We see Jesus in this setting as a guest and friend, receiving hospitality from Mary, and Martha in there home in Bethany “(v.38) Declared “And a certain woman named Martha received him into her house”
Perhaps unspectedly and evidently accompanied by some of his disciples.
Martha was anxious to provide entertainment for such a wonderful guest.
Mary had stole away to set at the feet of Jesus and listen to his words. “Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.” (v.39)
Mary was making good use of the precious time of Christ’s sojourn with them to allow him to minister to them as well as to be ministered to by them.
Note the comparison which Jesus was making. For it was a comparison, not a contrast, a comparison between the choice that was good but was not the best, and the choice that was the good one “Mary had chosen that good part,” (v.42)
It was not a contrast between the absolutely bad and the positively good, it was a comparison between the good that was insufficient and good that is sufficed.
There are those who chose the positively bad, pleasures which is unlawful. Profits which are dishonest. A life that is ungodly “No man can serve two masters: for he will hate the one, and love the other; or slse he will hold to the one, and despise the other: Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Mt.6:24)
Note the inference he was drawing. That many good things, however many they may be, do not constitute the good things, and that they will disappear and disappoint. Health, home comforts, worldly position, literary delight.
These are good in their measure but they will not together make up our human requirement, they are not, “The bread of life” and “the water of life.”
They do not satisfy, and they will not last. Sooner or later they break down and leave us portionless and hopeless.
Note the point which he was pressing. There is one thing which is so surpassing excellent that it may be considered the one good thing.
Jesus called it,“That good part” which shall not be taken away.
To Mary this was Divine truth as it came to her in the Person and in the words of her Lord “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (Jh.1:1)
To us Jesus’ words is heavenly wisdom, as we gain it direct from our Divine Lord “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the work “ (Jh.14:10)
No doubt Mary drank in that immortal truth as she set at his feet and heard his word “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,” Jh.14:14)
We also receive of his word as we go unto him and learn of him and as we follow him, and as we abide in him we learn the way to God. The way to the light, peace and the life which are in him.
From Christ we gain forgiveness. friendship, purity, usefulness, a hope that does not make ashamed.
This is the “good part,” the peculiarly precious, the priceless thing, of which no figures can indicate the worth, it is the good which can never be lost.
For there is no power on earth that can touch it to harm it, disease will not waste it, fire will not consume it, force will not crush it, fraud will not steal it, time will not enfeeble it, death will not destroy it, and the grave will not hold it. It lives ever and out lives everything which the eye can see, on which the hand can rest.
Christ is the one thing which is above high-water mark, all other, all earthly good things will be washed away by the incoming tide, but this portion, this heritage, no wave will reach in the mightiest storm and destroy it.
In closing may I say, we all can choose Jesus. Christ is opening his hand to offer to all eternal life. We can open ours heart and receive eternal life if we will.
Our destiny is in our choice. We must choose, If we fail to do so, we shall not only shut ourselves in to lose, but to shame, and eternal death “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom.6:23)