Sitting At His Feet
A true story about a woman who sat at Jesus’ feet because His faithful love was better than life itself.
I’ve been studying the book of Mark and I was reintroduced to someone who just stopped me in my tracks! I’d like to tell you about this amazing woman!
Her name is Mary and she was from a small town, less than two miles from Jerusalem, called Bethany!
She had a sister named Martha and a brother named Lazarus. They were great friends of Jesus.
When Jesus came for a visit with His disciples Martha was busy and distracted with preparations for them while Mary “WAS LISTENING TO THE LORD’S WORD SEATED AT HIS FEET”.
You can read this story in Luke 10:38-42.
We see Mary and her siblings again in John 11:1- 44 when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
And here she is in the book of Mark! Let’s look at this story…
It was the time of a high holy day and Jerusalem is packed with Jewish worshippers.
Two days before the Passover, Jesus and His inner circle of disciples were again in Bethany. But they were not at the home of Mary. They are eating at the home of Simon the Leper.
While they were “reclining at the table” having dinner in comes Mary! Amazingly bold and unconventional. This was a men only dinner!
She came in “WITH AN ALABASTER VIAL OF VERY COSTLY PERFUME OF PURE NARD”. In front of everyone, Mary then broke the neck of the vial and poured the contents over Jesus’ head. Mark 14:3
Only the most precious and costly ointments were put in alabaster containers. Nard was a very expensive aromatic oil and the amount Mary poured on Jesus’ head cost about a year’s wages for a laborer at that time!
Many also say this might have been Mary’s dowery.
Why would Mary do such a thing? Why would she literally pour out her dowery?
The Bible does not tell us! But here’s what I think…
I think Mary anointed Jesus’ head as a singular act of worship! She worshipped Jesus with everything she had! What overcame Mary to understand that Jesus was worth everything?
We need to circle back to the story of Martha and Mary in Luke where we see Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus.
Why was she sitting there? A woman’s place was to serve. Why was Martha so busy with the immediate needs of the disciples and Jesus while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet? Why didn’t Jesus scold Mary when Martha complained that Mary was not helping?
MARTHA, MARTHA, YOU ARE WORRIED AND BOTHERED ABOUT SO MANY THINGS; BUT ONLY A FEW THINGS ARE NECESSARY, REALLY ONLY ONE, FOR MARY HAS CHOSEN THE GOOD PART, WHICH SHALL NOT BE TAKEN AWAY FROM HER. Luke 10:41-42
In ancient times students or disciples sat at the feet of their teachers to learn. To soak up all the wisdom and words their teachers offered.
Mary was doing the same thing. And this was so unusual because women at that time did not sit at the feet of a teacher.
I think Mary, threw convention to the wind because she HAD CHOSES THE GOOD PART! Her desire to hear and learn from her Teacher became the most important thing to her!
Now let’s head back to the dinner at the house of Simon the leper.
After Mary had poured out her nard in complete devotion to her Lord, some men grumbled about the waste of her act. They said the money from the sale of the nard could be used to help the poor.
But Jesus told them to leave her alone and that “SHE HAS DONE A GOOD DEED FOR ME”. Luke 14:6.
He went on to say, “SHE HAS DONE WHAT SHE COULD; SHE HAS ANOINTED MY BODY BEFOREHAND FOR THE BURIAL”. Luke 14:8
Jesus had been talking very frankly to the apostles about His upcoming death. But the apostles were not listening! They were distracted!
They were expecting a political uprising where Jesus would somehow conquer Rome and set up a physical kingdom in Israel. And they were expecting to rule with Him! Suffering and death did not fit their narrative!
But I think Mary was listening! And she believed Jesus. She knew what was about to happen. I think she poured out her love and worship in the form of the nard and symbolically was anointing Jesus’ body for burial!
So great was her worship and her love for her Lord!
How did Mary know Jesus so well? She listened intently to everything He said! And she believed Him! And His agenda became hers! And out of her belief, she acted!
I love Mary and her example of how she knew and loved Jesus. And we should strive to be like Mary. Listening then believing and then acting! In that order.
We can know Jesus too! We just need to spend time with Him. We can know Him by studying His Word!
And when we do we will fall totally in love with Him too!
We can know Jesus when we set aside time to block out all the other bothers of this world and solely focus on Him.
Let’s sit at Jesus’s feet and learn from Him, just like Mary!
WHAT I’M MEMORIZING THIS WEEK
My lips praise you because your faithful love is better than life itself. Ps 63:3
I am truly a “Martha”. Working at becoming a “Mary”…thank you a great reflection this beautiful Sunday morning.
I have a Martha personality too! But I could spend hours and hours in my Bible soaking in all God has to say!
Amen and God Bless ✝️
Joan, what a beautiful story to share this Sunday, every morning I have a Sanctuary time for 1 hour . I read scripture and my thoughts with him. Yes, I feel I sit with him at his feet every morning to try and organize my Day. It’s peaceful when you watch and feel his blessings for the day. You are a blessing sent this morning. Olivia
I love that term, Sanctuary Time! Says a lot.
Beautiful reminder of a beautiful time and amazing woman of God. Thanks for sharing. May we all strive to be this observant and mindful of Gods love and mercy!!
Hi Yvonne, I really look forward to your Sunday Scriptures. Do you have a Bible preference for study?
Hi Gayle, Do you mean a translation I like? If so I like the New American Standard Version to study. It’s the closest to the King James but easier to understand. And the King James is the closest to the original Greek and Hebrew. I like an online source called Bible Hub. You can get the Greek and Hebrew words and their closest meaning there. I highly recommend it for a deeper study of God’s word. Hope this helps.
