08 Apr Sitting at Jesus’ Feet – Words of Grace – April 8, 2022
While working on a sermon, I often come across something that I know is not the main point of the passage, but that is important and helpful. I know that what I have found won’t be the main message of the sermon, but I want to share it anyway. This is a great place to do that today.
Mary, the friend of Jesus and sister of Lazarus who was raised from the dead, is often found at the feet of Jesus. The fact that she is “at his feet” seems intentional, and therefore is designed to teach us something.
Here are some examples. In Luke 10: 38-42, Jesus is in the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Martha is busy serving everyone, and Mary is seated at the Lord’s feet listening to his teaching. This detail is intentionally placed in the passage for us to see something. Martha complains to Jesus that Mary is not serving. Jesus tells Martha that Mary is doing a good thing. She is at his feet listening and learning. She is growing in her love for him.
In John 11:32, Jesus has arrived on the scene to raise Lazarus from the dead. But before he does, Mary runs to Jesus and falls at his feet. From this humble position, she pours her heart out to him. This detail might seem insignificant except for the fact that the description of Martha’s meeting with Jesus is identical to that of Mary’s but without reference to falling at his feet. It seems again that taking the position of humility is unique to Mary.
Then in John 12:1-3 (the passage for this Sunday), Mary is again at the feet of Jesus. This time she is anointing his feet with ointment in preparation for his burial. She even wipes the excess oil from his feet with her hair.
What do we make of Mary at the feet of Jesus?
Jesus is Lord, the Son of God, and our Savior. He is worth all our attention. His words are life. We must listen to him.
Jesus is worthy of our time. There is no time lost that is spent in his presence. He is always with us. But the time and space experienced with him in communion is vital to our relationship with him.
Jesus stands ready to help. When we fall at his feet (which is a figure of speech for humbling ourselves in prayer), he hears and responds from his heart of mercy.
Jesus is real. The eternal Son of God took on human flesh and became a man. Jesus now and always will exist as God-man. He is in a resurrected body. He will return in the same. He will raise us up in new bodies fit for fellowship with him. And on that day, we will see the nail prints in his feet and forever be grateful for his sin-atoning death on our behalf.
I’m sure you can think of more meaning in Mary’s posture at the feet of Jesus. This weekend, think on these things.
Let’s pray for one another in anticipation of our gathering on Sunday.