Summary: This three sermon series focuses on Mary at the feet of Jesus. In John 1, Mary is at His feet showing his worth. Expository and alliterated, custom PowerPoint is available if you e-mail me
AT HIS FEET (Showing His Worth)
Scott Bayles, pastor
Blooming Grove Christian Church: 4/1/2012
The feet that once used the mountains as their footstool, would soon be nailed to a rough wooden cross. Today, as many of you probably know is Palm Sunday. And Palm Sunday was the day that Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem—for the last time.
The sun was beaming over the rolling desert hills, birds were singing the songs of spring, and a gentle breeze whispered through palm leaves of nearby trees. It was a beautiful day. Everything was perfect. Jesus, the Son of God, climbed confidently onto the back of a young colt which had never before been ridden—a symbol his kingship prophesied long ago by the prophet Zechariah—and gently trotted along the rocky road that led toward Jerusalem’s southern gate.
Jesus’ three-year ministry had reached its dramatic climax. Word had spread about Jesus bringing Lazarus back from the dead and the countless other miracles he had performed and hordes of hope-filled believers were looking to Jesus as their Messiah—their King. Passover is only a week away and the streets of Jerusalem are flooded with merchants and travelers. Excitement crackles through the air like a surge of electricity. As Jesus and his disciples round the final bend in the road, a youthful voice cries out, “It’s Him!” Then another, “It’s Him. It’s really Him!” Jesus is coming!
Like frenzied fans at a Beetles concert or a Bulls Championship, crowds of men, women, and children rushed out to greet Jesus as he entered the city. They started shouting with enthusiastic fervor, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!” (John 12:13). The love and joy that radiated form Jesus’ face affirmed their praise. Then someone pulled a large leaf from a proud palm tree and laid it across Jesus’ path. Another followed suit, then another, until the road was covered in leaves—like a red carpet rolled out just for Jesus.
Not everyone was excited about his arrival though. Certain power-hungry priests saw Jesus as a threat to their prosperity and piety. They wanted him out of the way—permanently. Lines had been drawn. Sides had been chosen. But regardless of which side they stood on, everyone knew that something was about to happen—and it would be amazing!
What few of them knew is that something amazing had already happened. It happened the night before in the little village of Bethany. And, not surprisingly, it happened at Jesus’ feet.
Jesus knew that this was going to be his final week before he would be crucified, so on his was to Jerusalem, he stopped by Bethany to visit his closest friends—Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Once again, we find Mary at his feet. This time she isn’t savoring His word, or sharing her woes; rather Mary is at his feet showing his worth! The Bible says this:
Six days before the Passover Feast, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus lived. (Lazarus is the man Jesus raised from the dead.) There they had a dinner for Jesus. Martha served the food, and Lazarus was one of the people eating with Jesus. Mary brought in a pint of very expensive perfume made from pure nard. She poured the perfume on Jesus' feet, and then she wiped his feet with her hair. And the sweet smell from the perfume filled the whole house. (John 12:1-3 NCV)
At this special dinner, thrown in Jesus’ honor, were several guests whose attitudes and actions have become a testimony of their relationship with Jesus. So what I’d like to do is look briefly at each of their examples, culminating with Mary at the feet of Jesus. But we’ll get to Mary in a minute. First, let’s start with Martha, whose servant-heart identifies her as a working Christian.
• A WORKING CHRISTIAN
Throughout this whole sequence of events there are only two words devoted to Martha and the role she played that evening. Just two words—but I doubt that any of us could find two words more fitting or less surprising: “Martha served” (John 12:2).
Did we really expect anything less?
The first time Martha cooked for Jesus, she was busier than a room full of Kindergarteners. She was and still is the Martha Stewart of ancient Israel. Once again, she was the Queen of kitchen. But there’s something different about her this time.
Did you notice it?
This time the Bible doesn’t say anything about her being worried or upset. She’s not hollering at her sister or criticizing her for taking a break. There are no signs of stress or frustration. Just two simple words that together sound almost serene: Martha served.
I think Martha has finally found her rhythm. She’s learned the importance of slowing down and being still, but she also knows that she and Mary are two different people. Martha’s gift is serving. This is who God made her to be and she’s discovered the joy of serving Jesus without getting worried and upset over all the details.