Summary: Mary

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In Chicago a few years ago a little boy attended a Sunday school. When his parents moved to another part of the city the little fellow still attended the same Sunday school, although it meant a long, tiresome walk each way. A friend asked him why he went so far, and told him that there were plenty of others just as good nearer his home.

“They may be as good for others, but not for me,” was his reply.

“Why not?” she asked.

“Because they love a fellow over there,” he replied.

Most readers are familiar with John, the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 13:23, 19:26, John 20:2, 21:7, 21:20), but few have explored the depth of love Jesus had for the siblings Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus (John 11:5). Nothing could separate Jesus’ love for them. In chapter 11 the subject of Jesus’ love was Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus – in that order (John 11:5). Jesus’ love for Lazarus was recorded three times in the Bible in the previous chapter (John 11:3, 5, 36). The strong and sharp praises of Jesus for Mary, however, dwarfed the praises He reserved for others:

“But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42)

“Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.” (Mark 14:9)

What kind of gifts most represent your relationship with the Lord? How do you demonstrate and increase your reverence for the Lord? Why is love for the Lord a deed rather than a doctrine?

Be Generous: Bring a Gift

1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. (John 12:1-3)

The Junior Sunday School Teacher asked her eight eager 10 year-olds if they would give a $1,000,000 to the missionaries. “Yes!” they all screamed!

“Would you give $1,000?” Again, they shouted “YES!”

How about $100?” “Oh, yes we would!” they all agreed!

“Would you just give a dollar to the missionaries?” she asked. The boys exclaimed, “Yes!” just as before, except for Johnny.

“Johnnie,” the teacher said as she noticed the boy clutching his pocket, “Why didn’t you say ‘yes’ this time?” “Well,” the boy stammered, “I have a dollar!”

The three siblings of Martha, Lazarus and Mary all did their part when Jesus came to town, with none of the sibling’s presence or part less significant. This is the first and only account of anybody making a “supper” for Jesus, but the credit goes to all –”they made” (v 2, KJV). Martha “served” means she was the attendant, host and server. Lazarus, along with others, were content to sit with Jesus, speak to him and seek His presence, although the text did not consider Lazarus’ job as less. It was a collective, charming and caring gesture.

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