There was still an air of miraculous wonder in the midst of this abuzz home… A dead man was walking around with friends and family as if he had never laid breathless, linen-wrapped and entombed.
His sisters, of opposite personality, choose to respond to Jesus, both their friend and awe inspired, powerful great physician, in two completely different ways.
Martha, working and striving as always, preparing a meal and cleaning the home of leaven, ensuring everything was just perfect for this amazing man she had the honor of encountering, who had yet again, chosen her home as his place of comfort, peace, security, and rest.
Mary, who always seemed to be more comfortable resting and listening at the dirt covered, sweaty, bare feet of this unusual Hebrew man, decided to break all protocol and pour out an overabundant amount of valuable, aromatic oil… a perfume kept likely for her brother’s decaying body… Now, no longer needed.
The veil of her mind had been lifted. She understood what was happening and who this man was, even though the men closest to Jesus could not yet… This all despite his instant and repetitive foretellings of suffering, death, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection to come.
Judas, the one most trusted by Jesus to hold the money bag, objected to this lavish, wasteful, incredulous behavior from the sister Mary. He demanded Jesus rebuke her… after all Jesus had JUST spoken the parable of the Sheep and Goats in the Temple… TALKING ABOUT THE RESPONSIBILITY TO FEED AND CLOTH THE POOR!!! How could Jesus let her get away with this??? What could he be thinking?!?
Jesus responded gently, “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” … and he proceeded to have this humble, broken, sinful woman sooth, and massage, and clean his weary calloused feet.
You see, of all the people in that bustling home, Mary was alone in her understanding of it all. It was not her past, or present, or future actions which would determine how this Messiah would judge her… It was not just about feeding and clothing the poor as the disciples heard, but which they did not yet understand. It was about freely receiving the judgement of the sheep, not by any such personal, striving self-effort, but by the deliverance of earthquaking, self-sacrificing grace… The completely unveiled gift of righteousness and eternal life with the creator and sustainer of all things was now clearly seated before her, in the flesh.
Mary, knelt before Jesus, crying tears of both agony and joy… praise and heartbreak… worship and distress… wiping his soon to be pierced feet with her hair, imagining the anointing power of his precious blood, washing away all of her perceived shame, guilt, and unworthiness. This was the work of the Holy Spirit, guiding a precious moment in time; a mirrored event staged from the very beginning, at the formation of man and woman, who were made in this image of the Triune God.
The Creator Himself, knelt before them His infant humanity, blessing them as he set them free to fill the earth and reign over it. This was God, all of Him, in perfect power and glory and splendor, humbling Himself before them… and you. These, are His children, His reflected image bearers. He falls down, overwhelmed, on His knees wiping His over-poured unspeakably valuable, aromatic grace over them, crying tears of both agony and joy… praise and heartbreak… worship and distress… knowing what it would take for them to be fully reconciled back to Himself… For He would have to have His heel struck, in order to crush the head of the serpent, whose venom is the toxic lie of shame, guilt and unworthiness.
This moment is the good news of grace, in action… It speaks unspoken words of hope. It calls you into His presence… You have no obligation to do anything but fall in response to what has already been done by such Love for you.
Here, there is no amount of blessing, giving, praise, worship, anointing, or intimacy which has not already been done over you.
This is the reason Jesus suffered the joy of the cross.
To give you His Spirit in your very being.
The One who unveils the true heart of your Abba Father…
He, the One, who first LOVES you.