“Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. (2) There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. (3) Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment” (John 12:1-3)
In the text, we find three characters: Martha, the worker; Mary, the worshipper; and Lazarus, the witness. As a child of grace, we are privileged to be a worker, a worshipper, and a witness of our Lord Jesus Christ in every aspect of our lives.
The text suggests that Jesus was met in Bethany by Martha, who was busying herself with the preparations and serving of the meal; probably paying attention to every specific detail and to how the scene was set for the Passover; not really thinking that the Passover Lamb was reclining in the house.
We are much like her sometimes when we are caught up in the fast lane of life. We don’t pay attention to Him. We forget to say, “Lord, I thank You! This body I give to You as a living sacrifice unto You.” We forget to give God the best that we’ve got.
Mary, on the other hand, was busy worshipping our Lord Jesus Christ. The text suggests that Mary’s worship was expressed; that she was giving the Savior adoration.
If we were to grade ourselves honestly, what would our grade be if we were asked: Since we’ve been saved, what is our stewardship record? Since we’ve been saved, how committed have we been to God?
The text also suggests Mary gave a great sacrifice that was very costly. What do we have that is too expensive for Jesus? For a sacrifice is not a sacrifice unless it cost us something.
Not only was Mary’s sacrifice expensive, but it was also an expression of her gratitude. It was extraordinary. Her wiping His feet with her hair makes it extraordinary, for her hair is uncovered. She is a rule-breaker by custom. She didn’t allow anyone else’s belief to interfere with her worship, her adoration of Christ. She didn’t need motivation from others, but she worshipped Him because of Who He was.
We ought to worship God without restraint like Mary with a purpose of giving thanks. Mary is thankful and expresses her thanks by going from Chapter 11 to Chapter 12.
In Chapter 11:
Lazarus is dead.
Lazarus has a problem.
Lazarus was sick.
Lazarus is in a cemetery.
Lazarus is in grave clothes.
In Chapter 12:
Lazarus is reclining at the table.
Lazarus was given the solution.
Lazarus is alive.
Lazarus is communing with Jesus.
Lazarus has been loosed.
In Chapter 11:
There is sorrow.
There is no worship.
There is a period.
They sent for Jesus.
It was over.
In Chapter 12:
They have joy.
There is worship.
God moved the period.
Jesus came to them.
It was just getting started.
We have to move to the next chapter in our lives. Has God moved you to the next chapter? Have joy in your worship. Move to the next chapter in the Lord Jesus Christ.
When we are become willing workers, worshippers, and witnesses of Christ’s power to change lives like Lazarus, Satan will show up lurking and he will question your actions.
Look at John 12:9-11:
“Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. (10) But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; (11) Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.”
The enemy was coming to kill Jesus’ evidence. Every time you do a work in the Lord like Martha; every time you begin to worship like Mary; every time your light shines that men glorify your God in heaven, and you have become a witness like Lazarus; then you are Jesus’ evidence, and the devil is still trying to kill Jesus’ evidence. Every time you pray; every time you help someone; every time you tell someone of God’s goodness; the devil is trying to kill you because you are evidence that Jesus had done it again!!
As a child of grace, be encouraged to be a worker in Christ’s service, a worshipper giving Christ adoration, and a witness bringing Christ glory. Do this without ceasing, never tiring.
Let your work, worship, and witness be expressed; let it be extraordinary; let it be expensive.
Give God the best that you’ve got!