Thursday, August 26, 2010

All That Mary Found …

The very best of us are exceedingly dense about the truth, wonder, depth, energy and delights that could be ours in Jesus. Even doctrine, effectiveness, honor, brilliance, advancement, adventure, etc. … are all secondary to the reality that comes when we are filled with praise and experiencing the Presence of our Redeemer! This transcendent oneness with Christ will penetrate, dominate and invigorate the spirit, soul, body … the whole heart … of the dumbest, dullest, deficient Disciple! The process of “entering” the Godhead’s colossal Presence is the same for every true believer … veteran or novice, the Baby Believer or the Oldest Saint. We “enter” when we genuinely seek the Words and Face of Jesus.

To hear the Savior’s words for yourself … the same ones that must have electrified those first Disciples almost 2,000 years ago … is to be alive as you have never been alive before. It is to be awakened, aware and alerted to life’s potential as you never imagined possible! It is the supreme moment … the ultimate honor … the highest exaltation … that can touch any man, woman, youth, child or elder on earth. “The Master is here H.D. … and He is calling for you!!” (John 11:28) Yes! The Master is here on earth … in hundreds, thousands, millions of ways … and He is calling for each of us to be with Him and listen to what He has to tell us! “Come to me, H.D., let’s talk about your possibilities!”

These words, spoken by Martha to her sister Mary … “the Master is calling for you” … reveal the epicenter of the Lord’s heart! This thought is an incomparable invitation to the love, compassion, purpose and comfort He has in His Mind for each of us! Walking the path that exposes us to His Presence … as those two Disciples on the Emmaus Road … will excite, energize, stabilize and center our existence! (Luke 24:13-32) We will actually “enter” a new dimension of reality! Or, put another way, we will start to see our old life for what it really is and isn’t. We will also start to see what our new life can become. We start living in two worlds … both the seen and the unseen! (II Cor. 4:18)

The parallels with Mary of Bethany’s experience and our possibilities are compelling. Why not read both passages that concern her with lingering and prayerful thought? (Luke 10:38-42; John 11:1-12:11)

Mary recognized Jesus as Messiah. (Luke 10:39)

Mary was eager to hear Him as much as possible. (Luke 10:40)

Mary learned only one thing is necessary for living … Jesus. (Luke 10:41-42)

Mary suffered one of life’s most tremendous losses. (John 11:18)

Mary ran to Jesus when realizing He was on the scene! (John 11:29)

Mary learned the Presence of Jesus solves everything. (John 11:32)

Mary’s tears of grief brought Jesus to tears also. (John 11:33-35)

Mary was amazed, even stunned, by the intentions of Jesus. (John 11:38)

Mary heard the world’s greatest invitation for living. (John 11:40)

Mary listened to the heart of Jesus toward the Father. (John 11:41)

Mary was thrilled by the impossible commands of Jesus. (John 11:43)

Mary saw the glory of God in the resurrection liberation of a man Jesus loved! (John 11:44)

Mary endured the stunning stupidity of human leadership (John 11:45-57)

Mary’s loving acts of worship brought praise from Jesus (John 12:3, 7-8)

Mary was surrounded by both joy and evil (John 12:9-11)

Mary’s choice, her priority of the One, was approved and blessed by Jesus. She had found the One Thing on earth that is of most value and that she would never lose. She had a ringside seat … a place on the 50 yard line … the owners box … to not only hear the voice of Messiah … but to also watch the miraculous glory of the Lord of Life at work!

Mary learned that the Master could say “come forth” to everything and everyone in her experience … the best or the worst! He could make anything or anyone come alive with the truth of redemptive release! The tomb is not needed! The stone of darkness is rolled away! The dead are energized! The bonds unloosed! We are freed indeed from the death hooks all around us! Just ask Lazarus! And more of Jesus is our next expectation! To the wise Disciple, He is always our next expectation! And the next … and the next! (John 8:31-32, 11:43; Luke 10:12)

Mary of Bethany found what all of us hunger for … lasting meaning! She found it by seeking out where Jesus was … by sitting at His feet … by absorbing His words … while looking at His face! What a sublime, incredible and awesome picture! My first response is an urgent, earnest prayer, “Lord Jesus, please ‘put’ me there also! Take my breath away with Who You are!”

Yes! Even me! Notice that we have no idea if Mary was thin or heavy. Was she beautiful or more common in looks? Did she have a keen, educated intellect or was she of the more simple, unreflective mindset? Was she betrothed, expected to be or had no future husband in mind? Did she have any handicaps or was her health perfect? Could she have done as well as Martha in the kitchen? We don’t even know how old she was! Was she as young as 14 or had she passed 20? Or was she a spinster of 30 as well as her older sister. Was she rich, poor or average?

And what happened to her? Did she die young due to low life expectancy? Did she marry? Have children? Tell them her Jesus stories? Become a grandmother? Outlive Martha and Lazarus? Who knows except her contemporaries? Who cares? All the details of her life pale into insignificance when compared to that one magnificent act demonstrated at that common meal so long ago! Yet that simple seeking by that simple sister still explodes in our hearts today and echoes into eternity. Millions of the Lord’s people have profited by the brilliance and strength of her humble and teachable example for twenty centuries!

Mary found the “one thing” on earth that dominates all others. It was hers because she sought and sat where she could see the face of Jesus. That “one thing” is to be magnificently obsessed with and possessed byJesus the Messiah!

Are we listening? Let this passion be our daily, hourly and minute by minute habit. We too can find that lasting meaning for our lives that “shall not be taken away”!

For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” II Corinthians 4:6