Faithful on Fridays Blog

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Mary of Bethany

Everyone has a beginning in their walk with God, that moment you realize your need for a Savior, repent, and He enters your life with forgiveness and love. That’s undoubtedly the backstory of Mary early in her friendship with Christ. Jesus said,

“… but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42 ESV

Developing intimacy with Jesus begins our friendship as well. Time spent in His presence, honestly, receiving forgiveness, and praying for others are all part of our relationship with God. Jesus commended Mary for making Him her priority.

Later we find Mary (John 11) and Martha again, however, this encounter shakes their faith. God has every right to test our faith and He chose the death of their brother to bring them face to face with the issue of trust.

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
1 Peter 1:7 NLT

Mary is young in her faith and shaken by the fact that Jesus didn’t immediately come and heal Lazarus. She was disappointed with God. Ever been there? Instead of joining Martha, when He finally arrived, she remained in the house. Martha told her Jesus was coming and calling for her, then she responded but her words reflect her disappointment.

When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:32 NLT

Ahhhh, the trying of our faith; it can be painful.

Mary’s name comes from the same root as Martha’s: strength or bitterness. Isn’t it true that in our walk of faith we move in and out of trust and reliance on God?

Jesus’ response to all the grieving surrounding this episode was annoyance, how intriguing. He was angry and agitated at the unbelief (John 11:33) shown by all the people and reminded them to believe. What was the outcome? He raised Lazarus from the dead.

Mary had the privilege of anointing Jesus’ feet (John 12) for His journey to the cross and His head (Mark 14), symbolizing His position and authority, and He called it a ‘beautiful thing’ yet she wasn’t constantly walking in faith. Again, intriguing.

As believers we will encounter circumstances in life that disappoint us and shake our faith; how do we respond? Stay in the house or run after God?

Mary’s anointing of Christ, the lower story, points us to the Spirit of Christ abiding in us (1 John 2:20, 27), the upper story. John guarantees that spending time with God will teach you how to walk through your trial in faith and victory. Spend your time wisely.

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