Driving home from school the other day [I am taking a calculus course this summer], I put David and Nicole Binion’s CD, Sound of Heaven, Volume 1 Disc 2, into my cd player and began listening to “Alabaster Box.” Before the song ends this question pops into my mind – “How did Mary know where to find Jesus at?” Answer: “She Followed Me”
I meditate on that for several days and today I find myself in Matthew Chapter 26 reading about when Jesus is anointed at Bethany. There are two versions of this story: Matthew’s version is a general telling of the story and John’s version has specifics. It is the Matthew’s version that caught my eye. “And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him . . .” (Matthew 26:6-7a – italics mine). John identifies this woman as Mary. The same Mary who is the sister of Martha, whose brother, Lazarus, is brought back to life by Jesus (John 11:1-44). The same Mary who is sitting at the feet of Jesus while Martha is “serving” (Luke 10:38-42). Now that I know the story – why would Jesus tell me “She Followed Me”?
Certainly as close as Mary, Martha, and Jesus were, she would know when He came to Bethany and what His routine was while there. Surely, she would know where to find Him if she needed Him. I can picture Jesus talking to Mary and Martha then telling Mary, ‘Later, Simon the leper has invited Me to dinner. Don’t want to be late – he’s frying up the fish he caught this morning.’ I’m not sure if this is how she knew.
“She Followed Me”
Matthew (26:7) and John (12:3) both explain that Mary comes to the house to anoint Jesus with Very Costly Fragrant Oil from her alabaster flask. Mary – whose life before Jesus we don’t know much about before she is a follower of Jesus – pours this expensive oil onto Jesus – thereby anointing Him. Is that the only reason why she was there?
Back to the song. Verse 2.
“I can’t forget the way life used to be – I was a prisoner to the sin that had me bound – and I spent my days – poured my life without measure – into a little treasure box I’d thought I’d found – until the day when Jesus came to me – and healed my soul with the wonder of His touch”
“She Followed Me”
In verse 10 of chapter 26, Jesus says, “For she has done a good work for Me.” She has done a good work FOR Me. Mary followed Jesus to Simon’s house to do a good work FOR Him. She Served Him. I think back over my life (though I haven’t been on this earth for toooooo many years) I have lived a life of sin, sorrow, and pain. Then I found Jesus and now I’m Following Him.
“And I’ve come to pour – my praise on Him – like oil from Mary’s alabaster box – don’t be angry if I wash His feet with my tears – and I dry them with my hair – you weren’t there the night He found me – you did not feel what I felt – when He wrapped His love all around me and – you don’t know the cost of the oil – in my alabaster box”
I believe Mary knew where to find Jesus at Simon’s house, not because He told her where to find him, but because in her heart she not only “followed Him” – She Followed Him. She Followed Him to Simon’s house. She probably didn’t know that Martha was already there serving, and possibly even telling Simon which fish fry to use, or that Lazarus was sitting at the table with Jesus. All she knew was that she went to where He was to serve Him, to do a good work For Him.
“She Followed Me”
As I continue on my journey of Following 2 Serve – my prayer is that I can see where Jesus is and Follow Him there to Serve Him. Yes I know He is always with me – but do I see Him with others? Do I see Him “sitting at the table” with the lepers, the outcast, the homeless, the elderly, the rich, the poor, the healthy, and the sick – because I’ve followed Him there? Do I see Him with my neighbor, my friend, my co-worker, my fellow student, my family, or my enemy? He’s with them also. When I’ve come to the place where He’s at, wherever that may be, because I’ve followed Him there – Do I pour the oil out of my Alabaster Box? Do I share the lessons I’ve learned, the tears I’ve shed, and the pain I’ve overcome (and continue to learn, shed, and overcome)? Do I share how He’s delivered me, saved me, and healed me? Do I do a good work FOR Him?
Or, do I keep that “expensive oil” to myself?
Lord, wherever I’m going, may I see You because I’ve followed You there. I know this is not about me so help me to Serve You unconditionally. Help me to share my alabaster box with those who would receive it.
“She Followed Me – She Served Me”
I think that’s what I would want people to say about me when I’m gone.