The Berean Expositor
Volume 49 - Page 129 of 179
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Chapter 12:
pp. 191 - 195
In this chapter (12:) we have a variety of incidents which show how the people
surrounding our Lord assessed and judged His ministry and acts and their resultant
response. From a quiet study of their reactions we should find for ourselves emulation or
warning. Perhaps the highlight is the action of Mary:
"Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet
of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the
ointment" (12: 3).
The priorities of Mary and her sister Martha had already been compared in
Luke 10: 40-42:
"But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to Him, and said, Lord,
dost Thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she
help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and
troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good
part, which shall not be taken away from her."
The return of Mary's beloved brother Lazarus from the dead by the word of Christ,
was only one of many reasons for her devotion and thankfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Mary expressed this in the only way she could think of--the sacrifice of a costly box of
perfume anointing His feet and wiping them with her hair. A similar gesture of devotion
by another woman is recorded in Luke 7: 37-48. Here our Lord compares her response
with that accorded to Him by His host.
God places great importance and value on our response to His grace and loving
provision. We need daily to reflect on all His benefits to us from the heights of the gift of
His Son to the many answers we receive to our prayers. Consider the story of Job and
God holding up Job as an example to Satan. Nearer to home:
". . . . . that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by
the church the manifold wisdom of God" (Eph. 3: 10).
Our response to the exceeding riches of God's grace to us in Christ should be an
example to principalities and powers in heavenly places and thus glorify the wisdom of
God in so trusting us. May our response be doing this indeed.
"But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; because
that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus" (12: 10, 11).
Here is another comparison of response. Many of the people believing, but the Jewish
leaders seeing in Christ only a menace to their nation and their position in the Mosaic
"For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God" (12: 43).