Thankfulness Overflowing

Thankfulness Overflowing

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Each weekday morning, we’re going to spend a few minutes in a passage in John. Here’s the goal: read it, pray it, share it. Every post will have a passage of Scripture, a short prayer, and a question to meditate on and talk about. In a few minutes every day, we can prepare our hearts for all that God has planned in this season of Lent. 

Read: John 12:1-8
Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. [2] So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. [3] Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. [4] But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, [5] “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” [6] He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. [7] Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. [8] For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.” (ESV)

Imagine this scene. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were some of Jesus’ closest friends. They gathered together in their family home countless times. It’s safe to say these three were like family to Jesus and his disciples. But this time was different. Just before this, Lazarus had been sick. In fact, he was so sick that he died. A messenger came to Jesus and his disciples but they didn’t arrive until days after Lazarus was in the tomb. But then, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. It is the premier and paramount sign in Jesus’ ministry: this is the Son of God!

Imagine you’re at the house with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus giving a dinner for Jesus. What would you have? What would you say? How could you ever say thank you for what Jesus did? Every gift you could give would fall woefully short of expressing the thanks you felt in your heart.

So what does Mary do? She gives what she has. It may not be much compared to what Jesus did for her, but it was what she had. She gave her heart to him. She fell at his feet and offered her treasure to him. None of us can ever thank Jesus for what he’s done, but we can do what Mary did. We can give him our treasure, our worship, and our hearts. 

God, I could never thank you enough for sending your Son for me. Words will fall short. Anything I can give you already have. So I give you my heart. I give you my worship. I give you my life. Bring glory to Jesus, through me. Use me to help others see what you’ve done for them. Amen.

What does the contrast reveal between Mary and Judas? What does Jesus mean when he says, “the poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me”?

How can you express your gratitude to God today? When you think about Christ’s sacrifice for you, how does your thankfulness overflow?
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