Our family enjoyed showing hospitality. Our daughters delighted to host “Teas” in our home. This was a lesson I taught at a “Tea” we had in our home for our church ladies as we celebrated our Pastor’s wife’s Birthday.
The Lesson In the Tea Bag
In Luke 10:38-42, Mary and Martha showed hospitality to Jesus. When I stand before the Lord, I want Jesus to say of me as He said of Mary, “She hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Three times Mary is mentioned in the Bible, and all three times Mary is at the feet of Jesus. Mary stayed in the place of humility, the place of worship. If we stay close, we stay clean.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with Martha wanting to serve Jesus. The problem was that Martha was not getting her way and she grew anxious, worried and annoyed. Martha was like the tea bag when heat is applied. What is inside the tea bag will come out. Frustration filled the room. Martha did not realize she was missing out on the best.
What comes out when heat is applied to our lives? Many Christians experience burn out because they are busy and not drawing their strength from the Lord. Mary stayed close to Jesus. Mary learned from Jesus. I need to stay close to Jesus to learn from Him.
Just as drinking tea is refreshing and just as food is nourishing to our bodies, the Lord wants us to spend time with Him before we get “busy” with our day, so we will be refreshed and nourished in our spirits. He talks to us through His Word. The Bible is God’s love letter to us. We do not know what each day may bring, but the Lord knows. When things don’t go well, when the going gets rough, a trial comes into our life, the Holy Spirit will speak into our hearts in that still small voice the special Scripture we read that morning and give us that peace that passeth all understanding.
Mary went through a difficult trial. We read in John 11, Lazarus, Mary and Martha’s brother died. Days after Lazarus had died, Jesus answered Mary. This is another time when Mary was at the feet of Jesus. “Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at His feet and cried out to the Lord.” When trials do come our way, the Lord wants us to cry out to him. The Lord wants us to tell Him everything. Many times in Psalms, David, the man after God’s own heart, cried out to the Lord. The Lord wants to strengthen us. God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble.
Because Mary stayed close to Jesus, Jesus revealed a secret to Mary no one else knew. The third time Mary is at Jesus’ feet is in John 12. We read, “There was made for him (Jesus) a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. 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 odor of the ointment.” In Luke 14, Mary broke an alabaster box and poured it on His head and anointed Jesus’ head and feet with the costly perfume.
The secret the Lord had revealed to Mary was this: Mary comprehended Jesus must die soon. The disciples complained of her wasting the perfume on Jesus and Jesus said, “Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.” Mary knew something no one else knew, because she stayed close to Jesus. When we spend time with Jesus, He will reveal more and more to us. Because Mary stayed close to Jesus, she had wisdom. The Lord will give us wisdom in all situations when we stay close to Him.
I love my house to smell nice. I burn scented candles for the fragrance to fill the home. Teas are aromatic. Before I buy a flavored tea, I smell the box to see if I like the scent. Mary broke the alabaster jar and Scripture says “the odor filled the house”. Real devotion to the Lord will fill our homes with a sweet savor. Real devotion to the Lord affects our family and those we come in contact with.
How much time am I spending with Jesus? Proper worship of Jesus will cost something. The perfume in the alabaster jar Mary broke to anoint Jesus, cost Mary a years’ wages. Mary offered all she had to Jesus. Do I go before the Lord broken? Something has to be broken within before real love can be poured out. “Only one life,’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.”(C.T. Studd) If I have done what I can, then I have done all I can.