Mary was one. While there was a ton of stuff to do to get things ready for hosting Jesus & Company at her and her sister’s place, she sat at the Savior’s feet. Martha was anxious and troubled about many things, but Mary new that only one thing was necessary (Luke 10:41-42). And so she neglected what was good for what was better. She was a “one thing” person.
So was the man born blind in John 9. Those around him were distracted debating if he really was the same guy as the guy born blind, or if, in fact, he really was ever blind at all. Others, who conceded that fact, wanted an explanation of how he was made to see, an explanation that didn’t involve Jesus. And so, they pressed him to give glory to God and come up with some other hypothesis of what had happened. But he couldn’t be swayed from what he knew to be true, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” The blind man who could see was also a “one thing” person.
And what about Paul? Sure he had met the risen Christ on the road to Damascus–that encounter of the divine kind redirecting his life 180 degrees. And yeah, he had been told that he would have to suffer much for Christ. But, at some point, you wouldn’t blame him if he thought that he’d suffered enough and might have been tempted to reprogram his internal GPS from Rocky Road towards Easy Street. But he didn’t. Instead he never wavered from fighting the good fight and running the race, never thinking he had fought enough or run enough to win, never giving in to the temptation to tap out. How come? Let Paul speak for himself: “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Php. 3:13b – 14). Another “one thing” person.
And it was David who got me thinking about “one thing” people this morning.
One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in His temple.
(Psalm 27:4 ESV)
If I’m recalling things correctly, it seems to me that rarely, if ever, did David deal with his enemies from inside Jerusalem. Whether it was Saul or Absalom or others who stood opposed to him, their opposition invariably resulted in his expatriation. Whether it was fleeing in a field, or hiding in a cave, or fighting on a battlefield, some of David’s darkest and most desperate trials were encountered away from the holy hill. And even when evildoers assailed him and his adversaries and foes would have his flesh as food, when armies encamped about him and war arose against him, there was always one thing he asked of the Lord, one think he would seek after, to get back to the house.
Not his house where his family dwelt. Nor back to the courts of power. Not even back to his esteemed position, his material wealth, and the life of ease. But David’s heart, even in the midst of great trial and oppression, was set on seeking the house of the LORD.
The presence of God being the only place he wanted to dwell. To gaze upon the beauty of holiness the only thing he wanted to see. To have restored divine communion and to inquire in His temple, the only thing he wanted again to experience.
There’s something about “one thing” people. Something inspirational. Something motivational. But I’m also reminded that it’s not because of who they are, but because they reflect something of the One they seek.
Consequently, when Christ came into the world, He said, “Sacrifices and offerings You have not desired, but a body have You prepared for Me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings You have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God . . .'”
(Hebrews 10:5-7a ESV)
Jesus too was a “one thing” person. Come to do the will of the Father. To give His life as a ransom for many. To redeem for Himself a people. To re-image them in His own likeness. To reserve for them a place in glory. That that they too might be “one thing” people.
By His grace. For His glory.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!