If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
It’s likely a tough question to answer.
I’ve been a lot of places I’d love to revisit. The majestic Alps display the glory of their creator. The untamed African bush inspires awe.…And I’ll never get my fill of white sand beaches.
Yet, the world beckons me to explore new places, too. I hear the Seychelles Islands are a sight to behold! And Israel remains on my bucket list.
There are a lot of varied and fascinating places, but I think Mary of Bethany discovered the absolute best place on earth.
We can read about Mary in three different scenes from the New Testament. In each one, she’s choosing to be in the same place, and in each situation, it offered her just what she needed. It’s a place you can visit anytime you’d like, and I can assure you that it will meet your needs, too.
Let’s look at each of these scenes to identify where Mary went and what she found there. Then we’ll wrap up by discussing what it all means for you!
Luke 10 records Jesus’ first visit to Mary’s home in Bethany. Her sister, Martha, invited Jesus to come over, but Mary was the one who devoted time to Him. Martha was frantically running around getting the home and meal prepared, but where was Mary? Verse 39 says she was “at the Lord’s feet, listening to what He said.”
In Jesus’ day, learned rabbis had disciples who would devote time to following them and learning from them. After this internship of sorts, the disciples were supposed to know the rabbi so well that they would be able to answer questions exactly as he would. If they failed at this, they would be sent back to the family trade of fishing, carpentry, or weaving.
While they were being schooled, however, they were said to be “sitting at the feet” of their rabbi. This was a place of learning.
So when Mary is recorded to have been “sitting at Jesus’ feet,” the author of this Gospel is telling us that she was listening intently, as a disciple listened to his rabbi. She was revering His authority and hanging on His every word.
Mary discovered that wisdom and understanding could be found at Jesus’ feet.
The next time we see Mary is immediately following her beloved brother Lazarus’ death. She and Martha had sent word for Jesus to come in hopes that He would heal him, but Jesus didn’t make it in time.
John 11:32 tells us that as Jesus came toward them, Mary ran to meet Him and, “When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
Jesus was so moved by Mary’s grief that He wept…and then performed an audacious miracle, restoring breath to Lazarus’ cold body.
In complete desperation, Mary returned to the feet of Jesus, where she found compassion and experienced the supernatural power of God.
Mary’s final appearance in Scripture is recorded in John 12. Jesus returned to Bethany to celebrate the Passover. Can you imagine how excited His friends Mary, Martha, and the resurrected Lazarus must have been to have their miracle-working friend come back into town? They decided to celebrate by hosting a dinner in Jesus’ honor.
Similar to their first encounter, Scripture tells us that “Martha served.” But where was Mary?
Mary—still full of awe and gratitude for what the Lord had done in raising her brother to life—returned to the feet of Jesus, this time pouring expensive perfume on them and wiping them with her hair.
Compelled to worship, Mary humbled herself and offered a sacrificial gift at the feet of Jesus.
There are countless beautiful spots in this world the Lord created, but…”Mary has chosen what is better…” (Luke 10:42).
And you can, too.
In your hour of greatest need, in your search for answers, in your times of celebration, you know where to go.
Simply humble yourself at the feet of Jesus. There, you will find such wisdom, compassion, and supernatural power that you will be compelled to worship and pour out your all.
This month, as you pray for orphans, please:
1) Ask God that the children The Boaz Project serves would find the comfort and strength they need at the feet of Jesus.
2) Lift Pastor Christopher, Janani, and their children as they grieve the loss of Rajeshwari, who recently passed away from Covid-19. Please pray that they would find comfort that can only come from the Lord and that the rest of the family would remain healthy.
3) Thank God for the miraculous provision of funds needed to buy land and build a home in order for Comeback Ministries Home to retain guardianship of its girls.
4) Ask God to give our staff wisdom as we evaluate and modify some of our work in Russia.
5) Express gratitude to God for allowing us to obtain the final permissions needed to build in Kenya!