“Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served while Lazarus was …reclining at the table with him…Mary took …expensive perfume…poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair” John 12:2-3.
There have been many books, studies and sermons on this sweet little family from Bethany. They were dear friends of Jesus and constantly opened their home for him. It seems that the most ink has been given in determining the opposing characteristics of being a Martha or a Mary. Which one is best? Which one is right? Which one is practical? This reminds me of the ongoing discussion years ago of which woman made the correct decision – the woman who works outside of the home or the one who stays home with the children. Both scenarios have generated many heated debates I am sure. I tend to believe the answer in this story involves all three personalities.
This dinner was centered around Jesus much like our lives should be centered around His presence. Martha knew that to honor Jesus was through service to Him. Lazarus knew the importance of reclining with Jesus…having that one on one time talking and listening to Him. Mary knew the value in honoring Jesus by using her most valuable resources on His body. What if we individually lived a life patterned after this family? What if our actions all centered around serving God, fellowshipping with God and honoring God? Jesus lived this type of life…He served God with His life…He fellowshipped with God through His prayers…He honored God through His sacrifice.
I know that I can use a few lessons from this family in hosting time with Jesus. I am confident that through our service to Him and fellowship with Him, we will honor both God and the Body of Christ. The right way will not be in any one of these areas, but in the beautiful symphony when all of these areas come together.