“Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?’ He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial.'” John 12:1-7
Lazarus had just been raised from the dead by Jesus, and he and his sisters Mary and Martha gave a dinner party for Him. They wanted to be near and to shower love on the One Who had worked the miracle of new life in their family. Nothing else mattered; their guest was worthy of their full attention and affection, their best. This small family knew how much they were loved, and could not help but pour out in love in return. From Jesus’ perspective, He was about to endure the excruciating cross (ex-cruciate means ‘out of the cross’), and what a comfort this must have been to gather with His dear friends. Cranky Judas punctuated their happy party with an unhappy mark of criticism and greed, but was quickly put in his place by the guest of honor. Nothing would spoil the beauty of this moment. (John 11:33-36)
When your life has been returned to you, you want to be with and honor the One Who restored it. And when one you love has been raised to new life, you want to serve and bless the One responsible, as Martha and Mary did. Jesus is worthy of my first and best, my time, my service, my lavishing of love and affection. How can I host Him, honor Him; what can I pour out for Him today?
“Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.” ~Isaac Watts (1707)
Oh You Who saved me giving new and eternal life, and daily give abundant life, here I am. I invite You to be my Honored Guest in every crevice of mind and heart. May my moments be fully given to abide closely with You, to serve and bless You Who are worthy of my all.