Please find a quiet place to clear your thoughts. As we read these verses, ask for the Holy Spirit to rid your mind of busyness, doubt, fear, worry, etc… Let God’s truth speak to your heart! John 12:1-8
The Message (MSG)
12 1-3 Six days before Passover, Jesus entered Bethany where Lazarus, so recently raised from the dead, was living. Lazarus and his sisters invited Jesus to dinner at their home. Martha served. Lazarus was one of those sitting at the table with them. Mary came in with a jar of very expensive aromatic oils, anointed and massaged Jesus’ feet, and then wiped them with her hair. The fragrance of the oils filled the house.
4-6 Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples, even then getting ready to betray him, said, “Why wasn’t this oil sold and the money given to the poor? It would have easily brought three hundred silver pieces.” He said this not because he cared two cents about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of their common funds, but also embezzled them.
7-8 Jesus said, “Let her alone. She’s anticipating and honoring the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you. You don’t always have me.”
I think it's so cool that the disciples decided that including women in their writings about Jesus was important. Women back then had very little authority, and no legal or social standing. The very fact that we get to hear about Mary and Martha is remarkable.
I identify with Martha. I don't know why, except that she seems to come from a perspective that I can really relate to. I naturally gravitate towards order, serving (preferably in the background), you know, getting things done. I envy the Marys of this world. I used to think they could go straight to the heart of worship without worrying about the "shoulds" that needed to be accomplished first. After thinking about this over time, I've begun realize the "Marys" just have their priorities straight - so simple! Mary, thankful for Jesus bringing her brother back from the dead, knew the FIRST thing she needed to do was worship Jesus - not make sure he had a nice drink, or food to eat. And it was extravagant worship – she used the expensive ointment imported from India that was most likely reserved for use after Jesus died. By this act, she unleashed her joy and demonstrated her faith that Jesus WAS who he said he was, the Son of God.
When Judas protested, Jesus did what he always did – he was gracious, loving, and defended Mary’s actions – “Leave her alone”. He declared that her intentions were good and right.
Dear God, please make me more like Mary; less conscious of the “to do” list, and more conscious of the gracious, loving, way I should act towards your people. Help me to always love you and your people first, and the things of this world last. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.