MARY OF BETHANY 
AT THE FEET OF JESUS
By Evangelist - Rev. Diana Gray O.A.+
Copyright © 2,000-2004 All Rights Reserved


PRAYER: For spiritual wisdom and guidance as we grow in His Word in a deeper understanding.

  • Luke 10:38-42 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.  But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. 


     When we are first saved, we realized that we had a hunger for something more and greater in our lives.  We realized that we were sinners and that we needed a Savior.  After we are saved we notice that we still have empty places in our lives.  We still have problems and needs that are not yet met.  We still have voids in areas that are yet surrendered. 

     Jesus Christ brought Salvation into the world and redeemed us of our sins, but where do we go from there if not His Word the Bible? Where do we take our problems when life gets really hard? Should we pray and hope for the best?  Should we do nothing because the Lord will take care of everything?  OrÖ.should we humble our pride and worship at the feet of Jesus.  Arenít there times when simple prayer just isnít enough when our heart is just crying out for help?  

     The scriptures in Godís Word the Bible, begins to show us how to live our lives.   We begin to realize that if we want to grow into a deep relationship with the Lord, we have to start by taking our problems to the feet of Jesus.  We should surrender everything in our lives to the feet of Jesus.  He is the answer to all of our problems.  Only by this kind of humility can we possibly know the Lord!  (Have a deeper understanding and relationship with Him.)  

     Only at the feet of Jesus can we have victory and peace in our lives in the truest since of the word.  This kind of worship takes a deeper commitment and Christian maturity than we possibly have ever had before.  I challenge you today to grow and move deeper in your relationship with the Lord. 

     One of the greatest women of faith that ever lived and yet little is preached about is Mary of Bethany.  Maybe in passing but not really studied to any real depth and preached in church services.   Why is that when there are far more women in todayís churches than ever before?   In many countries the terrible sickness of Aids and wars not to mention poverty has claimed many menís lives often leaving orphans and hurting widows behind.  Families need far more compassionate messages of hope and encouragement like ďMary of Bethany at the Feet of Jesus,Ē than ever before.  Why, because when we hurt we need a place to go for comfort and where else is there a better place than at the feet of our Lord!

     You know women have a huge part to play in giving us balance in scripture.  We need to study the whole bible and that includes sharing all of the richness and glory of it. Todayís women and girls need solid roll models to look up to, not just music or movie, or sports stars.  What better roll models then the women of the Bible?  

     I believe young men of today would do well to study the women in the bible in order to help them choose wisely the Godly kinds of wives they will need to have to be a helpmate for life and mother to their children.   Maybe then they would be able to prevent having to go through the ravages of divorce because they chose the wrong kind of woman to be married to.   Beauty is only skin deep and a pure heart righteous before the Lord has gentle beauty all its own.  This is true for women as well to consider looking at the condition of a manís heart rather than his outward appearance.

      Women or men who are righteous before the Lord will help nurture and bring real harmony into a spouseís life.  Who else would be better to teach one's children solid moral values, than a Godly woman like some of the women in the Bible or even some of the Godly men? How many women and men come out of bad homes without any real love, just abuse and violence by parents that had never been raised with any real Christian upbringing?  

     The Godly women in the Bible had a great deal in my upbringing and they helped taught me how to become the type of woman I am today by their Godly examples.   I didnít learn what I needed to learn about raising a family from those around me but from reading and studying the women in the bible.   Letís focus in on Mary of Bethany; she was a tremendous woman of faith and a few others for some Biblical enlightenment and spiritual encouragement. 

      Let us consider a few dynamic Biblical women to try to understand why Mary of Bethany was so special.  There were women like Mary Magdalene, Debra, Mary the mother of two of the Apostles of Jesus Christ not to mention His mother Mary, and Martha who were all important, but Mary of Bethany was special in her own way.
 
     Now Mary Magdalene had seven demons cast out of her by Jesus and she followed Him out of faith and love.  Jesus had a mother named Mary who out of faith obeyed the Lord, allowing us the glory of the Savior of the world to be born. Letís look at Debra who in the book of Judges called, chosen and ordained of God to become one of the greatest prophets not to mention mighty Judges over all of Israel.   People think that women in those days could not be spiritual leaders but here was one that God had called to be a mighty leader over ALL of Israel.   This included the Religious Rabies, and other spiritual leaders.  She even led the mighty Hebrew army to victory.  This answers the question, ďAre women called by God into ministry in leadership roles?Ē Yes, just look at the dynamic life of the prophetess and Judge Debra, God will always choose whom He will to get whatever job He desires done.  Men and women are equal in Godís eyes!  

