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My Heart Belongs To Jesus - A Brief Study On Mary Of Bethany
* all [bracketed] words in Scripture verses are mine *
Mary lived with her sister, Martha and her brother Lazarus in the small town of Bethany. It was convenient to Jesus who lived in the area to stop by these folks whom He had befriended. As Jesus' ministry began, He introduced them to the 12 disciples and they grew to love them as well. Lazarus and his family were wealthy, perhaps Lazarus sat at the gate to judge on matters of litigation and judged. That often explained the wealth of one particular family. It would help explain how Mary had enough money to pour a whole bottle of spiknard onto Jesus' feet in the Bible account. It would also explain why so many people attended Lazarus' funeral along with paid mourners. At any rate this story in verse below gives the emotional account a little life so it is easy to visualize the pain and elation in these verses of Scripture.
I'm a simple woman really, who loves with all her heart
So I knew my life was safe, with Jesus from the start,
I truly want to tell you, what my Jesus meant to me
The moment that I met Him, my spirit was set free,
I was busy helping Martha, when He wandered by
And I offered Him a little drink, because His throat was dry,
He had eyes that looked right through me, right down into my soul
And we sat and talked for hours, on the grassy knoll,
He seemed to really love us, my brother, sister, and I
He would stop over just to talk, and to watch the clouds float by,
Many times at Temple, I heard them read the scrolls
Of how a great Messiah, would walk our grassy knolls,
And I knew this Man Jesus was not just a man, but more
That God had stepped down from heaven, sinful mankind to restore,
A promise I made to listen, to His every word
And at the feet of the Teacher, I'd soak up all I heard,
Seemed all the world I'd forget, when He but spoke my name
But Martha would get so mad, she thought it all a game
Then Jesus told her "Martha, you think of busy things
But Mary seeks peace and joy, that only heaven brings."
Then one day it happened, my brother fell very ill
We all prayed to heaven, for His healing and His will,
But the healing power never came, my brother Lazarus died
We all knelt 'round the body, to mourn him and we cried,
If only Jesus had been here, with His healing way
My brother would not have died, and would still be here today,
That first day it was awful, the wailing and the moans
I looked through eyes of streaming tears, and breathed out silent groans,
The second day we wound him up, and prepared him for the grave
Memories of him came flooding back, and of the love he gave,
And again I thought of Jesus, why was my Lord not here?
We'd gotten word to Him in time, for He was so very near,
But Jesus never came, and now four days had passed
Then I saw the Lord Jesus, coming over the hill at last,
So I ran and met my Lord, I hugged Him tight to me
"My Lord, Lazarus died!" and I took His hand, "Come see!"
I led Him over the grassy knoll, the mourners wailing on
The air was thick with sadness, our Lazarus was gone,
Then Jesus stopped short, and had teardrops in His eyes
Though I understood the sadness, the tears caught me by surprise,
"Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died
And then I held on to Him, and we both stood there and cried,
My dear sister Martha, had told Jesus the same thing
And the truth of what He told her, still in my ears did ring,
"I AM the Resurrection and the Life, do you believe this?" he said
A person that believes in Me, will never end up dead,"
Jesus raised His voice above the din, and shouted to the crowd
"You strong men there, move the stone!" He told them in voice so loud,
The Jews that were there looked shocked, what does this Jesus think?
And Martha said, "It's been four days, by this time he doth stink!"
But I shouted, "Move the stone! Just move it anyway!
This Man Jesus is the Lord, we must do what He doth say!"
With great effort they moved the stone, and rolled it from his tomb
And the smell of death did fill the air, with thoughts of desperate gloom,
Jesus rang out in voice so clear, "Dear Lazarus come out!"
Then my brother wasn't dead, and I heard the people shout,
I fell at my knees at Jesus' side, He said, "Loose him and let him free."
And I grabbed Jesus' feet and worshipped Him, and praised Him thankfully,
If I listened to His voice before that day, I've doubled my effort since
He told of His crucifixion, and the thought just made me wince,
It wasn't many days after, they hung Him on a tree
To pay for the sins of everyone, including you and me,
I tell you today, and it's important enough to hear
Accept Jesus as your Savior, He's died to keep you near.
This poem from the perspective of sweet Mary of Bethany is a powerful reminder of what listening at the feet of Jesus means to all who take the time to pay attention.
Jesus said, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." He said, "I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life." He said, "Behold, I stand at the door [of your heart] and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me."
One must ask of himself, am I like Mary or am I like her sister? Am I a listener and believer of Jesus or am I too concerned with the cares of this life to hear? Jesus wants all to hear Him and let Him into their lives.
If you see yourself as consumed by the cares of life and still missing something in your heart, that something is Jesus. It is easy to ask Him in. All that is required is that you know you bear sin in your flesh that will keep you away from God if it is not taken away from you. That you realize that this sin was passed down to you so that your "human nature" is to sin. Jesus came to die to pay for that nature, so that nature would not keep us from him. All we must do is confess before Him that we are a sinner and need Him to save us and He will. Pray this:
Dear Lord Jesus: I know that I am a sinner and that my sin will keep me from going to heaven. Please take this sin away from me and save me. I believe in your death to pay for my sin, your burial and your victory over death. I believe that you sit once more at the right hand of God. I turn from my sin and turn to you as the only way of salvation. Thank you for loving me and I love you my Savior. In Jesus' holy name I pray. Amen.