1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” 4 But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” John 11:1-4
I have been deep in this part of scripture the last few days. It still amazes me how much God has to say in scripture and if we are seeking Him, we find Him in new ways consistently. His Word truly becomes alive and it fills us up.
Here we see that Lazarus was sick. he doesn’t just have a cold or something he might get over, but death is looming over him. He has tow sisters, Mary and Martha. They describe Mary as the one who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped His feet with her hair. In Luke we read about this Mary and her encounter with Jesus in more detail.
37 And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, 38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. Luke 7:37-38
This woman Mary is described as a sinner. When she hears where Jesus is, she goes to Him with a vial of perfume. This alabaster vial of perfume is worth an incredible amount of money. She brings this to Jesus, stands behind Him, at His feet, weeping. As I read this, the Holy Spirit reveals some things to my heart. Mary was a woman who was a sinner, like all of us. I do find it interesting that was their first description of her. She knew she was a sinner by the way she positioned herself, standing behind Him, at His feet, weeping. Her tears were tears of remorse, repentance, and love.
She wet His feet with her tears and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, kissed his feet, and anointed them with perfume. Not a cheap perfume, but one that was costly. It cost her something to love Jesus that way, yet it was worth it to her. She poured out that perfume onto His feet the way He would pour Himself out for her and for us.
Do we come to Jesus, following Him, understanding there is a cost? Are we willing to pour ourselves out for Jesus, the way He has poured Himself out for us? Are we willing to pay the cost of following Him for what is to come?
Mary knew who Jesus was. She understood why He was there, and she knew He was her Messiah and Savior and she wanted to love Him as such. It is one of my favorite encounters with Jesus in the Bible.
That was the relationship between Mary and Jesus. Mary loved Jesus. She knew who He was, and that is why when her brother was sick and dying , her and her sister Martha reached out to Jesus for help.
Jesus came to restore our relationship with God. Relationship is at the heart of all He does. He came to show us who we are, to bring us to that place and position Mary was in, and to pay that expensive price of His life, that we might know God through Him.
He desires for us to have that relationship with Him, to know He is the one we can run to when that loved one is in that hard place. He desires for us to call out to Him for help in all situations.
Do we have this relationship with Jesus?
Where do we run to when we are in a hard place?
Who do we call out to in times of joy, sorrow, anxiety, depression, financial and health struggles?
I must confess I don’t always run to Jesus. Sometimes I run to other people, sometimes I run to other things like food, Hallmark, or coffee. This is what God has exposed. I want to run to Him every time, not just sometimes.
Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus for help because they knew who He was, and they loved and trusted Him.
4 But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” John 11:4
The second reason Jesus came is to bring God glory. What He would do in this situation with Lazarus would bring God glory and show that Jesus is truly the Son of God.
Jesus came to bring God glory. His whole life on earth was about relationship and bringing God glory. We are here for relationship with God and one another, and to bring God glory.
That truly is our purpose.
As I sit here and put this into perspective and evaluate my life this week, I can say that there are many moments when these are true, but then there are moments when those thoughts, or that response was not good for a relationship and did not glorify God.
What if we took that purpose into our days? Would they look different?
I think mine would sometimes.
I want to love Jesus like Mary did here, all the time. I want to love the people in my life the way God loves me. My heart is to bring Glory to God in all I do and say.
Jesus was not on earth forever, Eventually He went to the cross to be crucified, he was buried, and rose again from the grave. Soon after, He went to be at the right hand of the Father.
One day this earth will no longer be where I live. Will those I leave behind know the love I have for Jesus by how I lived, the way they knew Mary loved Him? Will they know I loved them with the love of God and did they experience that love through our relationship?
Will God have been glorified in me and in my life? Will people be able to say that? Will God say that when I meet Him one day?
I pray we are willing to answer these questions with honesty and keep these thoughts in mind as we live out our days in this unpredictable season.
Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your Word! It is life to us. Stir our hearts today. We confess how much we love You. Thank You for sending Jesus to us, and for saving us from death and restoring our relationship with You. May You be glorified in our lives. In Jesus Name! Amen!