Monthly Archives: July 2014

God’s Second Statement

You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. [Exodus 20:4-6 ESV]

God equates idolatry as hatred toward Him. Worshipping an idol is an act of hatred toward God. Only the enemies of God would do such a thing.

Of all the sins God hates, and He hates all of them, the one He punishes consistently throughout the history of Israel is the sin of idolatry. In His first statement He declares He alone is God. There can be only one God. In this second statement He states the rebellious attitude of sinful man to commit idolatry as an act of hatred toward Him. Idolatry does not simply affect the person worshipping a false god but cascades through successive generations. When children see their parents worshipping they will follow suit. Those taught to worship idols will continue worshipping idols.  Those who worship God, the only God, and teach their children to follow their example are shown God’s “steadfast love” because of their love for Him.

It is too easy to describe examples of idolatry. Every idol is characterized by the superstitious beliefs given by the imagination of the idolater. I see three basic characteristics.  First, the object is manmade, created by sinful hands or a sinful imagination for whatever reason.  Secondly, the object is worshipped, which includes obsessive rituals and actions. Finally, the object is believed able to fulfill an imaginative promise when obsessed over correctly or to withhold what is promised when the ritual is not correctly fulfilled.

When the imagined promise is not fulfilled superstition places the blame on the person’s incorrect worship and not the inability of the created thing. Thus, faith is placed in an object which can deliver nothing. For some reason, the person believes with their intellect there is evidence of the objects ability, then emotionally trusts the object is able to deliver what is misbelieved as promised.  Finally, the person obeys the anticipated expectations believed to motivate the created object to fulfill its end of the bargain.

Under these conditions, all of the evidence seen, when viewed subjectively, assumes the  created object has a moral standard, defined subjectively, which must be followed. Idolatry begins in the mind and the heart. Place this template upon any object or obsession and you will discover an idol.

In the history of Israel idols were those created things worshipped by the enemies of God. Israel is told to completely devote to God, execute and destroy the peoples of the land they were given by God lest the people lead them astray to worship the idols of the land. God judged the people of Canaan because of their idol worship.  Israel did not fulfill God’s command and soon turned away from Him, the only God, to worship idols.

God, speaking through Isaiah, describes the stupidity of idolatry.

All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.

The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!” And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!” [Isaiah 44:9-17 ESV]

Idolatry increases wickedness and immorality. It is the logical next step in rebellion against God, our Creator. Those who worship idols find in their idols the excuse they need to justify their rebellion against God. If God is not god, and the thing worshipped defines the moral standard demanding obedience then there is no rational, emotionally justifiable reason to not follow the thing in which ones faith is placed and to reject all else. If you call the thing a god then it can easily replace the things others call their gods. Idolatry results in make nothing god.

But what if you worship something and don’t call it a god?  Suppose one obsesses over making money, playing games, filling one’s mind with inappropriate images, taking drugs.  Doesn’t Jesus say “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” [Matthew 6:21 ESV]. Idolatry becomes anything which takes God’s place. Either way, you are displacing God from His rightful position in your life.

Idolatry is fuel for persecution. Look at those who persecute Christians. They believe their god has told them to, making their wicked, sinful actions justifiable and righteous. Facing and enduring persecution is part of the evidence God uses to justifiably condemn the world, those who have rejected Him. Our testimony for God is part of our inherent desire to love Him, and worship Him in both Spirit and truth.

God’s First Statement

And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.” [Exodus 20:1-3 ESV]

God, after bringing the Israelites out of Egypt and redeeming them from slavery, speaks openly to them. In His first statement “you” in “you will have no other” is not directed to the corporate group but to each individual. Each person, made in the image of God, redeemed by God, is personally given each command by God. Yet, these are not commands but statements of fact. In Hebrew they are called the ten “words” not commandments. We relegate them to commands because it is easier to understand how to apply a statement of expectation than a statement of fact. With expectations, especially those clearly expressed and understood, we know when we violate them. These are not just expectations. These are statements of fact.

Nor are these statements suggestions. He does not ask us to keep these statements. He does state what will happen if we do not keep them. We will suffer His just wrath.  Even the tiniest (in our view) violation against the image supernaturally built into each reveals a corruption God will not tolerate. He does not create anything less than perfect, nor will He allow in His presence any who are less than perfect. His measure is Himself, the perfect image of Himself built into each imperfect person. These are absolute statements because He is absolute.

