Luke 10:21-24, 38-42
Luke often says of someone that they are blessed (literally ‘happy in life experiencing God’s favor’). Usually it is because a person has come to know God through Jesus. This is one of the reasons why in contrast to Martha Jesus commends Mary who sits at his feet listening to his words. Notice also that Martha is anxious and troubled about many things while Mary experiences the good portion. This it is Mary rather than Martha who experiences happiness in life as she chooses Jesus’ words over the affairs of the world.
It’s something to realize that in this passage Jesus experiences joy in the Holy Spirit when he contemplates people coming to faith – people like us! Who would think that your personal salvation evokes a joyful emotion from Jesus as he considers you? It reminds us of Zephaniah 3:17 –The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
How do we come to be people of faith? According to Jesus, we come to faith through the Father in kindness revealing the Son to us. The Father not only reveals the truth about the Son to us, but he hides this truth from others. Likewise, Jesus is the one who chooses to whom he will reveal the Father, while those to whom he does not do his work do not come to know the Father. This doctrine of predestination is difficult but consistent within the Scriptures. It would be good to have a future post on this topic. For the present though, the correct response is not to judge the validity of God’s actions but rather to share in the joy that the Father has revealed truth to us in the Son and the Son has chosen to reveal the Father to us – joy, awe and thanksgiving is the correct response!