A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. (John 12:2 NLT)
MEDITATE AND DIGEST: SHATTERING ENVY AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS
Something stood out to me as I was listening to this chapter in John today. Previously, we heard a very angry Martha complaining about serving alone while her sister, Mary, sat at Jesus’ feet (Luke 10:38–42). Here, she is also serving. Scripture doesn’t elaborate, but I get this picture of joy emanating from Martha as she ministers through service on this special night. What changed?
It wasn’t Mary’s help. True to her calling, Mary was found this night at the feet of Jesus. She was pouring perfume on His feet and wiping them with her hair in an extravagant expression of honor and worship (verse 3).
I believe it was a revelation of Holy Love that shifted Martha’s perspective. The Jesus that Mary knew was worth everything she had, now – this side of her brother’s resurrection – had both Martha’s hands and heart. This devotion, spurred by perfect love, is a game changer and vital step in the life of a believer.
You’ll know you’ve found it when doing God’s will is not simply lip service or a reluctant hardship that you complain about. This joyfully surrendered life comes only when you’ve met with Mercy Himself; when what Jesus did for you on the cross is more than just something you talk about at church. It’s something you deeply understand, know that you need every day, and see is freely given.
There’s no room for envy in this Spirit-led life of sacrifice for the love of Jesus. He’s specifically designed you for something unique that will bring Him honor and glory. It’s important, but not always easy. May you do it with gusto and perseverance through the grace and power He gives to you.
*NOTE: There was another complaining about Mary’s offering that evening. Judas, who would later betray Jesus, bad mouthed Mary for being wasteful. Scripture directly exposes his heart motivation here and reveals his eternal fate in refusing the Son of God. (John 12:4-6)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship. (Romans 12:1 NIV)
For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. (Romans 12:4-5 NASB)
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:18 ESV)
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. (James 3:14-16 NASB)
(Featured Image courtesy of Yongkiet @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net)