His first statement is telling us His authority to make these statements and judge according to them. He is God. There are no other gods. The Trinity is One God, not three. He has no competition and no equal adversary. There are none compelling Him to act. There is no standard outside of Himself by which He is measured. He is the first and the last, the beginning and the end. If there is anything created, He created it. He is not created. He is the Creator. He, and He alone, sustains all of creation and all of eternity. He, and He alone, governs all of creation and all found in creation, even in eternity. He, and He alone, gives purpose to creation, and all in creation throughout eternity. He, and he alone, owns all of creation, whether existing in the created universe, or existing in eternal heaven or eternal hell.

He is “I am who I am” [Exodus 3:14 ESV], or “I am what I am.”  God is.

Rebellious man asks “who is this god?” and states “your god is not my god” or “I have no god.” Pharaoh did not recognize God, spoken about by Moses and Aaron, even after seeing and feeling the wrath of God against him and against Egypt. The king of Assyria ridiculed the God of Israel to Hezekiah after God used him to exile the northern kingdom. God miraculously saved Jerusalem. (See 1 Kings 17-19.) Pilate, questioning Jesus, found He had done nothing deserving death, rejected truth and sentenced Him to death. Christ’s death sentence was a gift of life for those who belong to Christ.  Rebellion cannot change truth. Nor can attitude, motivation, expectation, legislation, force or power.

Righteousness comes to those who are God’s through the truth of God and His Person.  For there is nothing righteous in anyone, even those who are His. We have no righteousness in and of ourselves. If we are righteous it is His righteousness spread over our sin. Those who rebel against God will not receive the covering of righteousness made from the blood of Christ. Those who are not His will seek to silence, even through destruction, those who are His. The presence of anyone covered with the blood of Christ, is evidence of the eternal truth of God.

This first statement, and all statements made by God, are not simply for obedience but for revelation. God reveals Himself to us and then reveals us to ourselves. We obey, not because He is God, which is still a valid reason to obey, but because, through the direction and motivation of His Holy Spirit, we can do nothing but obey. Our lives are lived within His will. Conversely, those who rebel against Him can do nothing but rebel because they are not His. God created us to love Him. Those who are of the world do not, cannot, will not, love Him. Those who do love Him will suffer persecution because of their love for Him.

Persecution, even if brief or long, intense and deadly, cannot compare to the life of eternity given by the Life Giver of Eternity.

The Illogic of Persecution

What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. [Romans 7:7-12 ESV]

What is it about righteousness which inspires the non-Christian to such hatred? Ultimately, it is the Law of God and the eternal character of God behind the Law which drives the unrighteous to such extremes. Without the Law there would be no standard to judge, convict and sentence. Do you remember the temptation of the first sin?

“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. [Genesis 3:5-6 ESV]

Eve, and Adam, were tempt with equality with God, thus not needing God. If I do not need God and am capable of making my own decisions, according to the wisdom found within me, then I certainly cannot allow God, formerly my owner, to control or judge my words, attitudes and actions. Rejecting God does not steal any of His position and power away from Him. Rejecting Him does leave us with the inner bent, the attitude and motivation to ignore Him. When He cannot be ignored we become fearful and angry, motivated to destroy the thing which makes us both fearful and angry. Since we cannot destroy God or the Law which judges us we are left with the desire to destroy those who represent God and His Law.

Pay attention. It is not that we keep the Law and are therefore righteous. We do not keep the Law. We are as sinful as any in the world. Christians have recognized their sin, accepting the truth of its existence, of its reality, and of its devastating consequences. We know intimately the price paid by Christ to redeem us from the slavery of sin, that we do not deserve God’s mercy and love. We acknowledge God’s justice, according to His Law, and His absolute right to exercise judgment, condemnation and sentence against any and all who violate His Law. Upon Jesus’ shoulders was placed our sin and He bore the justified consequences of our rebellion.  He took our sin and gave us, as a gift, His righteousness. His righteousness was credited to us, not earned or purchased or acquired in any other way. We are not righteous because we keep any of the Law. We are righteous because He kept all of the Law. Like Abraham, we believe God, take Him at His word, and are declared righteous before Him.

It is the Law, the very eternal character of God represented by the Law, which inspires such violence and hatred by those rebelling against the Author of the Law and the Creator of those made in His image.

