There is a chick who followed Jesus who always takes my breath away: Mary of Bethany. I love watching her because of her devotion to Jesus & her authenticity. The first time we read of her, she’s sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to Him – a place reserved for men who were learning from a teacher, not women who weren’t deemed as worthy to receive education nor instruction. Mary should’ve been helping Martha in the kitchen, doing domestic stuff. But Jesus applauds Mary & says that “this one thing won’t be taken from her.”
Mary’s devotion to Jesus is tested when her brother Lazarus dies, even though Jesus could have prevented his death. Mary is extremely upset by Lazarus’ death & it seems to me that she let her emotions prevent her from seeing her brother raised from the dead (John 11).
The final time we read much about Mary is when she is washing Jesus’ feet with her tears, drying them with her hair & anointing Jesus with costly oil. Her love & devotion to Jesus were nothing less than authentic & extravagant. May I love Jesus as Mary did
Over the last few days, I’ve been reading about Jesus’ mom, Mary and how Gabriel came & announced Jesus’ birth to her. Mary was an AMAZING chick!! She wasn’t married, lived in a male dominated society & became pregnant out of wedlock, overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. According to the religious & traditional norms of her day, she should’ve been killed. But she was brave and courageous. She spent a few months with her elderly cousin, Elizabeth, who was miraculously pregnant in her old age and I think these months helped both women:
Mary – who was young, vulnerable & probably somewhat naive when it came to issues related to pregnancy
Elizabeth – elderly, toward the end of her pregnancy & probably tired, like we get in our third trimester
Mary, the mother of Jesus, a teenage girl, pregnant without being married – carrying in her womb the Savior of the world. Let’s live like Mary: Luke 1:45 “blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.”
The first time that Martha met Jesus, she was pretty wrapped up in performance: cleaning, cooking, busy with meal preparation & lots of hustle / bustle. I love how honest she is with Jesus: make my sister stop listening to you & get her to help me with all of this work!!! And for those of us who are caught in the same rat race, maybe Jesus says the same thing to us, “Martha, you’re busy & stressed out with many things, but only ONE THING is necessary . . . . ” One Thing. If we live our lives with a One Thing paradigm, I wonder if we would be more effective & fulfilled 🙂
The next time we read about Martha is in John 11, after her brother Lazarus has died. Again, she has a house full of guests who have come to mourn & grieve the loss of her brother. Despite having all of these guests, Martha learned from the previous One Thing conversation, left everyone to go out & chat with Jesus. Not only did she have an amazing discussion & learn new things about Jesus (I am the Resurrection), she also got to see her brother get raised from the dead.
Let’s make the One Thing adjustment – letting Jesus be all things essential in our lives, then fasten your seatbelt & hold on for the adventure of a lifetime!!
I am both nervous & excited for this weekend because I get to hang out on a retreat with some really cool chix from our church. Of course our retreat will be lots of fun, with plenty of laughing, great friends, insightful conversations, delicious food, little if any sleep & most importantly, lots of Jesus! We’ve been praying, planning & working for this retreat for no less than 4-6 months so I have a keen anticipation of what God is going to do.
And here’s the honest truth of what I’m most excited about – we get to talk in depth about the women who interacted with Jesus, learning from them & growing deeper in our relationship with Him. I’m excited for the Holy Spirit to reveal to each of us some new areas of intimacy to explore with God because Jesus is nothing less than wholly irresistible!