But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41-42
One thing is necessary.
That's the kind of statement which does not allow much wiggle room. Not so long ago I heard a story about "one thing being needful." The tale begins in the late 1800s when two steamboats left Memphis at just about the same time.
It didn't take too long before one captain flung out a challenge. That challenge was picked up by the commander of the other ship and, in an instant, a race had started. The competition was cutthroat as the two ships spewed smoke and sparks into the sky, as they steamed into the South.
After a while, one boat began to lag behind.
They had laid in enough coal for the trip, but hardly enough to carry on and complete a race. It was then that a smart sailor discovered the ship's cargo burned as strongly as did the coal. With eagerness, the crew carried crate after crate of cargo and chucked it into the fire.
They wound up winning the race, but they finished the race without their cargo.
That my friends, is not the way you want to finish your life.
You do not want to list your last day on earth counting a great many temporal victories, but failing to have the One Person who is needful. You do not want to say, "I know judges, jurists and statesmen, millionaires, billionaires, leaders of labor, and industry's influential, but I have never truly been able to count Jesus as my Friend and Savior."
You do not want to face the last day of your life without Jesus who is the One Person who is needful. Jesus is needful because, with Him, we are able to say, "Death is not the end. Because of Jesus -- the Christ, the Son of the living God -- I know the grave has been conquered, and there is a reunion in heaven with all who believe."
Why is Jesus the One Person who is needful?
It is because only with Jesus can you say, "I am saved." Only with Jesus can you be sure of joining the unending reunion in heaven. In short, with Jesus you have everything you need, and without Him ... you have nothing.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks Jesus has come to seek and save the lost, including me. For Holy Spirit-given faith I praise Your Name and look forward to the time when I shall see my Redeemer's face. Until then, I place myself into His hands. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries