Thought for the Week - 14th August

Vanda Hopkin
John 12: 1-11

Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead.  There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him.  Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said,  “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”  This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.

But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial.  For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”

Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.  But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.

Isaiah 33: 17

Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
They will see the land that is very far off.

This happened not long after Lazarus had been raised from the dead.  Jesus, others who’d come, His disciples, Mary, Martha and Lazarus sat around a supper prepared for Christ.  Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair.

In that room there were many different people.  Those who had long followed of Christ, people who He’d met along the way, Lazarus who He’d raised from the dead, and Judas who had walked with Him for three years.  Jesus had a very special bond and relationship with Martha and Mary.

There was one very different relationship in that room, the relationship between Jesus and Mary.  The world has tried to make that pure and Holy relationship sordid, as the enemy often does.  But theirs was a pure, spiritual and Holy relationship.  It was a relationship not of this earth, but of a heavenly realm; of eternity.

Earlier she had been rebellious to Christ – she’d been disappointed because Christ hadn’t come when called for, that her brother hadn’t been healed but instead died.    In this room, at this time, she’d moved on.  She’d moved on from her sins, from the things around her, from the protectiveness over her brother.  She now had eyes for no man but Christ.  Her hopes and her desires had been let down before, she had seen Him raise her brother from the dead.  Something in her had blossomed, she had changed and grown.  That spiritual realm had opened up to her in a way it hadn’t been before.  She didn’t look down in grief for it had passed.  She no longer looked downward at her grief, her sins, her needs, her worries or concerns, her ministries and her gifts.  She looked beyond Martha, making her feel guilty because she was doing everything.  All she saw was Christ.

She saw something of the future.  She knew something was going to happen to Christ, and saw the King in his beauty.  She saw the land of far distances.  She saw in Him the light of purity and the glory of eternity shining.  She didn’t see Him as a natural man, she saw him as the King in his beauty, in His loveliness and purity; as the son of God and God Himself.  Others couldn’t see it!  There were many people in that room, yet she caught a glimpse.

Sometimes that’s all we need… is that one glimpse of Christ for us to be changed.  Where we move from the natural into the spiritual realm that He calls us to.  Where we have communion with Christ, where we are connected and united with Him in that spiritual realm.  Where nothing else matters.  Where everything flows out from that communion, relationship and unity with Christ.

It’s there for every one of us!  Like it was there for everyone in that room.  Only Mary caught it!  Judas had become hardened and couldn’t see that land of far distance… he could only see his sin.  He had the exact same opportunity as Mary.  We see Martha, Lazarus – who He had raised from the dead, four days in the tomb – didn’t see that place in Christ that Mary did!  We are called to it.  It’s our right, it’s our inheritance!  Yet so few people find it!  It’s a place not for some, but for all of God’s children.

We are not called to be ordinary Christians.  We are called to dwell in the heights and the heavenlies, where we can glimpse eternity.  We’re called to look up not down, and out not in!  We need to come to our first love… we will always be a child of His!  All we need to do is look into His face again and feel of His presence; to let our hearts respond to that call.  That call has never changed throughout eternity, and will never change.  He’s bought us with His own precious blood.

Judas was quick enough to say the Spikenard should have been used for the poor, despite him having no intention of doing so.  Spikenard is very expensive – a man’s wages for a year – and used to preserve for burial.  She had a glimpse of His suffering!  She broke it at the feet of Christ, gave it all and laid it at His feet. She gave everything of herself – the good, bad and the indifferent.

He calls for us to give our all – our hopes, our future, our call.  He calls that we would give everything to find the King in his beauty.  There’s no need for us to struggle in sin anymore, because we see Christ!  He has changed us and touched us.  He fills our vision and we decrease.

We’re inhabitants of another land… of eternity.  We are only passing through in this world!  We will see the King in His beauty and see that land of far distances!  Don’t you want to be in that place where Mary was?  Where we want to know Christ, not because we want something, but because He desires us!  He desires our company, our love, our worship and our lives.

We’re not meant for the lower ground, we’re called for a higher place!  Another call comes again today – come again to those heights, the place where you’re meant to dwell.  When He takes us home, He will take us by the hand and take us into eternity Himself.  He’ll lead us through that valley of death!  Oh what a beautiful place it will be!  He has already prepared a place for us; a place of beauty and Glory, where He Himself will dwell.

Can you see that Land of far distances?  Do you want to see Him as He is?  Say Lord “I want that!  I just want you.  I am desperate to know you in full communion. I want to run to the mercy seat and know you.”  Give over your anguishes, your weaknesses and your sins.  Ask for more… a deeper walk, a stronger relationship, to see the King in His beauty, to be in that heavenly realm because He desires it for you.

Let Him speak gently to your heart today.

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