As God works in the Christian, building the image and likeness of His Son into those who are His, the Christian slowly, with great effort and discipline, exhibits to the world the evidence of God’s righteousness. As He purges sin from us, preparing us for eternity with Him, He uses us as a witness to the world. By living righteous lives, motivated by the Spirit of God in us, we live out the Law without becoming legalistic and convict those around us of their sin and Lawlessness. Some will see, be convicted and repent, drawn to God by His desire for them. All of the others, refusing to see the truth of their rebellion against God, will seek to silence the attitudes, words and actions of those declared righteous by God.

Persecution will come, not because of our righteousness but because of Christ’s righteousness in us. To understand this better, I am going to try to examine the Law, the Ten Commandments, to understand how the Christian keeps them and why the world hates them.

Suffering for Righteousness’ Sake

Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous is one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. [Hebrews 10:35-39 ESV]

Righteousness is given, never earned. When God originally created Adam He created him righteous. Adam and Eve were created for relationship with God, according to His good purpose. They were made free people, in God’s image, to fulfill a purpose which would  illustrate God’s and their righteousness.

Adam sinned and his purpose was corrupted, stopping his desire for righteousness. He hid from God, evidence of his rebellion against God’s righteousness.

As the head of the human race Adam’s rebellion rendered all people incapable of either desiring or achieving righteousness. Instead, we run after unrighteousness, we live according to a standard diametrically opposed to God’s standard of righteous living. We cannot, ultimately do not want to, live up to the moral standard God placed within those He created in His image.

Once purpose is violently altered it can never be returned to its original state. If we are to become righteous according to God’s character and moral law then we must be changed, made different, recreated. We must be given not only the place but the being of one who lives uncorrupted before Him.

In Matthew 5:6 Jesus says those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness” will be filled, satisfied, given righteousness. Having been recreated through the process of owning their sin and hating it, of allowing themselves to see the ultimate consequences of their sin and grieve the consequence. Here, people discover their complete inability to do anything which pleases God and give back to Him control. They see a standard of righteousness previously hidden and begin striving for God. Changed, recreated and given His Spirit, they show the evidence of God’s moral character by loving God and those around them. A citizen of God’s kingdom is righteous because of the sacrifice of His Son and the indwelling of the Spirit. Citizens live out God’s righteousness in a world encompassed by sin.

Yet, Jesus gives a startling prediction. Those who truly seek righteousness will be persecuted by those who seek unrighteousness.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. [Matthew 5:10-12 ESV]

Christians will be hated, reviled, tormented, persecuted, even killed by those who continue in unrighteousness. We are to seek the very thing which brings us peace with God but elicits bitter hatred and conflict from the world.

Christians do not offer a tangible threat to the world. If anything, Christians offer the world peace and love. True Christians, not the legalists who call themselves Christians, attend church and do acts of service but have no heart for Christ. Legalists would enslave the world under a law attributed to God but not coming from Him. Those changed by God and being made into His likeness, want those of the world to have peace with God.

Jesus fed, healed, and forgave those who hated Him. We are to do the same. God allowed those in the world, the religious and worldly authorities of the time, to crucify His Son. Jesus knew His mission while living the will of God. He was murdered by the people He came to save. Those who persecute a people who mean them no harm, a people who have been given the righteousness of God, find themselves under His wrath.

Jesus tells us we will be persecuted because of Him, because of righteousness’ sake, and for no other reason.

Introduction: Persecution

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. [Matthew 5:10-12 ESV]

I have been dreading this part of the study.

It is not easy talking about sin, recognizing it, realizing the consequences of it, repenting of and relinquishing control of self over to God.  After doing all this hungering and thirsting for righteousness becomes joyful. But then discovering God’s compassion, purity and peace, and my lack is equally devastating.  God does not simply remake the non-Christian into someone who belongs to Him, He recreates, completely changes, takes someone who is absolutely spiritually dead, and spiritually resurrects new and different.  The whole Christian, when God is finished, will be a citizen of the kingdom of God. Being changed is traumatic, the fire of faith burning away sin, giving the joy of eternity here and now. God changes the whole person.

