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as our perspective becomes more like Jesus’ … the things causing anxiety seem to SHIFT into the background

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Read Matthew 6:25-34

When my wife and I first got married, we had friends and family over for meals and fellowship. It didn’t matter who was coming, but as arrival time approached, I would start to get anxious. This anxiety led to questions about how much food we had and whether it would be enough. My wife, bless her heart, would always reassure me we had enough, and we always did. The anxiety I felt in those moments is what I imagine Martha feeling as Jesus arrives.

Martha welcomes Jesus into their home and goes about getting things ready for the meal. Maybe the group was larger than she imagined. The phrase “distracted with much serving” describes what Martha was doing as well as her focus. Her anxiety seems almost palpable as she asks Jesus to intervene with Mary, sitting at his feet. In this moment, Mary and Martha are at complete ends of the anxiety spectrum. It’s possible Martha could hear what Jesus was saying, but, as we’ve all experienced, listening to something in a calm state is better for understanding than listening while we’re “distracted with much serving.”

In Matthew 6:25-34, the words of Jesus speak directly to our anxieties. Our perspective on things happening in life are key. While these words might appear foolish, understanding them from the perspective of Jesus is important. Just as Jesus softly rebukes Martha for her bustling around, Jesus is addressing our focus here. He urges our perspective to be on the Kingdom of God, not the temporary trappings of life, or even what’s to happen tomorrow. While there are things in life needing to be done today – such as serving a guest, paying a bill, or going to work – our focus needs to be the Kingdom of Jesus. All else is secondary. Many times as our perspective becomes more like Jesus’ and we move our focus to what’s truly important, his Kingdom, the things causing anxiety seem to shift into the background.

Reflection and Response

What is causing you anxiety today? What new perspective does Jesus offer you when you come to him with your anxiety? How do you think Jesus might approach your situation?

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By Rich Obrecht 

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