”Mary anoints Jesus' feet”
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, Oh Lord, Our King, Our Strength and Our Redeemer!
A WARM WELCOME TO ALL!
At this time in our progress through Lent the gospel message centres on the grace filled giving of a young woman, Mary.
Mary was the one who in an earlier incident also in her house, sat at the feet of this teacher Jesus who treated women equally as with men.
Now, knowing that she was loved by Jesus, as were her brother Lazarus and her sister Martha, she reciprocated that love and anointed Jesus' feet with perfumed oil, and then wiped them with her hair !
This was a truly extravagant gift of Nard worth about a year's wages. Some say this would probably have represented her whole dowry! And Mary gave this to Jesus, ahead of His burial,as Jesus later said.
It's interesting that the ladies in Jesus' entourage seemed to 'get' what He said about His death and resurrection while the men were almost clueless!
As in the earlier incident that I mentioned when Mary sat at Jesus' feet to learn from the Master, Mary is once more misunderstood! This time it's Judas who considers that she should have sold the perfume and given the money to the poor!
According to the writer, under inspiration, Judas was thinking that as the Treasurer of the group he could have taken a cut for himself! Now I'm sure that some money would have gone to the poor but it seems Judas was the type of treasurer who thought God wasn't looking, and in any case God had enough to spare some for him!
Judas missed two things. God loves a cheerful giver and will open the windows of heaven for them. And, secondly, God says in Malachi 3:8 that those who rob God are under a curse.
God talks there of tithes and offerings but the principle surely applies to any area in which someone robs God.
Part of this curse in the case of Judas is that he was blinded to the imminence of Jesus' death and resurrection on his behalf. He also could not see that man's efforts at changing the world have little effect when they leave God out of the picture and try to do it in their own strength!
Now, if you remember back to the beginning of the gospel passage, Mary, Martha and Lazarus were throwing a dinner party for Jesus. They were thankful for Him raising Lazarus from the dead.
So part of Mary's thinking may have been that in thankfulness she wanted to lavish this gift on Jesus. It was nothing compared to the life of Lazarus, her brother, and the spiritual lesson that she learned from that incident was also priceless.
She had learned that Jesus is the “Resurrection and the Life”, not just at the end of the age, but right here, right now!
Brothers, and sisters, let's learn what Mary learned and let it sink into our hearts as we build our relationship with Jesus!
Are we drawing close to Jesus in love so that we also are beginning to realise that through His power in us, we would be able to, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons, and even raise the dead”?
Because Jesus is the “resurrection and the life”, and He lives in us, the power for resurrection and life is in us. But have we the faith to release it?... In other words when we pray we should not be “wishing and a'hoping”, but rather we should be “believing and expecting”!
All this may have been in Mary's mind as she anointed Jesus' feet with that expensive perfume.
She knew that you cannot out-give God!
She knew how much God loved her!
She appears to have known that Jesus would soon die for her sins and the sins of the world. As John the baptiser had said, “Behold the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world.
She also knew that the only Godly response to all of that was to love God in return. We love because He loved us first.
As we learn what Mary learned, we will be able to “Seek first the kingdom of God”, knowing that, “All other things will be added to us!”
As Christians we are heirs of Abraham. He did not always get things right, but through his faith in God he was counted as righteous.
We have that same standing with God when we live by faith in Jesus, and rely on the holy spirit, to be witnesses for God...
Why do we put faith God?- Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We know, and know that we know, that God exists. We know, and know that we know, He rewards those who seek Him.
We know that God is Pure, Holy, Righteous and Faithful. God is Love. God is Eternal and God keeps His word.
When you know that, then you love God and put faith in Him. Then you build a relationship with Him and become His friend like Abraham! …..and Mary!
When we grow to be like Him. Our word becomes trusted. We start looking to find good, not to find fault! We look to bless others, children and adults alike….. because we now love all people, and show this to children and adults alike. .…..
We cannot anoint Jesus' feet like Mary did, but when we do good to even the least of Jesus' loved ones, children or adults, we do it to Him! When we do wrong to even the least of Jesus' loved ones, we wrong Jesus. This is a serious point that we need to always consider, Watch our actions and words at all times!
This gospel shows the two opposing attitudes which we can have.
We can be like Judas who did not appreciate the spiritual, but lived out a carnal lifestyle, while hanging around with Jesus for what he could get…..
Or, we can be like Mary, who sat at Jesus' feet, learned from God's words- so we today must study The Manual, The Word of God, and when there is a need, God wants filled, like Mary we will be on hand and willing to do it, without complaining!
God has a plan for every one of us if we are willing to follow Jesus. Each person in the Church is UNIQUE. Christ is the Head and we are the Body (as well as the Bride) Always remember we are different, but must work in harmony as we put God FIRST in all we do.
Jeremiah 29:11 states:
The LORD declares….
“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
We love it, and rejoice, when His plan comes together!
In the midst of the turmoil of life, come to Jesus and like Mary give him the very best we have…...show Jesus what, no rather, who,
we hold most dear, and hear the Bridegroom's voice, say:
My brothers and sisters, let the peace of God which passes all understanding. infil and enfold you, for when you are at peace within, you reflect peace without, and everyone you meet will feel that peace. Let nothing disturb or distress you. Simply know that all is in God's hands, and all is very very well. Lift up your heart in deep love, praise, and gratitude, and go forth this day in peace!