Today’s read included John 12:1-8, where Mary anoints the feet of Jesus, just one week before His death. Reading this passage brought to mind words from a devotional I wrote previously, so I’m sharing it today.
The story of Mary’s extravagant gift is a familiar one to most of us. In this brief passage, John focuses on her actions and the selfish reaction of Judas as the central teaching. But in focusing only on Mary, we might miss the simple beauty of what was taking place as Jesus ate supper with His friends.
Lazarus…a new man in all respects! Just one chapter prior we read that he had fallen ill, died, was buried, and then brought back to life by Jesus. Sit down next to Lazarus and imagine the conversation he was enjoying with Jesus. It’s not far-fetched to think that he had met Abraham, Moses, David, and Elijah (just to name a few) while waiting in Paradise (Luke 16) until Jesus called him back to this world! Lazarus would be perfectly at peace, completely secure in the knowledge that Jesus was who He claimed to be. Time was no longer important to Lazarus as he now knew that eternal life was one breath away, just a door to walk through.
Lazarus worshipped Jesus…as he reclined next to Him, sharing a simple meal and conversation.
Martha…busy as ever serving the meal. She’d cried as Lazarus was buried, expressed her frustration and impatience with Jesus’ delay. She was Type A, a fixer. Yet as she served Jesus this meal, there was quiet confidence and assurance. She wasn’t rushed or overwhelmed, sensing that her time with Jesus was drawing to a close. She rested in what she could offer Jesus, no longer concerned about Mary’s role. The meal was an offering, a tangible gift that she could set before her Creator to show her love and devotion.
Martha worshipped Jesus… as she embraced her gifts and used them to meet a practical need.
And Mary…always the one at the feet of Jesus. Devoted. Passionate. From the very beginning, she seemed to know that Jesus was the Messiah, and her role was simply to worship and to learn. As she realized the end of this extraordinary earthly friendship was ending, she took the most valuable possession she owned and poured it out on Him. Can you sense the room grow quiet as the fragrance filled the room? Can you see the heads turning to see her act of devotion? Can you hear her weeping quietly?
Mary worshipped Jesus…as she shared her most valuable possession to demonstrate her love and devotion.
Lazarus worshipped by spending time with Jesus.
Martha worshipped by serving Jesus.
Mary worshipped by sacrificing for Jesus.
How do you worship Jesus? Each one of us, if we have placed our faith in Jesus, has a different relationship with Him. He has met us at our point of need and assured our hearts that He is the Messiah, the promised One, our salvation.
Reflect on how He has touched your heart and changed you. You were created for intimacy with Him, to serve Him, to love Him, to spend time with Him. Whatever that looks like for you, however He has made you to worship Him, enjoy that today. Worship Him.
(Excerpt from 40 Days Of Spiritual Awareness)