Friday, September 30, 2005

Mary of Bethany

. . . Or better known as Mary the Devotee. Get this - she's mentioned in Matthew 26, Mark 14, John 12, and possibly in Luke 7 if you think she's the "sinner woman."

Why? Because she poured out a costly perfume on Jesus, wept and wiped His feet with her hair. She shamelessly showed her devotion in front of all, even though they criticized her.

Jesus defended her before her accusers, "Leave her alone! Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her."

So, let's back up a chapter and peek into John 11. Jesus is on his way to raise Lazarus from the dead and John is setting us up for this great miracle. Mary has NOT yet anointed His feet with her perfume, but John writes:

"Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick."

I love it. John qualifies that Lazarus, the-dead-guy-raised-again, is Mary's brother! Not Mary, the-sister-of-the-guy raised from the dead. No, it's Lazarus, the brother of the girl who poured out perfume and wept over Jesus.

Mary's story was known to the church in Jerusalem. He knew that. John actually doesn't recount her story until the next chapter.

Amazing! You know what this means? Whole hearted devotion trumps being raised from the dead. Yep. That's what it means. Jesus didn't say Lazarus being raised from the dead would be preached around the whole world in memory of him. Nope. Mary's pure, heart felt devotion would be remembered.

Do we want to see people raised from the dead? Yep! Do we want to see blind eyes opened and the lame walking and demons cast out? Absolutely. But we cannot seek it without being whole heartedly devoted to the One who makes those things happen.

We want the do without the be. But I say Be! The do will come. Be, just be! Let's have a heart like Mary. The miracles will come.

3 comments:

Heather Diane Tipton said...

WOW

Joel Hayes said...

Great article Rach! Almost as good as the "gone fishing" one you did several months ago about Peter and his life view and what he thought and was feeling as Jesus told him to try the other side of the boat.

ValMarie said...

So good. I so needed to read this today. Something about this article just reverberated inside my spirit. Thanks for writing this.