Thanks Paul for a “coincidental” post on having a relationship with Jesus vs. religion which was a theme this weekend at The Orchard. Scott related the story of Mary, Lazarus’ sister, who at one time sat at Jesus’ feet, hanging on his every word. Yet when Lazarus dies contrary to the message Jesus sends that his illness will not end in death, Mary is not the first to greet Jesus when he finally arrives 4 days after Lazarus dies. She stays in the house until Martha tells her Jesus is asking for her. She tears out of the house to meet Jesus and throws herself at his feet in agony–possibly anger?–and cries out “Lord if you had been here my brother would not have died.” Yet later she is the one who pours expensive perfume on his feet in blatant unashamed worship.
Definitely a woman with a genuine relationship with Jesus. An ebb and flow of devotion, doubt and worship. We see she did not have all the answers. And Jesus did not scold her for that. He was sympathetic and mourned with her even though he knew everything would turn out fine. She didn’t always do the politically correct thing either and was actually defended by Jesus, again not scolded. There is something freeing about reality. Scary too but most definitely freeing if you’re willing to go there.
Sorry, there’s lots of links to reference these stories. For the full scoop, check out the book of John in the bible, chapters 11 and 12.