Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village…
I. Our Saviour in the text speaks of true religion as ONE THING; and He appears thus to represent it in contradistinction to those many things which harassed and distracted the mind of Martha. True religion is something more than bearing the name of Christ, making an outward profession of religion, using with diligence the means of grace, supporting an external decency of conduct, or being kind and charitable to the poor. What is it? It is a conformity of heart and life to the will of God as made known to us in holy Scripture; or it is a compliance with it both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls. And in this view it is fitly represented as one thing. This one thing, however, consists of many parts — repentance, faith, holiness, &c.
II. Our Saviour in the text represents true religion as a NEEDFUL THING.
1. What He means is, that it is so much more needful than other things, that our chief care and attention should be directed to it; and that nothing else ought to be allowed for a moment to come in competition with it. Other things pertain to the body, and to the life that now is; whereas religion regards the soul, and the life which is to come. And as the soul is more precious than the body, and eternity more important than time, so is true religion infinitely more needful for us than every earthly blessing whatsoever.
2. Nor is true religion a blessing we need only occasionally. We want it at all times and in all circumstances, whether we are in prosperity or adversity, in sickness or in health, in trouble or in joy.
3. Nor will the time ever come when true religion will not be needful for us. It will be as needful for us in death as it is in life, as necessary in eternity as it is in time. It will then indeed, if possible, be unspeakably more needful for us than ever. Death and eternity will stamp on it a value and an importance of which we can now form but a faint conception.
III. It is still more. Our Saviour here represents it as a GOOD PART OR PORTION.
1. It insures a supply of our temporal wants. St. Paul tells us that it "is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is," no less than "of that which is to come."
2. True religion enriches us. It puts us in possession, not indeed of the unrighteous mammon, but of the true riches While those who have no religion are represented in Scripture as "poor, and blind, and naked, and ready to perish," those who have it are described as "possessing all things." It is expressly said to them, "All things are yours, and ye are Christ's."
3. True religion contributes in a most essential manner to our contentment and happiness.
IV. True religion is A LASTING PORTION. It is a "good part, which shall not be taken away from us." This cannot be said of any worldly portion. Our earthly possessions are only for a time, and that often .a very short time.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.