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Anna; Syrophoenician Woman; Mary and Martha - Day 5

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The Blessedness of Believing
Rahab - Week 1
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  • Widow of Zarephath; Widow with Oil; Shunammite Woman - Week 3
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  • Anna; Syrophoenician Woman; Mary and Martha - Week 5
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  • Mary Magdalene; Samaritan Woman - Week 6
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  • Tabitha (Dorcas); Lois and Eunice - Week 7
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    DAY FIVE

    1. Read John 12:1-8, Matthew 26:6-13, and Mark 14:3-9. Where was Jesus and what festival was coming up?

    2. What was Martha doing?
      What did Mary do?

    3. Why do you suppose Mary performed this extreme personal gesture?

    4. Do you think Mary knew anything about the upheaval the Pharisees and the High Priest were having over the resurrection of Lazarus and the stir Jesus was causing in the city?

      (John 11:47-57)

    5. Why were these religious leaders so angry at Jesus?

    Anointing (aleipho) is a term used as a refreshment after washing or for the sick or the dead. It can also pertain to the sacred and religious. In the Old Testament the sacred oil was used to anoint a priest, prophet, or king. (Ex. 28:41; 1 Kings 1:34; 19:16) God had specific uses for the holy oil and instructed the user to abide by His orders. (Ex. 30:31-33) The word anointed was used metaphorically to mean bestowal of divine favor (Psa. 23:5; 92:10) or appointment to a special place or function in the purpose of God. (Psa. 105:15; Isa. 45:1) Fundamentally, anointing was an act of God.

    The Old Testament term for anointed is masheach. In the Old Testament anointing also referred to the power of the Holy Spirit coming over the one anointed. The Holy Spirit would come and go during that period of history. However, in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit came in power at Pentecost to indwell everyone who believed. In An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, it says that the noun masheach is important both to Old Testament and New Testament understanding, because it gives us the term Messiah (Greek word christos). (Expository Dictionary, pp.8-9)

    In this story, Jesus was anointed with oil, an expensive perfume. This act was not like the sacred anointing of the priests in the Old Testament. It was Mary's genuine love toward Christ Jesus her LORD that was demonstrated in this act of anointing. Jesus is the Messiah, the Anointed One, and He is filled with God and the Holy Spirit. Seeing the beauty of Mary's demonstration points to some exciting truths.


    LESSONS AND APPLICTAIONS

    1. Jesus is the Messiah. Do you believe in Jesus as your Messiah? Have you praised Him today for rescuing you from sin and death?

    2. The fragrance of Christ fills all creation. How are you being a sweet fragrance of Christ in your community today?

    3. Mary was in tune to Jesus and His coming sorrow. This anointing was in preparation for the events that would follow. Are you in tune to Jesus today? What is He speaking to you about?

    4. Jesus appreciated and was encouraged by Mary's loving act; it helped Him through the difficulty to come (the cross). What can you do to demonstrate your love for Christ today?

    5. Mary demonstrated extreme love for Jesus. Acts of extreme love and devotion toward the Lord are received as intended. How extreme is your love for Jesus Christ, your Messiah and LORD? How can you share His love with someone else this week?


    CONCLUSION

    The lessons in faith that we learn from Mary and Martha are applicable to our lives today. Though these two women lived in a distant land hundreds of years ago, we can still relate to their story. We each have much to do, work to accomplish, and things to learn. In the busyness of it all there needs to be time for quiet worship and rest. Listening to our Lord is so important. Enjoying His fellowship is essential to a healthy spiritual life and leads to sweet fellowship with others.

    Mary was seen as the wise one, because she sat at Jesus' feet when He taught. Later, after Lazarus had died, Martha put her faith into practice and ran to Jesus for comfort, while Mary stayed back and mourned. These two wonderful friends of Jesus teach us to take time to be still before God and to run to Him in the daily challenges of life. As we do this, our faith will be strengthened to believe that He is working out all things for His purposes and His glory. May we each be found faithful in believing Him today!

     

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