Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.
Food For Thought:
The story of Mary and Martha is a familiar one. Martha is often criticized for serving rather than sitting at Jesus’ feet. But when you think about it, there is a need for both. Think about your spiritual gifts and how you give of yourself to God.
There is no need unknown to you, O God of my heart. There is no sigh too soft, no bruise too hidden, no pretense too clever to keep from you, for you alone are God–my breath before I breathe, my life before I live, my need before I know that I need. Renew my need for you, O God, and grant me courage to ask. Amen.
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