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Reason 12: Worship Brings Ordination for Service

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Excerpt from Plugging Into Real Worship by Andrew P Logan Sr.

Mary of Bethany provides a beautiful example of a person whose worship brings her ordination for service.  She chose to place herself voluntarily as a student at Jesus’ feet, with complete attention and focus on Him. She sat there at His feet in a posture of worship, hearing all He had to share. It was her unquestioned loyalty and devotion to Him that led her to be obedient to what her heart told her to do later; anointing Jesus’ for burial.

“And as they went, it happened that He entered into a certain village. And a certain woman named Martha received Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary (of Bethany), who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.  But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she came to Him and said, Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.  And Jesus answered and said to her, Martha, Martha; you are anxious and troubled about many things. But one thing is needful, and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”  (Luke 10:38-42)

“She sat at his feet, as scholars at the feet of their tutors when they read their lectures; hence Paul is said to be brought up at the feet of Gamely. Our sitting at Christ’s feet, when we hear his word, signifies a readiness to receive it, and a submission and entire resignation of ourselves to the guidance of it. We must either sit at Christ’s feet or be made his footstool; but, if we sit with him at his feet now, we shall sit with him on his throne shortly.” (Matthew Henry Commentary)

Mary anointed Jesus to prepare him for his service at the cross.  Pharisees saw her as a sinner.  Jesus saw her as a precious person, giving something that cost her dearly. She gave to Him freely in such a way that moved Him to reciprocate.  Jesus also recognized and appreciated her sacrifices. He saw in her the discipline that it took to reach that goal. She knew her audience knew who and what she was, yet she persevered.

She knew that Jesus was the only means of her being forgiven for her past.  It was her worship and adoration that kept her at his feet, pouring out her heart and her tears washing his feet.  She wiped his feet with her hair. She fervently kissed his feet in love and adoration for Who He was, but also in remorse for her sins.  In using her hair, she offered the only covering she had, hoping that in exchange He would become her covering.

After kissing His feet, she anointed Jesus with very costly perfume. Given her line of work, it must have taken her a long time to accumulate the resources necessary to purchase such a fine quality ointment. She offered the most valuable thing she had, a very costly sum to Jesus.  Isn’t it just like the Pharisees of our day that have a tendency to misunderstand the expression of our heart, when we obey God in giving Him our all.  Also, notice that they had other ideas on how to use the resource more effectively.  Jesus addressed this by telling them that she will be remembered for what she has done, being obedient, and giving Him, her all.  Below are the two accounts of this story we find in Scripture.

“And behold, a woman, a sinner in the city, knowing that He reclined in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster vial of ointment. And she stood behind Him, weeping at His feet, and she began to wash His feet with tears and wipe them with the hair of her head. And she ardently kissed His feet and anointed them with the ointment. But seeing this, the Pharisee who had invited Him, spoke within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what kind of woman this is who touches him, for she is a sinner.” (Luke 7:37-39)

“And when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him, having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on His head as He reclined.  But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for very much and given to the poor.  When Jesus understood it, He said to them, Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work on Me.  For you have the poor with you always, but you do not always have Me.  For in putting ointment on My body, she did it for My burial.  Truly I say to you, Wherever this gospel shall be proclaimed in the whole world, that which this woman has done shall be spoken of also, for a memorial of her. (Matthew 26:6-13)

 Another example of worship providing ordination for service can be found in reviewing the events surrounding Mary Magdalene and Mary of Nazareth’s journey to the tomb after Jesus’ death.  Knowing how traumatic it must have been for both of them to see Jesus crucified, one can understand why they were initially afraid when Jesus appeared to them after his resurrection. Let’s have a closer look.

“But late in the week, at the dawning into the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (of Nazareth) came to see the tomb.  And behold, a great earthquake occurred! For coming down from Heaven, and coming up, an angel of the Lord rolled back the stone from the door and was sitting on it.  His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.  And the keepers shook for fear of him and became like dead men.  And the angel answered and said to the women, Do not fear, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  And go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead. And, behold, He goes before you into Galilee. There you shall see Him. Lo, I have told you. And they quickly departed from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. But as they were going to report to His disciples, behold, Jesus also met them, saying, Hail! And they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.  Then Jesus said to them, Do not be afraid; go tell My brothers that they should go into Galilee, and there they will see Me”.  (Matthew 28:1-10)

He came to Mary Magdalene and Jesus’ mother Mary and they fell at his feet and worshiped Him.  They laid hold of Jesus’ feet, the foundation of His life and resurrection, remembering all that He shared with them.  His feet were also nailed to the cross.  They embraced His feet so as to comfort Him knowing, the pain He endured for them, and to express their sincere gratitude for His doing that. They also recognized (though probably unable to verbalize), that death couldn’t hold Jesus, and likewise, as they embraced Him and His resurrection, death couldn’t hold them either.

There is something to the fact that the two Mary’s went to the tomb to seek Jesus after His death.  Confident of their faith, and their hearts being ready to receive the fullness of His resurrection, Jesus appeared to them first.  Jesus used them to prepare the hearts of the disciples to hear of his visitation.  Jesus also imparted faith to them so that they would not be reluctant to share the news of His resurrection, and His visitation with them, with the disciples.  This impartation was brought about by their worship. One might say that through their worship, they received the impartation necessary for them to fulfill that which God destined for them to pursue.

© Andrew Logan

About the Author:

Andrew Logan has been an integral part of worship for more than 20 years. Passionately, he escorts others into the Presence of God. Andrew maintains that worship invites God to meet with us to bring lasting life transformation that won’t come any other way.

Andrew developed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ during a time of intense struggle in his personal life. Having a strong passion for music, he served the Lord in music ministries in several churches. A few years later, the founder of Life Bible Ministries International, Dr. Harold Hagen ordained Andrew and asked him to lead worship there.

After a rewarding career of more than twenty years in Information Technology, he transitioned into full-time Pastoral Ministry. Andrew now serves as senior pastor of All Nations Word and Worship Center.

Author of Plugging Into Real Worship and Conectándose a la adoración verdadera

Publisher of Code Blue Seconds from Death by Henry C. Austin
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