One Thing

Ann Clifton-Brown

Just like Martha when Jesus came to visit, we can find ourselves facing a whole host of things that can cause us to fuss and fret; this passage in Luke teaches that the one thing that is vitally important is getting close to Jesus himself.

Ann spoke from Luke 10: 38-41 on the time Jesus visits the sister’s home and seemingly ‘tells off’ Martha for being too busy. However, we know that Jesus had a close relationship with both sisters; in John 11:5 it says ‘He loved Martha and her sister Mary’. We also know that Jesus wasn’t anti-serving – far from it, in fact! Jesus wasn’t scolding, but lovingly speaking to Martha (v.41): “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” What we see is that Martha is fussing or fretting about a whole host of things that are not that important, but there is one thing that is vitally important, and that is Jesus himself. Mary is commended for prioritizing correctly.

Ann gave us four main pointers to help us better understand this passage. (A) Jesus’ loving and close relationship with these sisters. (B) The fretting or anxiousness that Martha was exhibiting. (C) Jesus isn’t against serving. (D) What is the ‘one thing’ that is needed?

Ann also talked about how, at Christmas time when all the family came home, she often allowed herself to miss the importance of spending time with the family because she was too busy tidying up, and wanting it all to be perfect.


1) What are the things that distract you from stilling your soul and spending time reading God’s word or in prayer?

2) Are you someone, like Martha, that gets anxious, letting the minor things in life dominate your thinking? Being honest, what are the main trigger points for you?

3) Why is it that we find it hard to carve out time with Jesus? Talk about developing a hunger. If we are not used to doing it regularly we will have a reduced hunger to do so.

4) Ann spoke about the current `Reading God’s Word Together’ Bible-reading plan and the ‘Daily Light’ book as useful ways she’s found in keeping her eager to get up in the morning when the alarm goes off; what things help you to make a habit of devoting time each day to this?

5) Pray for each other that you each get on top of this godly discipline. Pray that you see how vital it is, as Mary did. If you are suffering from anxiety and know you worry too much as Martha did, be honest and ask for prayer to be an over-comer, and someone who truly rests in the arms of Jesus.