Mary of Bethany Speaks

Worthy Worship-  John 12:1-11

brown-hair-female-girl-1159334Mary grimaced momentarily when I asked her about her relationship with her sister, Martha.   She touched her forehead, looking downward as she replied, “Martha is my sister, my best friend.  Usually I am right beside her.  She has a heart of gold, and I am almost embarrassed when someone mentions that meal. Usually I would have been right with her, scurrying around to get everything done.  But that night was…different. I could not bear to miss a word Jesus said.  His teachings filled me with hope and joy in God.”

“He and his disciples had been in our home several times.  Any time they were near I did my best to hear his teaching.  We had witnessed his miracles…Martha, our brother Lazarus, and I.  He was amazing.  And it was not ‘hero worship’ either.  I listened carefully; I knew that he claimed to be the Son of God.  I believed Him, and I realized that the things he said were from the scriptures, just like the priests and teachers of the law.  However, He was explaining the teachings in a way that made them real.  I could really understand what God wants.

“When Lazarus became ill, we sent word for him to come because we knew he could heal him, but there was a delay.  Lazarus was already in his tomb by the time Jesus arrived at our home.  When I heard he had finally come, a deep peace settled over me.  I knew that no matter what happened, Jesus would help us. When he asked for me, I went to him and I said, ‘If you had been here, Lazarus would not have died,’.  It was not a condemnation;  it was a fact. I knew life and death were in God’s hands.  If Jesus had not healed him, there was a reason.  I had already accepted that.”

“That last week before Passover, I realized that he was heading back to Jerusalem, and I feared for him.  He had said that he would would have to die. The Jewish leaders despised him because they were weak and their actions contradicted everything they said. They were plotting to kill him and I couldn’t bear the thought.”

“When Jesus and his friends were dining at Simon’s home, I thought of a way to show him honor.  I wanted him to know that I understood what was happening, that soon they would murder him.  So I took an ointment of nard like the one we used when we buried Lazarus, and I anointed his feet.  I knew he was the Lord, and he deserved worship, not assaults.  I was weeping so hard that I had to wipe my tears with my hair.”

“Some in that room had no idea what I was doing.  They had come to Jesus for their own gain, or out of curiosity.  My actions even confused his disciples.  But Jesus was not confused.  He knew my heart, and he understood why I worshiped him.  He is God and he is worthy to receive thanksgiving and praise and glory and honor.