“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4
Today’s Scripture Reading: Luke 10:38-42
The writers of Scripture are silent on what Jesus did on Wednesday of Passion Week. Many scholars speculate he and his disciples spent this day resting in Bethany in anticipation of Passover. It makes sense they would need a break because the last few days appear to be very busy, and no doubt, exhausting. Also, from what we have seen so far, Jesus and his followers do appear to be staying in Bethany. Bethany was close, only about two miles east of Jerusalem. It’s where Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha lived. These three siblings were very close friends of Jesus. It’s extremely likely they hosted him and his disciples during these final days in Jerusalem.
While others might still question the origin of Jesus, these three had no doubt. Their faith had been developed, stretched, and tested repeatedly. When their brother, Lazarus, was sick and eventually died, Mary knew Jesus had the power to heal him. She was certain he could have prevented his death, had he been present. She knew he had power over sickness. What she didn’t know yet, was his power over death. She believed in a future resurrection, but never imagined “the Resurrection and the Life” stood before her. She didn’t know, until Jesus spoke the word and out came her once dead brother from the tomb, fully alive! Then she knew.
The raising of Lazarus was undoubtedly the most spectacular lesson this family had ever learned. However, it wasn’t necessarily the most profound lesson. Perhaps the most profound lesson was a lesson Jesus taught Martha, at a time when Martha thought someone else needed to be taught. Martha was busy in the kitchen, preparing a huge meal for Jesus and his followers. Her sister, Mary, wasn’t helping with the preparations of the meal. She, instead, was sitting at Jesus’ feet the whole time, spending time with him. Martha was upset and asked Jesus to tell Mary to assist her in the kitchen. But Jesus wasn’t about to take this special moment away from Mary. Mary picked the best option, Jesus tells Martha. Martha’s focus was on her service for her Lord. Mary’s focus was on the Lord she served.
It’s probable Jesus did spend this Wednesday with Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. If so, we might easily speculate what took place. Throughout his ministry, Jesus seems to have made it a priority to spend time with these three. During this time, he taught them some profound lessons. They knew him, as few others did . . . perhaps better than some of his closest followers. They understood his power. They knew his loving heart. But most of all, they all had come to know the value of enjoying his company. Sometimes doing less, allows God to do more through us. An early Puritan Catechism states: “Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” Perhaps today, Lazarus, Mary, and Martha all spent their time with Jesus glorifying him, by enjoying him. It’s most likely what happened this day.
- Is your service for God, replacing the God you serve?
- How might embracing what God does for you, sometimes be the best thing you can do for him?