) get in the way of us simply “going and doing” (10:37) what Jesus said. What does it mean to have all knowledge of Scripture but lack mercy? What does it mean to have Jesus in your house but to be too busy for him? What does it mean to have a simple faith that accepts what he says and participate in the movement of the kingdom?
Now that we know what God requires…let us all “go and do likewise.”