by Max Lucado
If God has called you to be a Martha, then serve! Remind the rest of us that there is evangelism in feeding the poor and there is worship in nursing the sick.
If God has called you to be a Mary, then worship! Remind the rest of us that we don’t have to be busy to be holy. Urge us with your example to put down our clipboards and megaphones and be quiet in worship.
If God has called you to be a Lazarus, then testify. Remind the rest of us that we, too, have a story to tell. We, too, have neighbors who are lost. We, too, have died and been resurrected.
Each of us has our place at the table.
Except one. There was one at Martha’s house who didn’t find his place. Though he had been near Jesus longer than any of the others, he was furthest in his faith. His name was Judas. He was a thief. When Mary poured the perfume he feigned spirituality. “The perfume could have been sold and given to the poor,” he said. But Jesus knew Judas’s heart, and Jesus defended Mary’s worship. Years later, John, too, knew Judas’s heart, and John explained that Judas was a thief (John 12:6). And all these years he had been dipping his hand in the treasury. The reason he wanted the perfume to be sold and the money put in the treasury was so that he could get his hands on it.
What a sad ending to a beautiful story. But what an appropriate ending. For in every church there are those like Martha who take time to serve. There are those like Mary who take time to worship. There are those like Lazarus who take time to testify.
And there are those like Judas who take, take, take, and never give in return. Are you a Judas? I ask the question carefully, yet honestly. Are you near Christ but far from his heart? Are you at the dinner with a sour soul? Are you always criticizing the gifts of others yet seldom, if ever, giving your own? Are you benefiting from the church while never giving to it? Do others give sacrificially while you give miserly? Are you a Judas?
Do you take, take, take, and never give? If so, you are the Judas in this story.
If you are a Martha, be strengthened. God sees your service.
If you are a Mary, be encouraged. God receives your worship.
If you are a Lazarus, be strong. God honors your conviction.
But if you are a Judas, be warned. God sees your selfishness.
Cast of Characters
© (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2008) Max Lucado