When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see." Jesus began to weep.
So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!" But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"
Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days."
Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, "Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me." When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."
|I took this photo on our first mission trip to post-Katrina New Orleans. It's not a bad daily prayer.|
- It's a large jar, containing a pound or a pint of perfume: picture a pint of strawberries, or a pint of Guinness...that's a lot of perfume.
- It's "costly" or expensive perfume: worth "300 denarii" nearly a year's salary worth of perfume.
- It's exquisite perfume: a rare, precious possession
- Mary pours it on - she doesn't just lightly, politely drip a few drops. She pours it on Jesus' feet.
- Then she wipes his feet with her hair: letting one's hair down in public would have been unusual, and maybe even scandalous. "Letting one's hair down" still means to act in a free, uninhibited manner, to relax, let loose.
- Remember when Jesus was the wedding guest at Cana, and the scene of his first miracle in Gospel of John? It’s the story of Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding feast: not just a little wine, but 150 gallons, 750 bottles: 64 cases of wine. And not just any wine: an exquisite wine, the “best wine.”
- The miracle of loaves and fishes: Five thousand people are fed by the sea of Galilee…and we’re told twelve baskets of bread are left over.
- After fishing all night, Simon Peter will be told by the risen Christ to cast his net on the other side of the boat and he catches 153 fish…his nets are ready to break there’s so many.
- Make your desires known to God, confident of God’s closeness, compassion, and love for you.
- God’s closeness, compassion, and love does not mean everything goes our way all the time, or that we’re spared from heartache.
- Don’t be afraid, or reluctant, to take away the stone because you’re convinced parts of your life stinketh. God is the Lord of life. Behind that stone, deep in the tomb, he brings life.
- Sometimes miracles lead to belief, but sometimes belief leads to a miracle.
- We’re blessed to be a blessing to others: being a recipient of the miraculous leads to over the top generosity.