“Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom He had raised from the dead. So they made Him dinner, and Martha was serving; and Lazarus was one of those sitting at the table with Him. Mary took a pound of very costly perfume, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred days wages, and given to poor people?” He said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he carried the money box, used to pilfer from what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, in order that she may keep it for the day of My burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have Me.”
What a problem the religious leaders were experiencing. This pesky raised-from-the-dead Lazarus was costing them followers – big time. In the meantime, Lazarus continues his life with his sisters Mary and Martha – and together they are prepping for Jesus’ death and resurrection. There appear here several responses to our encounters with the words of Christ.
– Lazarus picked up where he left off with his death – and got on with meeting his resurrected challenges of living.
– Judas was selfishly focused on the here and now. Even though he had lofty “principles” related to the poor, his true heart was cloaked within the persona of a self-benefiting do-gooder.
– Martha continued to be who she was, even though Jesus had made it clear to her that serving was secondary to knowing (Luke 10:40).
– Mary humbly (and beautifully) expressed her love and devotion by anointing her Master’s feet with costly perfume and wiping them dry with her hair.
Some thoughts for your hopeful mind and heart… I am most hopeful to be like Mary. How does one expand into more personal humility? Lazarus spurs my imagination – what will it be like to hear the rest of his story? Though I wish I was more like Mary, I am Martha through and through. But I don’t think this makes me love my Master any less. Aren’t cups of cold water offered in other than Jesus Name really misplaced? Good for goodness sake is hollow – for there really is only one Who is Good (Luke 18:18). I must guard against my Judas heart.
MORE: Matthew 7:21; Matthew 13 is one of the “kingdom chapters.” What is your personal value of being “anointed by the Light?”