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Mary of Bethany

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
July 24, 2022 1:57 am

Mary of Bethany

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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July 24, 2022 1:57 am

In this episode of our series with Helen Starrett, today she studies the story of Mary of Bethany. From the intimate moment she spent listening to Jesus speak to the pain she expresses at her brother’s death; this is a story packed with so many lessons regarding our own relationship with our Savior.

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Hi, this is Bernie Dake. Welcome to the Salvation Army's Words of Life. There are people hurting in the world out there. They need us. They need Christ.

There are children crying and no one to care. They need us. They need Christ. And they'll go on hurting in the world out there. And they'll go on dying, drowning in despair. And they'll go on crying unless we care. They need us.

They need Christ. I'm gonna say it out loud. Let the whole world know my God is faithful. Forever faithful.

From beginning to end. His love is always true. My God is faithful.

Forever faithful. There are people living who would rather die. They need us. They need Christ.

And their Christian neighbors simply pass them by. They need us. They need Christ. There are people sitting by a silent phone. People cold and hungry.

People left alone. Suicides for reasons that remain unknown. They need us.

They need Christ. I'm gonna say it out loud. Let the whole world know my God is faithful. Forever faithful.

From beginning to end. His love is always true. My God is faithful. Forever faithful. I'm gonna say it out loud.

Let the whole world know my God is faithful. Welcome back to Words of Life, everyone. We are glad you're here. I'm Bernie Dake. And I'm Cheryl Gillum.

There she is. Cheryl and I are in a new studio. We're recording this with cameras, and it has been a learning experience. We hope that you're not too distracted by our unprofessionalism.

But we also hope you enjoy it. Amen. This week in our series with Lieutenant Colonel Helen Sterrett, we're studying the story of Mary of Bethany. Her story is interesting because in one instance, she shows us that sometimes God just needs us to be still.

But in another, she almost blames Jesus for Lazarus' death. Yeah. I mean, I think she represents a lot of us, right? That duality of we want it, we believe, right? But then there are those moments when we're like, God, why did you do this to me?

And then she's also the one that sits at his feet and just soaks up his presence, right? And so I think it represents a lot of us. And that's the ordinary moments of life, right? Those are the things that we deal with that Jesus intersects. And he says, it's okay.

It's all good, right? I'm here to bring light to that. But it's hard to be still because we're people of action. We want to do things. Especially in the Salvation Army, Bernie, we're doing the most good, right? That's true.

With your contributions of money, time, and resources. And so, but God calls us to just sit in his presence and we get that example from Mary and we see the extraordinary things that God does through Mary just in those moments. She didn't do anything. Yeah. We hope that you enjoy this series with Lieutenant Colonel Helen Starrett. She's a friend and she's a wonderful teacher. So enjoy.

Welcome. Before we move into today's study, I think often and wish that biblical parents had not liked the name Mary quite so much. This is Mary of Bethany and this movie can only be titled, Can't Buy Me Love. We find her story in Luke 10 and 11. Mary's demonstrated acts of love and devotion show us not only what motivates her, but how her heart speaks. This movie has a small cast, Mary of Bethany, her sister, Martha, Lazarus, their brother, Jesus, and his peeps.

The set is even smaller, two houses and a tomb. Martha has invited Jesus over for dinner. She's quite the hostess serving. Mary, on the other hand, her sister was probably terrible in the kitchen and was more in the way than helpful. She simply enjoyed being with Jesus. This is an intimate setting and Mary made certain she was near Jesus. And more importantly, Jesus made room for her.

Mary is totally unaware that Martha is frustrated by doing all the work while she sits at Jesus' feet. Jesus gently reminds Martha that Mary has chosen well. Sisters are different and comparison is the thief of joy. Maybe Mary should learn from Martha and Martha should learn from Mary.

Sometimes simply being still outweighs the dirty dishes in the sink. The sisters experience fellowship, heartbreak, and joy. We see them heartbroken as their beloved brother Lazarus is ill and they know that he is near death. They know that if they could get Jesus here, he would perform a miracle and save their brother. Jesus already knew Lazarus was ill and waited until after he died to return to Bethany. He told his disciples Lazarus was sleeping.

He wanted to use every moment as teachable. When they arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been dead four days. He finds both Mary and Martha inconsolable.

But Jesus is never too late to mend broken relationships, work miracles, and give second chances. Mary sees Jesus and drops to his feet. If you had been here, she sobs. Jesus shares in the sisters' sorrow. His response with Mary was emotional, showing how our God truly understands human emotion.

Do you remember a time when you wept with a child or a friend when they have been hurting? Think of how our Heavenly Father is moved by our tears and shares our sorrows. He wants us to come to him with our needs. He asks where Lazarus was laid. An unexpected verse in this account tells us that Jesus wept. Jesus wanted to end the family's suffering, and he did.

He goes to the tomb and instructs the stone to be rolled away. Many witnessed this event with the eyes of the world and not with the eyes of faith. Jesus commands Lazarus to come out. There were many that day who saw a miracle, but more importantly than seeing the miracle, they met the Lord. We would hope this would be a happy ending, but no, this began the road to Calvary.

This is where the ordinary is raised to the extraordinary. There is another meal. It's the Passover meal held at Simon the leper's house. We see that Martha is serving with a change of heart and different attitude. Lazarus is sitting at the table with the others, and Mary is sitting at Jesus' feet. This is a harmony of love and service. Lazarus fellowshipped. Martha served. Mary worshipped. What a beautiful combination of how we can show our love to Jesus. A small perfume bottle, a year's worth of wages, and a treasured possession. A gift that changes history, an extraordinary gift that changes history. Mary breaks the alabaster jar. She anointed and massaged Jesus' feet, showing hospitality and care, an act of love to a living person.

What did it mean? I love you. I honor you.

I worship and adore you. This was an act of worship and deep expression of her belief in Jesus. Mary was not at all concerned about the expensive perfume or if she would ever be able to replace it. She pours out the perfume and spills her pride, reputation, and social status, and in place receives clean hands and a pure heart. The house was filled with the fragrance. It permeates.

The aroma was carried far and wide. Mary understood her time with Jesus was limited and special. Mary was not concerned about what the world would think or if they would approve. She knew Jesus was the reward and refuge and did not want to waste a moment. I think this beautiful moment was spoiled when Jesus' own disciples were more concerned with the financial loss than they were with the worship, sacrifice, and love Mary showed. Jesus rebuked them for this and told them to leave her alone. Jesus said, She has done a beautiful thing. If we follow Mary's example, we will ask ourselves, What can we do or give? And then we will do it or give it, no matter how extravagant we are. Our extravagance never outgives God's. The title, Can't Buy Me Love, is so fitting.

God does not care if we give Him anything. In fact, He says, She did what she could. Let me say it again. She did what she could. She gave extravagantly and extraordinarily. I pray that all of those listening will be willing to pay the cost of devotion that Jesus is calling us to do today. What outward act of caring for others is He calling you to do as an expression both of your devotion and His love for the world? This week, may God show you the extraordinary in the ordinary.

God bless you. The Salvation Army's mission, Doing the Most Good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit to offer your support and we'd love to hear from you. Call 1-800-229-9965 or email us at radio at

Tell us how we can help. Share prayer requests or share your testimony. We would love to use your story on the air. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store and be sure to give us a rating. Just search for The Salvation Army's Words of Life. Follow us on social media for the latest episodes, extended interviews and more. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center. They'll be glad to see you. This is Bernie Dake inviting you to join us next time for The Salvation Army's Words of Life.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-20 06:49:18 / 2023-03-20 06:53:48 / 5

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