Mary is the focus of our study today. We can read about her in the gospel accounts of Luke 10:38-42 and John 11-12.
When I think about Mary and Martha, the story of Mary choosing the good part comes to the forefront of my mind. Mary received the approval of Jesus when she chose to sit at His feet and listen to Him. ‘Now as they went on their way, he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving; and she came up to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister did leave me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. But the Lord answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art anxious and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: for Mary hath chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.’ Luke 10:38-42
Obviously Mary desired to relish in this moment with Jesus. She took the opportunity of being in His presence and chose to be still. She did not let the worries of the world to overtake her and distract from this most important moment. Obviously, she chose wisely to obtain the approval of the Christ.
This story provides a great reminder to take those moments to be still and commune with God. Worldly activities should not distract us from spending time with God, teaching God’s word, or showing God’s love to others.
Certainly work must get done, but Mary obviously understood that the more important thing was to be present with Jesus. She understood that this time with Him was precious.
Making a point to stop and be in the moment with others sometimes can be a difficult thing, especially in the time of worldly distractions at our fingertips. The way of the world today gives us the opportunity to work and play 24 hours a day. We need to make sure and put away the distractions and take those priceless moments with others and especially with our Lord.
Mary exemplifies a ‘women of faith’ not only because of her attention to the good part told in Luke 10, but we read in John 11 how she and Martha call for Jesus to come when their brother Lazarus was sick. “Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, of the village of Mary and her sister Martha. And it was that Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. The sisters therefore sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.” John 11:1-43
Again, Mary reveals her strong faith in Jesus. She fully understood the power ofJesus Christ. “Mary therefore, when she came where Jesus was, and saw him, fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” John 11:32. Both Martha and Mary verbalized their grief to the Lord about Lazarus’ passing, and we also read both sisters reproached Jesus for not coming sooner. Of course, we know the whole story, but Martha and Mary living in that moment were not privy to that. We understand Jesus took this opportunity to further God’s kingdom. “But when Jesus heard it, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified thereby.” John 11:4
After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, Mary continued to show her appreciation for Jesus. Through John’s account we read yet again how Jesus defended Mary’s actions. This time Judas Iscariot criticized Mary’s extravagant use of an expensive oil to anoint the Lord. But Jesus knowing the heart of Judas does not allow him to condemn this action. Instead, he corrected Judas and reminded the group that His stay on earth was momentary. “Jesus therefore six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus raised from the dead. So they made him a supper there: and Martha served; but Lazarus was one of them that sat at meat with him. Mary therefore took a pound of ointment of pure nard, very precious, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples, that should betray him, saith, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred shillings, and given to the poor? Now this he said, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the bag took away what was put therein. Jesus therefore said, Suffer her to keep it against the day of my burying. For the poor ye have always with you; but me ye have not always.” John 11:1-8
Mary epitomizes a ‘woman of faith’. Jesus commended her actions more than once. She understood that Jesus gives life and she delighted in His presence. You could definitely describe Mary as a woman who had her priorities in order.
Until next time