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The Best Way To Learn

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

Martha had welcomed Jesus into her home in Bethany with her sister, Mary, and brother Lazarus. Hospitality abounded and Jesus freely spoke to them, no doubt, about the Kingdom of God. They all were eager to hear from the Master the words of truth.

Being the older sister and "in charge", Martha was distracted, getting a meal together so they could all eat, and was unable to concentrate on what Jesus was saying. Jesus set her straight as to what was more important-to eat dinner, or eat the word of God! See the Contemplation "Eating The Word".

Meanwhile, Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus with her head turned up, facing Him directly. She could hear and eat the words of life Jesus formed with His lips.

In one respect I can relate to this personally. I struggle daily with a hearing loss, which left me without physical hearing in one ear, and a modicum of hearing with an aid, in the other. I hear and understand best when I face the speaker directly with his voice speaking toward my hearing ear. At the same time, I can "read" the speaker's lips forming the words not heard clearly.

Another example in Scripture for "Sitting at one's feet" explains a close intense personal teaching by a noted teacher with a student. The Apostle Paul described his learning to be a Jew:

"I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers' law..."
(Acts 22:3)

So it is with all of us today. "Sitting at the feet of Jesus" means to be at a place of quiet and calm, our thoughts focused on Him, where we spend time allowing the Holy Spirit's presence to guide our prayers, Bible reading, worship. We listen to and love Jesus, learn, as we look fully into the face of our beloved Redeemer and Savior. Filled with His light and life, we cannot help but reflect His goodness to a world of darkness.

"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord."
(2 Corinthians 3:18)


Take away, oh Lord, those thoughts
which take me away from you.
Bring me back to the days
of Your joyful presence when
You spoke to me face to face.
I would question, and You answered.
I was but a child then
and learning at Your feet.
Take not away those precious memories.
Cause me again to sit before You:
to hear, to learn and to grow.

© Constance Vanides

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© Constance Vanides