Our world hates this eternal change because it implies those changed are in a good and growing relationship with God. Our world hates God because He demands righteousness on His terms and under His conditions. Righteousness is the absolute, immutable standard of God who created all things. His image, found in all people, is a reflection of His righteousness. Sin corrupts the moral standard of righteousness inherent in people. All those created in His image corrupted by sin are against Him and judged by Him.

Our world embraces the corruption of sin and compromises God’s absolute moral standard by imagining and conceiving a contrary philosophy of truth. While rebelling against God they  seek to destroy those who have the true image of Christ, who live according to the truth of God’s moral code and believe, trust and obey the truth of God’s Word.

God leaves those who are His in the world for two reasons. Christian’s are being prepared for eternity and the best place for this to happen is in the crucible of the world. It is here faith and action, attitude and belief are tested and refined. But the Christian is also a witness to the world. Where the world takes a lie and proclaims it as truth the Christian, influenced by the Holy Spirit lives the truth and, in doing so, exposes the lie.

All Christians struggle, fight and war against the desires of their sinful flesh and the compulsion of the Holy Spirit to righteousness. It is this struggle we have with sin which most influences those around us. God uses the war we fight with sin to bring to Him those He has called into His kingdom.

Like Cain, “if you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it”[Genesis 4:7 ESV]. Sin has not been expunged from the Christian’s life but power given to us to control it. In a world where sin has enslaved all, bending all to its will, those who are not controlled by sin illicit a furious reaction from those controlled by sin. Either condemnation or conviction. Every Christian faces persecution even if they are unaware of its presence. Persecution is an identifying mark of those who belong to God, who are covered by the blood of Christ and are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Many Christians in large parts of our world are persecuted because they worship God. They are attacked, terrorized, injured and persecuted because they are Christians and for no other reason. Yet, this is not the only kind of persecution we face. We may face life and death. More often we face persecution because of right and wrong, righteous and unrighteous. God’s citizen as described by the statements made by Jesus will face the wrath of the world while inheriting the presences of God.

Conclusion: Peacemaker

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God. [Matthew 5:9 ESV]

We are hard put to find anywhere in Scripture an example of God mediating peace between two warring nations are tribes or families or people. He simply does not. Even Jesus confronts those who would make Him such a judge or mediator. “Someone in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ But he said to him, ‘Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?’” [Luke 12:13-14 ESV]. Having peace with God is primary. Jesus will not be manipulated into choosing sides. He came to bring peace between people and their God which would result in peace between people.

A true peacemaker is not someone who seeks to mediate peace, or resolve conflict between two people. Instead, they seek to lead a person to a place where they have peace with God. But first, they must know intimately what it means to have peace with God. Having peace with God never guarantees cessation of disagreement, anger, conflict or war between peoples. In fact, when someone has peace with God there is a greater probability they will not have peace with those who surround them.

In the world a peacemaker is one who seeks compromise. With God there is no place for compromise. Peace with God means release from the consequences of sin by the sacrifice of His Son on the cross. He did not compromise this act, nor did Jesus accept a compromise. Instead, He fulfilled all of the requirements of the eternal law of God. He, sinless God, suffered the judgment of our sin, releasing those who are His from the eternal consequences of separation from Him. In the place of sin He gave Christ’s righteousness, an unfair but just exchange.

Peacemakers do not try to smooth over a person’s feelings about sin but force them to confront the reality of sin. They hold up the mirror of truth so the person will see they are separated from God because of their rebellion against Him. God uses His sons to convince those He is calling of their spiritual poverty and bring them to the breaking point where they mourn deeply over what sin has done to them. To the world, to the individuals captured by the world, true peacemakers are seen as hateful and unloving. Theirs’ is a tough love which cares more for a righteous relationship with God than an unrighteous and unholy relationship in the world. Peacemakers are used by God to break the will, not the spirit, of the one under conviction. They cannot do for anyone what only God does, but they are used by God, an instrument in His hand to cause the recognition of sin, the realization of its consequences, and ultimately the relinquishing of control back to God.

Then begins a process which culminates in the person called becoming a peacemaker themselves. Once the will is submitted to God (His strength in me under His control) there comes a hungering and thirsting for the righteousness given by God through the sacrifice of His Son. God has changed the person, making them new. Now He begins fitting them for eternity while using them as a witness for Him to others in the world. The thinking and desires of their hearts are turned toward God and His righteousness.