I use the Inductive method to study the Bible. It has been life changing for me. You can see more about it here:https://www.logos.com/how-to/inductive-bible-study
You always have a good message to share and thank you for the link. I saved it for reference. You might also like the dynamic duo who teach and share their scriptural insights weekly on the YouTube channel “Don’t Miss This”. I love how they bring the scriptures to life. This year the study is the New Testament.
Enjoy your sabbath day 💕
Thank you so much for sharing your Sunday Scriptures. This is my favorite part of your blog.
You are so welcome!
This blessed me! Thank you! Love your blog and your style!! Blessings!!
Thank you, Lynda!
It may be wrong, but no matter how many times I read this parable, I sympathize with Martha. Where would we be without the Martha’s of this world?
As always, I love your Sunday posts the best.
You are right Margo but the CONTEXT and the reason this scene is in the Bible is to show that Mary was actually listening to the words of Jesus. Jesus said she was doing the good thing. We all need to be Marthas and get things done but when Jesus is in your presence clearing our minds of other things and listening to Him is the right thing to do.
Given the choice, there is only one! Let’s sit at the feet of Jesus. The dishes can wait!
So wonderfully shared. This story gets my heart every time. This year I am really trying to practice still moments at His feet, but gosh is it hard to not get pulled back into the busyness. Thank you for the wonderful reminder today.
I love to have found this blog! Combining the beautiful talent of decorating and the leading your readers to read the Word of God and witnessing of the salvation of Jesus!
Thank you for your wonderful messages each Sunday. This is my favorite blog of every week. You always teach and inspire me.
I want to commend bothMary and Martha Mary did sit at the feet of Jesus, choosing the better part. But, we find in John 11 that Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died”. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies. And everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die”. After the conservation with Jesus, Martha goes to speak to Mary. After Mary reaches Jesus she too, says, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died”. Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the Life! he who believes in in Me, shall live and not die”. ”Did I not say to you, if you believe, you will see the glory of God”.
These two sisters both grew in faith in the Lord and did see the glory of God!
Bettie, I’m not saying Martha did not learn from Jesus but only commenting on the story in Mark. Certainly, they all believed Jesus to be their Lord.
What a wonderful, sensitive telling of Mary’s story. You make the Bible come alive Yvonne. Thank you for the inspiration to follow Mary‘s example. God bless you
This is soul food for me! Thank you!
I was just telling my sister …we need to be more like Mary..
Thank you so much for sharing your love for Jesus. I had a teacher tell us that we should spend time with our Lord and after that the fragrance of Him should go with us and the world should be able to tell something different about us by the way we live. You have inspired me to go and read about Mary again.
Would like to know more about the white-on-white bible pictured above. How can I find a copy and what version is it?
Hi Mary, I’m not sure. I found this free photo and thought it worked with today’s post.
I am always listening to the song The Alabaster Box by CeCe Wynans and it is about this account of Mary. It stirs my heart every time I listen to it. Thank you for sharing!
I love that story of Mary and Martha! Thank you! Have a lovely week!
Have you watched The Chosen? That series does such a great job of making these stories real too.
I prefer the NASB too. So much of what I memorized as a child is KJV so NASB is the closest to what i know, but it sounds normal too:)
Not yet. I heard it is wonderful!
I to Love the story Mary.
Enjoyed this story very inspiring
Thanks, Jane! Praise God!
I really needed this post today. Than you!
I have been reading my Bible for many years, and am familiar with this story. However, your gifted way of telling it helped me to see it in a more meaningful and exciting way!
You are as gifted in storytelling as you are in decorating 🙂
Praise God, Charlotte! God’s word does not go void!
Thanks for a wonderful explanation of this reading. Women have always been amazing and always the closest to Him.
You make God’s word easier to understand.
Huge hug for you and yours,
What struck me, for the first time, was your comment about how the disciples were also distracted!
I really love this post, Yvonne. I have never seen this deeper meaning. God does give us our heart’s desire when it is in line with His will. What high praise and honor He gave to Mary! I won’t forget it. Thank you!
Yes, we should all take a lesson from Mary! Put Jesus first!
Over the last 2 days in my own Bible study and reading, I have been reminded of people in the Bible as well as those of us today, being distracted. I think God is trying to tell me something!!! I know I have been very distracted the last few months with new responsibilities that have taken away as much time in His Word as I would like. I’m feeling convicted to get back to spending more time with Him, since that’s really the only way to deal with the distractions!!!
We all could be a little less distracted! God bless you Teresa.
I love your site – it’s beautiful and encouraging for women .
Thank you Wendy! You are so so sweet!
Thank you so much! I have so much to learn. Prayers to continue to move forward and understand the steps and ways of the Bible. Hugs D
It takes a lifetime Deidre. I feel like that too.
Thank you! It is a beautiful story of giving to others, and sharing our heart. Mary and Martha were extraordinary women. Im not sure which one I am but I love my Lord. And this story of sacrifice.
I think most women have a bit of both in them.
Beautiful story, an example for us all. I want to be a Mary but so often I find myself getting caught up in daily
“Stuff” I want more of Jesus and he’s coming soon!! Let’s be ready! Thank you for sharing the word!
Me too Susie!
Yvonne thank you so much for sharing your gift with us. I want to increase my knowledge of our LORD and SAVIOR by studying my BIBLE every day. I really enjoy reading your biblical posts each Sunday. I love this parable just like many others that I have read and look forward to many more. May GOD Bless you🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽
Thanks, Helen. God bless you too!
Your Sunday posts are so encouraging and point us to Jesus. Thank you for challenging us to memorize scripture…each week I eagerly wait for the memory verse….this is week #9!!! Praying these verses back to the LORD has been balm to my soul and has brought encouragement to others.
Thank you Gail. I pray that God uses these posts to help others.