To assume that people of significance hail from places of significance is nothing but an unfair assumption. Many-a-place has attained significance because of a person/s feat. In the previous two parts, we have seen that Mary, the mother of Jesus was from Nazareth which was not known to produce anything good (John 1:46), while Mary Magdalene was from Magdala  – a place that didn’t have anything special about it either.

In this part, the focus is on the Mary who was from Bethany, a small village situated around 200 miles from Jerusalem. One of the reasons Bethany assumes significance in the New Testament is because the two sisters – Martha and Mary along with their brother Lazarus stayed there and Jesus Christ visited their house.

(Image Credit: Google)

Among the three siblings, Mary assumes importance for her devotion to Jesus.

Mary chose the good part

Mary is introduced in Luke 10:38-42 along with her sister Martha during a visit of Jesus to their house. Scripture tells us that while Martha was distracted with much serving, Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and heard His word. During the days of His earthly ministry, wherever Jesus went, He preached the message of repentance to reconcile men with God and taught men to respond to God’s love. Surely, Jesus would have been talking of the same in this particular visit as well. Mary’s heart was tuned in to words of the Kingdom. Her heart acknowledged Jesus Christ as the Bread of Life (John 6:35) and so she preferred to strengthen herself by feasting on His words rather than worry about offering Him worldly hospitality. “. . . man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Deuteronomy 8:3) The wise choice that Mary made was ratified by Jesus Himself (Luke 10:42). What is the choice that you and I make today? Mary’s choice ought to be our choice as well. To sit at the Saviour’s feet is more beneficial than to get so much engrossed in the cares of the world that one loses sight of the ‘one thing that is needed’.

Mary acknowledged Jesus as Lord

All the people who were with Jesus throughout His earthly ministry were privileged to witness numerous miracles and to hear Him speak of the mysteries of the Heavenly Kingdom. But, not all acknowledged Him as Lord. Many were satisfied just to eat the bread, be healed and go their ways. Only a handful recognized Jesus as Lord. Mary was one of them (John 11:32). Her heart was tuned to matters of God. To what are our hearts tuned today?  If the heart yearns for God and His Kingdom, worship would spontaneously stream out in humble obeisance and acknowledgement of the Lord.

Mary acknowledged Jesus as the Healer

Being a close follower of Jesus along with her siblings, Mary must have witnessed innumerable events of Jesus healing the sick. Her heart acknowledged Him as the Jehovah-Rapha incarnate. And so, when her brother fell sick she hoped for the healing touch of Jesus Christ to make her brother well again. For this reason, the sisters sent word to Jesus saying that, “Lord behold, he whom You love is sick.” (John 11:3). But, Jesus delayed His coming. Later when He reached Bethany, Mary fell at His feet weeping and acknowledging with the surety of faith that Jesus could have healed Lazarus and prevented his death had He been around. There is often a difference between witnessing and acknowledging. Jesus Christ is the unchangeable Healer. He is able to provide healing of the body and the mind to all those who call on Him. Mary witnessed and also acknowledged this. Are you in need of healing? Acknowledge the Divine Healer as Mary did and you will witness healing of the body, spirit and soul.

Mary anointed Jesus

In the Old Testament three categories of people were anointed as a symbol of being commissioned for specific duties – kings (1 Samuel 10:1, 1 Samuel 16:13), high priests (Leviticus 8:12) and prophets (1 Kings 19:16). Jesus Christ is our King (Matthew 21:5, 27:11) – to His Kingdom, there is no end. He is our High Priest (Hebrews 2:17, 4:15, 6:20, 9:25-26, 10:21) – offering Himself as a sacrifice for the atonement of sins of all mankind once and for all. He is our Prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18-19; Matthew 21:11; John 4:19) – knowing the end from the beginning. John 12:1-8 gives us an account of Mary anointing the feet of Jesus with a pound of very costly oil of spikenard. This anointing was an affirmation of Jesus as King, High Priest and Prophet (which many of those present there that day might not have been able to understand). It was also a prophetic declaration of the soon-to-be crucifixion of Jesus Christ. According to Jewish customs, corpses were embalmed with spices and perfumes before burial to prevent their decay. Knowing that His time was near, Jesus declared His death to His disciples and others present there. Mary anointing Jesus was a preparation for His burial (John 12:7)

The three Marys had their respective roles to play in the big picture of God’s canvas. They were not ascribed special roles because they were women with extraordinary talent or potential. They were ordinary women who offered themselves in complete surrender to the plan of God. They did not know what was before them. Each step of faith and devotion led them on further ahead. They followed Jesus closely and served Him throughout His earthly ministry. They did not have any divine power of their own and hence are not to be deified. However, the way they acknowledged, served and worshipped the Lord Jesus Christ is worth emulating.

In a world that is so happening, with myriad opportunities of exploration, experimentation and experience – what would be our choice today? To accept the discipleship of Jesus and to live it, is the best choice indeed!

My Prayer for us: Lord, in a world of conflicting interests, help us to choose the good part as Mary did. Amen.

Click the link below for ‘The Three Marys  – Part I’

Click the link below for ‘The Three Marys – Part II’

2 thoughts on “THE THREE MARYS – PART III



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