Mary of Bethany Speaks- Lesson 1

Worthy Worship


Passover feast took place the night before Jesus was crucified.  To give Christians everywhere a vivid reminder of His suffering and death, Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper. He also revealed that one of his friends would betray him.   Only four days before this Jesus was at another meal during which Mary’s actions blessed Him so much that he announced she would be remembered every time the Gospel is proclaimed.  As we read the story of Jesus’ death, it would be good to consider how Mary acknowledged Jesus with a beautiful expression of love—worship that was worthy.

I.  One thing. Luke 10:38—42; John 11:1—46

How can we offer worship that is worthy of One who suffered and died for us on that dark day?  To understand the background we will return to Martha’s story, but this time we will appreciate Mary’s part. There was a connection between Jesus and Mary of Bethany, but it is the same connection that we can also have with our Lord, the worship connection.

Our first introduction to Mary in Luke 10 gives us clues about her heart of worship.  Fill in the blanks to discover them:

“(Martha)…had a sister called Mary, who ______________ at the Lord’s feet, ____________________ to what he said” Luke 10:39.

Jesus said “… only _________  _______________ is needed.  Mary has _________________ what is better and it will not be taken away from her”  Luke 10:42.

  1. What is the attitude of heart when one sits at the feet of another?
  1. What does “listening” mean to you? How might the heart be involved?

(The Greek word used here is akouo.  It is translated as hear, listen, understand, listen and respond.)

From John 11 the story of the raising of Lazarus, give us more insights into Mary’s heart of worship.

  1. What was Mary’s response when she heard that Jesus was asking for her? (v. 32)
  1. What do you think her words imply: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died”?
  1. Read John 11:38-44, and put yourself in Mary’s place. Remember that Mary had taken the time to listen attentively to Jesus’ teaching in the past. Mary had heard Jesus’ and Martha’s conversation at Lazarus’ tomb. What would the raising of Lazarus from the dead have confirmed about Jesus?

Jesus had wept with Martha and Mary.  They knew he loved them and was moved by their sorrow.  They would have had great gratitude and joy when they saw their brother walk out of the grave.  But Mary surely pondered over Jesus’ words and the miracle they had just experienced.  She knew he had been speaking about his own death; now she saw that he had power over death.  The experience surely removed all doubts about who Jesus was,