Her brother was gone. The grief welled up in her heart, threatening to spill over in a flood of tears. Nights of nursing, the best care she could possibly give . . . and still he died. Beloved teacher and friend, where had He been while Lazarus suffered? Why didn’t He come to Bethany? How could He let this happen? And then He came. Understanding her pain and loss, He wept with her. Then He spoke the earth-shattering words, “Lazarus, come forth!” Mary’s heart leapt as she witnessed the impossible. Her brother was alive! (John 11:32–45). With unspeakable joy, Mary gave Jesus her eternal devotion.
In kindness, Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman, offering her salvation. With a single command, He delivered Mary Magdalene from seven tormenting demons. Moved by compassion, He offered forgiveness to the adulterous woman. With a simple touch, He healed the woman with the issue of blood that had plagued her for so long. In shared sorrow, He comforted the women who stood by Him while He hung on the cross. Shattering cultural expectations, Jesus treated women with respect as worthy children of God, teaching them with His disciples, providing them with opportunities to serve, and even holding them up as examples in His parables.
Healed . . . respected . . . understood . . . comforted . . . delivered . . . forgiven. Every woman whose life was utterly transformed by her personal encounter with Jesus Christ responded with deep devotion and gratitude. Many followed Him, and out of their own means they provided for the needs of Jesus and His disciples during His ministry (see Mark 15:40–41; Luke 8:1–3).
Less than a week before He was crucified, Jesus came to Bethany.While He was eating, Mary entered the dining room and knelt at His feet. Out of the depths of her grateful heart, she poured out her life’s savings in perfume over Him, wiping His dusty feet with her hair (Matthew 26:6–13; John 12:1–8). What a daring, unconventional thing to do—a million-dollar pedicure in public for an itinerant preacher! What a waste! But whether or not she fully understood the implications of what she was doing, she had anointed the One who had come to die for her, preparing Him for burial. With this act of spontaneous, sacrificial love and worship, Mary mortgaged her future to comfort her Savior. And Jesus smelled the perfume as He hung on the cross.
How has Jesus touched you? Have you been healed? Understood? Comforted? Delivered? Forgiven?
How will you respond?