No. It’s not about a show. It’s not about Cameron Diaz. But there’s something about Mary we all should know.
Did you notice that every time when Mary of Bethany – whose act Jesus specifically ordered be recorded in all the Gospels (Mat 26:6-13; Mar 14:3-9; John 12:1-8; *Luk 7:37-39) – was seen together with Jesus, she was ALWAYS at His feet (Luke 10:38-42; John 11:31-32; John 12:1-8)? And on top of that, she also had the privilege of being the first to see our Lord in His resurrected form! (Mar 16:9; John 20:14-16)
Did Mary know something that we don’t, but should know?
As Christians, we are told to bear fruit. I know many of us are trying to bear the fruit mentioned in Gal 5: 22-23 and 2 Pet 1:5-7, albeit with much anguish and frustrations.
First things first, let me digress a little. Why do we need to bear fruit? We bear fruit not for ourselves. We bear fruit so that others who are in need of it can ‘eat’ of it. For example, do you know of anyone who’s in need of some brotherly kindness as mentioned in 2 Peter? Do you have that ‘fruit’ for that person to ‘eat’ and consequently glorify Jesus?
Ok, let’s get back to Mary. Do apple trees have to strive to bear fruit? Have you heard any fruit tree telling another, “You know, I’m really sick and tired of working so hard and yet my fruit doesn’t come out!”? Fruit trees just bear fruits, don’t they?
Then why do we Christians have to strive so hard to do it?
I believe the ‘secret’ lies in the ability to do the Mary thing in a Martha world; the ability to resist to be Martha when we’re supposed to be Mary. In a world where efficiency is lauded and doing nothing is scorned, it’s no wonder why many Christians are worn out trying to bear fruit or to serve God. Being Mary seems so ‘weird’ in a Martha world.
But this is exactly what our Lord wants us to do! Jesus says in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance.” How can we have life in abundance when we are highly strung like Martha?
Don’t misunderstand. I’m not for those sit-down-and-do-nothing-and-wait-for-Kingdom-come kind of faith. And I’m not promoting laziness either. But I’m for those seat-at-Jesus’-feet-and-wait-for-His-Spirit-to-lead kind of works. To quote Martin Luther, “Faith must never be useless, deaf, dead, or in a state of decay. But it must be a living tree that bursts forth with fruit. Where there is true faith, it will show itself in a person’s life.”
Jesus says in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.” I believe as long as our works are not done according to His spoken and/or written Word, they’re all useless. In fact, they’ll do nothing but wear us down.
Yes, we are supposed to bear fruit and be Christ-like. But as Mark Buchanan says in his book, ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’, “There is no way to do Christ-like acts except by way of intimacy with Christ Himself. I must live in Jesus, and let His Word live in me. I must listen to Him, be heedful of Him. If ever I’m to do Martha-like acts with real effect, I must do it with Mary-like submissiveness and attentiveness to Jesus.“
Yes. There’s really something about Mary…
And Martha too!
* There’s some debate that the lady in Luke 7 was not Mary. But this is not the point of my post here.