“1Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
Reflecting on this picture of dinner in Lazarus’ home, there is a drastic difference in the characters that are present. First, there is Lazarus himself, whom was just recently raised from the dead by Jesus, along with his two sisters Martha and Mary. Martha is busy trying to prepare everything and make the house and dinner perfect for Jesus, worrying about everything, and Mary who is worshipping Jesus by cleaning his feet with expensive perfume and her own hair. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, is Judas, wanting to appear just and moral, even though he was to betray Jesus.
Who do you most align with in this scene? Lazarus, simply happy to be alive? Martha, hustling and worrying about everything? Judas, wanting to appear to do the right thing? Or Mary, dutifully worshipping at the Lord’s feet? I find that I have a lot of similarities to many of the characters presented here. I’m a chronic worrier, so much so that I can completely miss the presence of Jesus by my side. I’m also just happy to be here, and I can get to the point of not moving forward on my faith walk. And sometimes, I get into situations where I just want to appear like I’m definitely doing the right thing in my life. Overall, I hope we all strive to be like Mary – obediently out there shining with the light of God and serving Him in everything we do.
A short prayer: “Lord, please help us to have the humility of Mary as she washed your feet in perfume. Forgive us when we make everything about ourselves, and also encourage us to be fully present in the time we spend with you. Help us not to worry about tomorrow, or next week, but to focus on you and trust your plans for us. Amen.”
Hope you have a wonderful week and a fantastic Easter! ~Faith
(PS – this was adapted from my daily devotional)