Even to Jesus’ disciples, what she did made no sense. The cost was outrageous! She poured more than a year’s income worth of expensive oil onto the Master’s feet. Didn’t she realize how many people she could have helped with that much money? Yet Jesus defended her saying, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial” (John 12:7 ESV).
How did she know to make such a sacrifice? We don’t know what Mary heard, but we do know she listened. When we first met her, she sat at Jesus’ feet while her sister, Martha, complained, “Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40 NIV).
Instead of rebuking Mary, Jesus replied, “Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42 RSV).
Then, as Jesus prepared to enter Jerusalem for the final time, He attended a dinner in His honor. Again, Mary was at his feet. This time, she seemed to know better than Jesus’ disciples what to do.
How did she know?
To sit at someone’s feet, according to The Farlex Dictionary of Idioms, is “a position of devotion or worship of someone; to pay homage or reverential attention to someone; to be someone’s pupil or follower.” This definition resembles the Greek word for disciple, mathetes, which means, “a learner or follower.”
When you serve a God who declares, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9 NIV), it is wise to listen. You may be surprised what you hear. But it’s important to take care who you’re listening to!
Had Mary listened to Martha, she would have rushed around serving dinner and missed out on what she heard while sitting at Jesus’ feet. If she had heeded the disciples’ rebuke, the lives of the poor could have been temporarily enriched—but she and Jesus would have been robbed of a beautiful gift! If we listen too often to the world around us, or dive into doing what we think we should be doing, we can get off track.
Baking hot cross buns for neighbors, hosting resurrection Easter egg hunts, or even massive helicopter egg drops can be great ways of sharing Jesus with those around you . . . if that’s what Jesus wants you to do. But sometimes, in my zeal to make the most of this seasonal opportunity, I find myself looking like Martha, distracted by the preparations and missing out on what Jesus wants for me. Other times, I’ve been like the disciples, quick to judge those whose actions seemed wasteful.
A disciple is one who learns from and follows Jesus. Listening is a key skill! What beautiful thing might the Lord want you to do this year to celebrate His resurrection? It may not be what you or others expect. Without listening to Him, how will you know? Are you willing to stop and listen?
Deb Entsminger serves with Navigators Collegiate in Florida.
WOW Deb, I listened yesterday when asked to have a Bible Study in our home for this Monday nite. What a blessing to follow God when He knocks..I want to sit by Jesus feet and feel my Personal Relationship with Him fill my heart.
A lovely and challenging devotional, Deb. I am going to try to listen very carefully.
Be still and know that I AM God! In the 21st century, we have so many distractions, we have to discipline ourselves to spend meaningful time with God. I am 70 years old and my most precious moments are those that I have spent alone with God. Whether on a mountaintop or in a dark valley, God has never left me. He is the joy of my heart! Psalm 31:14-15!
Thank you, a lot of hope given.
Thank you for your words. Sometimes we need to be reminded of these things.
I know that I have heard His words…. 4 different times in my life, and many other times more like a knowing of his words. But, when you actually hear His words in your ears, there is no mistaking it, and immediately, you will do what He asks. Each time I had heard Him Speak, it was a baritone voice that you or I can ever mistake. It is times like these that allow each and everyone of us to realize, God is watching, God really does care, and whether you or I and the rest of the world realize this, God is Us, and We are Him, and all we do continually creates Him. If you want to have positive outcomes in your lives, we must put out loving, and kind thoughts, even towards ourselves, because all we put out into the universe, returns full circle.
When others wrong you, it is sometimes difficult to heal from this. The true secret is to be able to have faith enough to know that the wrong doer will certainly get his just reward through the Karmic Circle of life. This way, you don’t have to worry about anything else except what God wants you to be busy with. It’s also important to place every single thing you are responsible for, concerned about, and also all your worries, up on the shelf for Him to be concerned over. You just keep your hands and your feet available to Him so He can use us as His vessel. This way we get things done, and accomplished one thing at a time, and our spirit is in the moment the whole while. Every where you are is right where you are supposed to be. God doesn’t make mistakes.
Being Racist? Isn’t that just like telling God he made mistakes? I think so. For, who are we to tell Him certain people or places shouldn’t be here? I would rather believe this is God’s game of Life. We are all the live players, and the “Only Way to be Saved, Is Through His Son, Jesus Christ.”
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