     There was Mary who raised the two Zebadees sons which grew up to become two of the chosen apostles.  We also must mention the wonderful woman of faith the prophets Anna, who was ministering at the temple when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple.  She had been ministering and doing the duties of Prophetess there because she was called and chosen of God.  She was not just simply praying at the Temple but ministering to people there as well.  All of these women were called and used of God.   Each had their own ministries that were important.   All of these women were strong in faith.   

     I want us to consider Mary of Bethany who sat at the feet of Jesus.  Three times she received His praise and honor.  Can any woman or man today (Be honest with yourselves) say that you truly have sat at the feet of the Master in your heart the way Mary of Bethany did?  She sat with complete love and worship! 

      Mary of Bethany was born in a little village called Bethany and so she was given that villageís name to declare her identity or rather where she was born.  Bethany was a tiny village on the slopes of the Mount of Olives, north east of Jerusalem. Mary was known as a woman of faith and a gentle loving countenance.  Her demeanor was sweet and very loving.  Everyone who knew her could since the love in her and desired to be around her.

      If we are hurting from the trials and problems from life we need to worship at the feet of Jesus.  True mature Christian worship is NOT only standing and singing Holy gospel songs and then sitting down to listen to a sermon but it is our worship from our hearts that matters.  Mature worship is far more than then merely going through the act of worship but worshipping the Lord from our whole hearts as well.  

     You might tend to dwell upon everything you have to do when you get home as well as other things rather than the Lord.   Maybe your mind tends to wander even while listening to a Godly Sermon message even though you know the Lord has a word for your life.  Is there any wonder the problems overtake you and your heart hurts with fears and worries?  

     Only at the feet of Jesus can you truly find true mature Christian worship.  A church grows on its knees in prayer at the feet of Jesus.  Mary had a committed and thoughtful worshipful in her calm peaceful action.  She set down an example for all of us to follow.  Mary of Bethany placed her whole focus and life at the feet of Jesus.  Her devotion and appropriate response is the best righteous example that we could ever have.  If we would discipline ourselves to take all of our problems and trials to the feet of Jesus, how much happier we would be.  

     Mary of Bethany is a good example for our lives of the way we should all live not just women but men too.  She found her strength and joy at the feet of Jesus.  She listened to the Words of Jesus and they helped her live her life.  Mary had needs to be met in her life and the scripture says that she "sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word." 

     Martha had needs too, but she went about fulfilling them in the wrong way.  She was active and impulsive as she stressed about too many things instead of focusing in on what really mattered, her spiritual life.   She was more concerned about serving the Lord than she did about sitting and listing to Him.  

  • Luke 10:40 ÖMartha was cumbered about much serving. 
     You see Martha could only look on the surface material physical needs and judge that they needed to be taken care of but Jesus wanted Martha to look to her heartís spiritual needs as well.  She was worried and bothered about problems when she should have been taking them to the feet of Jesus.  This was one troubled Jewish lady!  Do you think her upbringing had anything to do with these attitudes? 
  • Luke 10:41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful (that means she was anxious or apprehensive) and troubled (disturbed or agitated) about many things.  
     Cleanliness is next to Godliness but when Martha made everyone uncomfortable around her with her judgmental attitude, she had some serious problems.  The Master was there speaking and teaching, yet she was uncomfortable and found it hard to relax in His presence.  Was she trying so hard to please others that she was forgetting that she needed to take time out for herself?  What a wonderful thing it would be to have Jesus in any of our homes.  Just think about it! Would we be like Martha fretting and bothered about so many things or would we desire to be near the Lord? Would we be sitting at His feet listing to every Word? 

      Martha was trying to get her needs met by serving and recognition.  Her servitude or good works were not getting her anywhere.  Jesus wanted her heart and her whole focus to be at the feet of the Master.  She needed to get her inner spiritual needs met by knowing the Lord.  All of the rest of the things would then fall into righteous place and Martha would be at peace.  

    How many Christians try to find their self worth fulfilled in activities and accomplishments, only to realize that nothing on this earth matters or is more important than to lead people to Jesus.  We canít take any of this life with us to Heaven when we die.   Do you think Marthaís clean house or any of her fussing would make a difference in Heaven?  What should she have been doing if a meal needed to be fixed and she could still hear Jesus?  Possibly listen quietly, absorbing every word, or better yet have her house work finished before He arrived so that she too could sit at His feet like Mary growing in His wisdom.   Martha might have planned better her day. 

