Hast thou heard Him, seen Him, known Him?
Is not thine a captured heart?
Chief among ten thousand own Him;
Joyful choose the better part.

Consider the striking contrast between the village of Bethany and the holy city of Jerusalem during the time of Jesus.

It’s like comparing the corner grocery store to the Super Mall.

The population of Bethany couldn’t have been more than four hundred people. A scant two miles away, Jerusalem had a population of fifty to sixty thousand. During the religious festivals, the population of the holy city could reach up to the hundreds of thousands.

Compare the two locations in your mind.
Jerusalem—the holy city of David contained intoxicating crowds, formed the center of Israel’s worship, and featured a fully robed priesthood. The city was fast-paced, throbbing, exciting, restless, and hectic. Jerusalem also boasted the presence of the great temple, clothed in stunning gold.

Within walking distance, almost in the shadow of the temple walls, was the lowly town of Bethany—obscure, unknown, modest.

In which of these two places did the God of the universe feel at home?

The tiny village of Bethany.

This example screams that God is more concerned with quality than with quantity. It shouts that He’s more concerned with reality than with flash. It thunders that He’s more concerned with authentic hearts than with what’s outwardly impressive.

Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, was bitterly rejected by the world. But He was gladly received in Bethany.

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.

Thank God for Martha. She received the Lord Jesus into her home. She welcomed Him into her family.

This leads to a significant question. What does it mean to properly receive the Lord Jesus in our day?

Excerpted from God’s Favorite Place on Earth by Frank Viola Author

See also Frank’s podcast