Summary: Luke shares with us a story of Mary. 1. M - Mary ( A woman) 2. A - Attitude (Servant) 3. R - Right Priorities (Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven) 4. Y - Yielded Heart and Life (At the feet of Jesus)
Theme: Mary of Bethany - Hero of the Faith
Proposition: Luke shares with us a story of Mary.
1. M - Mary ( A woman)
2. A - Attitude (Servant)
3. R - Right Priorities (Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven)
4. Y - Yielded Heart and Life (At the feet of Jesus)
Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Son Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world.
What is your favorite Bible story or Bible passage? Most of us have one or two favorite Bible stories and/or passages that we enjoy reading and that speak to our hearts. Some of us like reading and meditating on the great adventure stories that we find in the Old Testament while others enjoy reading the letters that we find in the New Testament. Some enjoy sitting down and reading Jesus' Parables while others like reading about Jesus' miracles.
Today's passage in Luke 10 is one that I believe that most of us enjoy reading. It's a story that involves a young woman who through her actions reveals to us the true meaning of Christian discipleship. In this story Mary shows us what it means to love Jesus with all our heart, soul and strength. Mary's story is a simple story but it is one that full of deep truths.
The story takes place in Martha's home in Bethany. Jesus and his disciples have been traveling all over the territory sharing the Good News of Salvation. Verse 38 tells us that they have arrived in the village of Bethany (John 12) where Jesus decide to spend some time with Martha and her two siblings, Lazarus and Mary. This is the same Mary, Martha and Lazarus that St. John writes about in his gospel. You may remember how in chapter 11 John shares with us the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. And then in chapter 12, St. John shares with us that beautiful story of Mary anointing Jesus with ointment of alabaster.
In this whole story we notice that Mary doesn't utter a word or at least Luke does not record any of her conversations. Logically, we know that Mary talked that day but Luke purposely doesn't want us to focus on her words. Instead, he wants us to focus on her actions and allow them to do all her speaking. Luke wants us to focus on Mary's actions. And it is from her actions that we are able to discern and understand some very valuable truths. Truths that can help us experience a deeper walk with Jesus.
So, what are some of the things that we can learn from M A R Y
I. The first thing we see in this Story about Mary is "M" Is MARY HERSELF
IS MARY HERSELF
Now, to many of us here today the scene of Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus creates a very beautiful picture. It is serene. It is calming and it is inspiring. In Mary's day, however, it was scandalous. It was radical. Mary, an unmarried young woman sitting at the feet of Jesus broke every rule of Jewish society at that time.
Earlier, in verse 38, Luke tells us that Jesus had already broken one social custom by accepting an invitation into a woman's home in the first place. In Jesus' day that was something men would not normally do; especially a rabbi. No orthodox Jewish man would have humbled himself to spend time in a "woman's" house. It was just not acceptable behavior for an orthodox Jew, especially a teacher of the Law and the Prophets.
And then we see in verse 39 that Jesus goes one step further. He permits Mary, an unmarried woman to join in with the rest of his disciples as he teaches them. He allows Mary to sit down with the rest of his male disciples. While today we would not see anything inappropriate with that in Jesus' time that was unthinkable. Women simply did not sit down with men to learn anything.
It was believed at that time if a man, any man talked too much to a woman/women it would only bring disaster. Listen to the words of Rabbi Johanan of Jerusalem around that time - "He that talks much with womankind brings evil upon himself and neglects the study of the Law and at the last will inherit Gehenna (M. Aboth, 1.5, Danby 446)1
Did you get that last part? He that talks to much to women not only neglects the study of the Law but in the end instead of heaven they will inherit Gehenna. Now, those are some very strong words. Words that may shock us today but in that day they were seen as wise and sound advice. Men were caution about how much time they spent talking to women.