      Our self worth is really only found at the feet of Jesus.  No where else can we truly find fulfillment and spiritual peace.  The more we take our problems and hurts to Jesus, the more we identify with Him will we truly know righteous peace.  Our whole world could feel like it was falling down around us, yet we would have fruit of the spirit JOY in our lives if we stayed and worshipped at the feet of Jesus.  

     Mary had such a positive and knowledgeable attitude about where her true focus should be that she had an anointing of love about her life.  It just permeated the room like perfume.  Anyone seeing her looking up into the face of Jesus would have been moved to the same kinds of feelings as she felt if their focus was right with God.  They would have wanted to sit at His feet too. 

     Marthaís heart wasnít right and all she could see was the work that needed to be done.  She couldnít see that Her Savior was sitting right before her.  Her faith was not growing like Maryís was.  She was missing the opportunity to worship at His feet too.  How would you feel if you had Jesus in the physical since right before you?  The greatest person of all time was in her presence and all Martha could think of was being cumbered about by many things.  Where was her focus on, everywhere else but at the feet of Jesus.  

     Now consider this verse furtherÖÖ..Martha rebuked the Lord.   If you look at the verse again Ö."dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone?" Right to the Lordís face she was judging not only her sister but judging the Lord as well.  Then she asked Him to make Mary get up and help her.  First she rebuked Him and then asked Him to do what she wanted.  Not what God wanted but what Martha wanted.  Arenít we to ask the Lord for things but in His righteous will, not our own? Where was Marthaís focus?

  • Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless  not my will, but thine, be done. 
     Who would you want to be around you; a complaining, judgmental Martha or a loving humble Mary?  Which one of these ladies would brighten up your life and which oneís life would be very stressful? Which type of person do you find yourself being? Are you feeling a little like both of them?  Do people see the anointing of humble, Christian love in your life or do they see you as having a critical, judgmental spirit and attitude?

     People who have never learned to sit at the feet of Jesus will not fully understand this teaching until they learn to develop spiritual maturity.   Jesus is our source of comfort and nothing else can even come close to that.  We all have a little of the Martha type of spirit in us and we have to recognize that we all need to change and surrender all of our lives at the feet of Jesus.  Can we be like loving Mary?  Sure but we have to work at it on it. Daily we must surrender all that we have and are to the Lord.  We need to sit at His feet and hear His voice through His Word. If we want to deal with the problems in our lives and have victory over them, we have to do it on our knees in surrendered prayer.  We have to sit at the feet of Jesus!

  • Luke 10:41-42 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and  troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. 
     Jesus said one thing was needed, (spiritual growth.)  We only need one thing and that is to choose the good part.  Everything else takes second place and our priority to be at the feet of Jesus is the good part. Martha was not being blamed for being concerned about the job at hand but He knew she needed to get her priorities straight.  When serving others takes precedence over devotion to God, then she was trouble spiritually.
  • Luke 10:42 it saysÖ. and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. 
     The final section of the last verse number 42 said, ďshall not be taken away from her.Ē  What does this mean?  It means that whatsoever you sow in your heart will remain.  The more knowledge that you gleam from Godís Word, the better off you will be.  The more actual understanding and spiritual surrender of your pride and problems to the Lord, the better you will be able to withstand the storms of life.  

     Everyone has trials and troubles but with this daily surrender at the feet of Jesus, they can be withstood.  Practice sitting at the feet of Jesus giving Him all of your attention and you will find the release of tensions and gain inner peace.  The storm of life can be whirling around you, but you will be looking up into the face of the Lord trusting Him to take care of you. 

  • Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
     In John 12:7 Mary of Bethany poured a years worth of fragrant oil on the Masterís feet and whipped it off with her hair.  She didnít say a word but just gave her love and her heart at the feet of Jesus.  Can we do any different than to love Him like this with our total worship and devotion?  Mary of Bethany gave all the love she had to give yet she didnít say a word.   Have you ever had a moment of worship where you were just so awed by the love of Jesus that you just couldnít speak?

     We walk by faith and even if we canít see the solutions to all of our problems right away, when we have sat at the feet of Jesus, we can have that assurance, knowledge and His Holy peace in our hearts.  The Lord knows our lives and what is just around the corner for us better than we do. Can there be anything greater in our lives than at the feet of the Lord, sitting looking up into His face?  Letís see Jesus for what he truly is in our lives, our Lord and Savior.  Let's surrender everything we have and sit at the feet of Jesus like Mary did.  Jesus Heals the Brokenhearted and where else but at the feet of Jesus should we take our painful problems to?  Jesus Christ loves us and can bring joy back into our lives if we keep focused upon His healing love.   May God bless your hear