THE WELCOME VISITOR: Part 1 of 2
by John Lowe
"And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary, her sister, secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him. The Jews which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died."
It seems that Martha had heard that Jesus was coming, and Mary had not. And so Martha got up quickly and went to meet Jesus, while Mary stayed in the house. Martha may have heard of the Lord and seen the Lord prior to this meeting; and Mary, since she hadn’t heard He was coming might have missed the privilege of fellowshipping with Jesus. But, can anyone say that Martha was better than Mary, or that Jesus loved one more than the other? The love of Jesus is not given to us according to our circumstances or achievements. He loves us regardless of those things. Jesus loved Martha, and Mary, and Lazarus. He has his sheep and He loves them all, and they must not judge His love by what they feel, or measure His love by their need to be loved by Him. There are only two parts to today’s message: a visit from the Master, and a visit to the Master.
A VISIT FROM THE MASTER.
Martha came and said to Mary, "The Master is come and calleth for thee." I want to assure anyone who might want to have fellowship with Jesus, but who at the present time are without that fellowship, that "Jesus is here! The Savior is here! The Master is here!" He is here, since He is used to being where his Word is preached sincerely and truthfully. He is accustomed to being wherever his Christians are gathered together in his name. We have his own word for it--"Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
We have come in His name, and to worship Him, and to preach His gospel; and the Master is here. We are sure He is here, because He always keeps his word. We are sure He is here, because some of us feel his presence. If Mary had said to Martha, “How do you know that the Master is here? She would have answered, "Why I have spoken with him, and he has spoken to me." Well, there are some of us who can say, "He has spoken to me." Didn’t we hear him speaking when we were singing that hymn a few minutes ago? I did, even if no one else heard Him, so I can bear witness to anyone desiring His company, "The Master is here."
The Lord was at Bethany, although Mary didn’t have an inkling He was there. She just sat there crying her eyes out because her brother was in the grave. Nevertheless, Jesus was there despite all that. Make up your own mind and believe "The Master is come"; the Master is here; even if you have some personal problems on your mind that are depressing you, or you don’t feel well, or you don’t feel close to God.
His being here has nothing to do with you. Mary just sets there and heaves a sigh, and says, "If only Christ had been here! Oh! If only Christ would come!" And there He was! And perhaps you feel like saying, "Oh! I wish he were near me!" He is near you, now. You don’t need to wish that He is near you; because He is.
The two disciples walking along the Emmaus Road, talked with Jesus, but they didn’t recognize Him. They mourned His death, and they had lost their joy. Later, as He ate with them, He opened their eyes so they knew Him, and then they rushed off to share the good news with the others. Oh, how I wish He would open the eyes and the hearts of all those who don’t know Him as their Savior. If He would speak even one word personally to you, you would answer joyfully and you would be sure the Master is here, even though you have not seen Him. That word "The Master" has a sweet ring about it. He is the Master. What are your cares? He can relieve them. What are your troubles? He can overcome them, and sweep them out of the way. The Master has come.
Doesn’t it say in the Bible, "Cast thy burden on the Lord: he will sustain thee." He is even hell's Master. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by temptations sent by the devil? The Master has come. And He is not an inexperienced servant, but instead, He is the royal Master himself. The Master is come. Yet, if your heart seems as cold as a stone and your spirit is down in the dumps? The Master has come, and his presence can thaw the ice, dissolve the rock, and bring you all the blessings of heaven that your soul can possibly want. "The Master is come." Doesn’t that touch your soul and fill you with delight?
And whose Master is he; He is your own? And what a Master He is! He is not like a slave master, who holds on to his property by force; instead, he binds you with the bonds of love, and draws you with His Spirit. He is indeed the Master! He is the Master of My soul; and the Master whose scepter was a reed, which he carried in his hand when the Jews made fun of Him; and the Master whose crown is the crown of thorns which he wore for your sins when they nailed Him to the Cross. He is your Master.
He is Master in that same sense as a loving husband is the master of the house. Love makes him supreme, for he is Master of love, and, therefore, Master of our loving hearts. Why, if nothing else could stir us up to get up and run to meet him, it should be the sound of that blessed word, "The Master is here: the Master has come." But Martha added, “He calleth for thee." "But is that really true?" someone asks, "Does He call for me?" Dear friends, I know He does, because when he comes into a congregation he calls for all his own. I know He does, because love always delights in having fellowship with the object that is loved. Jesus loved you before the earth was created. His joy came from His dear children from the beginning. He loved you so much that he couldn’t stay in heaven without you, and he came here to seek you and to save you. And now it’s his heart’s joy to be near you. He said, "Let me hear thy voice; let me see thy face: for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely."
I tell you it is heaven for Jesus to hear the voices of his people. That’s why He left heaven, so that he might give them voices with which to praise Him. Do you think he could love you so much, and still live without you? No way! He calls for you. What is the Bible, if it isn’t a call to His own to come to him? What’s so special about Sunday, if it isn’t a call to come away from the noise and turmoil of the city, and come into the church, where His sheep are fed? What is the Lord's Supper, except another call to you to "Come unto me"? The Master is here, and calleth for thee--for each one of you.
Mary may have said, "I want to go to Him, but my eyes are bleary with weeping." He calls for those who are red-eyed from tears of sorrow. Mary may have said, "But my heart is heavy, because my brother died." Jesus calls to those who are burdened and suffer. Someone may say, “I have forgotten Him all week.” But, He hasn’t forgotten you, and “He calls for you.” There are some who must say, “But I have denied him." That’s what Peter said, and then He told the women, "Go, and tell my disciples, and Peter"?
He called for Peter so He could forgive him again, and say to him, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?"
I don’t care who you are, if you are one of his, the Master is come and calleth for thee.
Listen to this conversation. "Fair enough,” one says, "But no Christian has spoken to me for a long time." “But Jesus is calling you.” "But I feel so lonely, even though there are people all around me, and even though I know Jesus, I do not know any of His people." Never mind His people: "The Master is come, and calleth for thee."
I think I am one of His, but I must be at the very tail-end of the line, and the least of all His children."
“He calleth for thee--for thee.” I pray that the Lord’s Words will come home to us, and that we will feel like saying, "If he calls for me, I will not hold back any longer.
Is the Master here now Are you ready for him? Is the Master calling you? I pray that you will answer Him: “Come, Master, the door to my heart is wide open. Come and sit on the throne of my heart. Enter into me, and make this a glad time of intimate fellowship between my soul and her Lord.”
Now, we have arrived at the second part of the message. Let’s talk for a while about--
A VISIT TO THE MASTER
We never come to Christ until Christ comes to us. Jesus says, "Draw me: I will run after thee." That is the order it’s in, isn’t it? "No one will come to the Lord, unless He first draws them. When we are praying to be drawn closer to the Lord, we are being drawn at the same time. Notice how Mary responded to the Lord’s visit. She got up quickly.
Ask yourself, "Has the Lord called for me? Then, why should I hang around for a single moment? I will get up immediately, and I will say, 'My Lord, I have come to you. You called me, and here I am.'" But Mary couldn’t shake-off the deep sorrow that filled her heart. Mary's dear brother was only recently laid in the tomb, but she rose up quickly to go and meet her Master.
Dear mother, forget for a few minutes that dear, unmarried child still in the house. Forget for a moment, dear husband, that sick wife of yours who fills your heart with worry. Forget, dear friends, all that you have suffered, all that you expect to suffer, and all that you have lost or may be losing. The Master is come, and calleth for thee. Get up quickly. Don’t let anything stop you, but get up now, and by His grace come away from those things that hinder you.