“Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead,[a] whom He had raised from the dead. 2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. 3 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" John 12:1-3 (NKJV).
What an astonishing banquet that must have been! People camped in the streets everywhere outside Lazarus’ house, like paparazzi, jostling for position in hopes of catching a glimpse of Lazarus on the red carpet with the guest of honor. Were it 2012, the news media would be stationed strategically with reporters interviewing all the eyewitnesses, including the neighbors. Helicopters would be flying overhead. In the tabloids, “Dead Man Has Dinner with Jesus,” and Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter would all be abuzz.
Inside, the dinner party was in full effect. Lazarus has his swagger back. Can’t you see him showered and shaved in a new suit with a fresh fade, kicked back living life like its golden. There Martha is busy as ever in the kitchen, her old critical spirit gone. Remember the last time Martha invited Jesus to their home she complained to Jesus about Mary, “Lord don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:39) Isn’t it funny how people are so quick to criticize you for not using their gift? Don’t you want to say to them, “You use your gift, and let me use my gift! You support your way, and let me support my way! I know where my help comes from! My help comes from the Lord! And then there is Mary, and as usual she is at Jesus’ feet. The focus of this familiar story oftentimes centers on Mary’s gift and act of worship. But I want to talk just for a minute about manners, and what to do when Jesus saves you....
Martha worked. The text says, “Martha served,” She showed appreciation to Jesus by serving. She didn’t do what she couldn’t do. She did what she could do. She stayed in her lane. Matha, her name is the feminine form of “Lord,” means “Lady.” Martha is active and practical. She was never at a loss for words. Though Jesus rebuked her for being worried and upset about too many things, she supported his ministry. Even if you don’t like supporting in the kitchen, or serving groups of people at dinner parties, or ushering people to their seats, on the hospitality committee, you’ve got to respect Martha. Even though he had a stern word for her, they remained friends. The least little thing you say to some people and they ready to change churches, stop attending your events or supporting your organization.
Do you like working behind the scenes in the kitchen, like Martha, or out front worshipping, or preaching the gospel; in children's ministry, or driving the church van? God has given you at least one spiritual gift, and He wants you to use it. Do sit on the premises. Stand on the promises and serve!
Lazarus witnessed. The text says “Lazarus is among those reclining at the table with him”-- “Him” being Jesus. Lazarus was thankful. He showed appreciation for being saved out of his mummy-like condition. He quickly unwrapped his gauze, texted, tweeted, and facebooked his friends, and threw a party for Jesus. He witnessed. You ought to tell your story because can't nobody do you like Jesus. You ought to tell it because the Bible says the enemy is overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Rev. 12:11)!Mary worshipped. The text says, “Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, …” Mary discovered something fundamental about Jesus. That is He may not get there when you want him to, but when he gets there, he's right on time! She moved past her prolonged pouting to pour on the fragrance of gratitude. And that's what you should do. When Jesus rescues you from death, revitalizes your dead relationships, and restores your dead hopes and dreams, you should work for him, witness about him, and give God the glory. Your worship ought not be hurried, half-hearted, and haughty. Your worship ought to be sacrificial. It ought to be reverent. It should cost you something. After all, Jesus paid it all for you.
What do you do when Jesus saves you? Show some respect. Don't let good manners be hard to find. Say thank you with your time, talent, and treasures. Jesus saves!