Journey Group Devotional, 11/4/15
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany where Lazarus was, the one Jesus had raised from the dead.  So they gave a dinner for Him there; Martha was serving them, and Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him.  Then Mary took a pound of fragrant oil — pure and expensive nard — anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped His feet with her hair. So the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. – John 12:1-3
In our culture, going out to eat is a very common way to connect or reconnect with friends. When Jesus came to Bethany after Lazarus had been raised from the dead, hosting a dinner for Jesus probably seemed like the natural thing to do. A few days before, this might have been just some friends sharing a meal and enjoying each other’s company. But this meal was special. Lazarus, having been dead, was now alive. Jesus has proved beyond doubt that He is indeed the Resurrection and the Life. Perhaps we are allowed a brief look into this dinner with Jesus because there is something to be learned here.
The most obvious lesson is worship is a response of the recognition of who He is and what He’s done. Mary is remembered forever because she laid aside her pride, sacrificed a costly gift, and anointed the feet of Jesus. Then, exhibiting radical humility, she wiped His feet with her own hair. Although her act of worship may have seemed extreme, no one can question the fact that Jesus deserved the attention He received.
In her own way, Martha was worshiping Jesus, too. She is serving. On another occasion when Martha was serving, she complained to Jesus about not getting any help. There are no complaints this day. Having seen the glory of God at the tomb of Lazarus, serving Him probably seemed like a privilege.
Looking into this dinner scene, we see Lazarus, back from the other side, also seated at the table with Jesus. We could speculate about the conversation but it doesn’t matter. What we see is the lesson. They were together. Even though they’d been friends before, Lazarus would not have been able to see Jesus the same way. His relationship with the Messiah was the most important thing in the world.
Take a moment and think about how you should respond to Jesus. Knowing who He is and what He’s done for you, what does He deserve from you? While He certainly deserves our worship, don’t forget that He also desires our company. Set aside some time this week and spend some quality time with Jesus. Jesus has already made the reservations.
Your table is ready! Table for two?