They begin to love God and those around them. God actively showed them love through His mercy and now they actively love others by showing God’s mercy. Never will those who truly love God and others excuse sin. They cannot because of the way God has eternally changed them. God purges sin making pure those who will be eternally in His presence, for only the pure in heart will see God. Only the pure in heart are able to love God purely. God loves us. He enables us to love Him. God uses us to show His love to those in the world regardless of whether they love Him or not. Some of those in the world are drawn to the God of love and changed into the likeness of His Son.

There are those who rebel against God though all of the evidence of His love for them is apparent. They hate Him and even if they were eyewitnesses to Jesus rising from death they would not believe. God leaves those who are His within the world for two reasons. He is preparing us for eternity and we are His witnesses to the world. It is not always the task of a witness to convince others of truth but to proclaim truth no matter the circumstance. We may stand surrounded by those who are His enemies, and ours, and live truth with full assurance God sees and works His will. We may physically die for Him because of truth but will live for eternity in His presence. Though the world hate us because of Him we show our love for Him by living truth.

God does not work on parts of people. He changes the whole person, conforming them to the likeness of His Son, fitting the whole person for eternity with Him. These seven verses are a description of the whole person of God.

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
  • Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
  • Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
  • Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. [Matthew 5:3-9 ESV]

God does all of this in the person. None of it is done by the person themselves. Remember, obedience is not meritorious but commanded and expected. God created man, and recreated those who are His, for obedience and love. Where there is rebellion there is judgment or discipline. Where there is obedience there is peace, true, abiding, eternal peace with God. This is a peace the world cannot take away.

Martha and Mary, Sides of Peace

It is not just the dangerous and deadly which steals peace from those who belong to God. Our desperate and demanding personalities also take peace from those who are His. When we focus our attention and energy upon that which has no eternal value to the exclusion of that which does, we become agitated at the unexpected results. This does not mean all we do in this world is unnecessary or unprofitable. But the evidence of our actions and attitudes comes through in the focus of our activities.

It is a classic story in Scripture. Martha is preparing her home for many who have come. Jesus is there and Mary sits at His feet, intently listening to His words while her sister worked to provide hospitality to Him and all with Him.

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching” [Luke 10:38-39 ESV].

Jesus never traveled alone. There were many mouths to feed and beds to make and dishes to clean and much work to do for all those who followed Him. I do not know if she envied her sister or simply thought her lazy. While Mary sat, she worked, showing herself responsible, a true servant, caring for the needs of her guests. To her Mary cared nothing for her guests or for her sister. Her actions were done from love while Mary’s were self-serving and unloving. Jesus, the One who taught love and serving others would see her position once she pointed it out. “But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me” [Luke 10:40 ESV].

Jesus didn’t take her side. This may be one of the more startling revelations when they stand before Him, for those who live torn by their own desires, wills and expectations of others. Jesus didn’t take their side. Our eyes are so accustomed to seeing only what we are doing, even when it is the Lord’s will, that we cannot see Him who willed it.

Look at Joshua.

When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you for us, or for our adversaries?’ And he said, ‘No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.’” [Joshua 5:13-14 ESV]

God was for Joshua and Israel. But that is not how He responded. “Don’t assume I’m for you and against them. I am God. Either you are for ME or against ME.” God doesn’t take sides in worldly arguments and disagreements.

But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.” [Luke 10:41-42 ESV]

Evidence of self-focus shouts through our emotions and countenance for all to see. We cannot hide the thinking of our hearts for long. All will see. God sees. Martha’s thoughts were upon herself and the work she was doing for them. Her emotions became turbulent the harder she worked to the point her work was for herself and not them. Her expectations took precedent over the One in her home.

Jesus sees what is happening. He, knowing He is going to Jerusalem to die and rise for her sins, and then ascend to His place in eternity, where she will join Him, gives Mary direction to continue listening. Jesus doesn’t want to eat the food Martha gives but to give her the food He offers. He is God, the Servant, and they are His servants to do His will.

Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her. [Luke 10:42 ESV]

Mary was at peace with her Lord and Savior, absorbed by His words and teaching. She hungered and thirsted for what He was saying. None of her attention was focused upon herself. All was focused upon Him. Eventually she might have recognized her physical hunger and thirst, but not now. How easily do the expectations of those around control our devotion to Him who owns us. How readily we relinquish His peace for the turmoil of the world. We do so to our detriment.