Thanksgiving thoughts: Mary of Bethany (Magdalene)
R. James Taylor
Mary's City of David
12 & 13 November 2007
Written from Hamilton College, Clinton, NY
A pouring forth of the precious ointment ... Mark 14:3-9
The care full, unpretentious simplicity of a sincere, devoted service ... Matthew 26:7-13
But ... there was an objection to this costly waste ... Matthew 26:8, because of a troubled conscience from a lesser service.
And, how could we know her? unto whom this MEMORIAL (as the Lord hath spoken) was to be read unto all of the world ... Mark 14:9.
Did she not have her beloved brother, Lazarus ... John 12:9-10, restored from the dead?
Did she not come to a new awakening life, having seven evils taken from her ... Luke 8:12?
Did not her initial surrendering humility follow along in stride, the cruel trail of humiliation; enduring the sight of his crucified agony ... Matthew 27:55-56?
There is no question in the heart and sovereignty of God that she would be found at the tomb, alone ... John 20:10:
that she was the choice
unto whom the risen Jesus would first show himself.
This recorded recognition is the everlasting MEMORIAL of her initial tears of humility, so found unto the very instance, alone ... John 20:11, weeping at the tomb.
Her unwavering, faithful service is found chosen above all others, to become first witness ... Luke 24:11, while yet holding the burial preparation ointments ... Mark 16:11, and then messenger to a frightened ... Matthew 26:56 ... and doubtful (having objections) eleven ... Mark 14:50.
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
It is of the character of Christ to understand the will of God in all things. To see Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven, which encompasses all; for that which gives thanks in everything has become the substance of the Promise in overcoming, and the very fulfillment of these words from the substance and living proof.
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; for I have overcome the world."
As recorded in the Promise of John 16:33, there are 2 parts to the Promise, peace in the Word and tribulation in the world. And so it is.
And to the called, there is an expectation of fulfill, and coming to deep understanding in which these are enabled to be truly thankful for the Word, in the world's desperate sorrows, as they are multiplied all around us and among us. For where much is given, much is required.
We must expect the crown of thorns before the victory crown, and "he that endureth unto the end, the same shall be saved. And except those days be shortened, there should no flesh be saved, but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." Matthew 24-22.
We, of all peoples who are given this, have the most to be thankful for. And where the most is given, the most is required, that all mouths be stopped; and none shall question His wisdom and truth at that day.
Coming to be thankful in all things is not the way of the flesh, nor a pleasant way of conveniences in the wisdom of man's understanding.
Trials and difficulties are the way of the cross, and these are the opportunities presented to the worthy of this calling. These are they that have separated themselves to the directions and principles of another Kingdom which is at variance with the present one at this day. Seeing the Promise is the Tree of Life to the overcomer, and he that endures to the end, tells of something to be overcome and endured.
So failures, frustrations and often distresses come upon us to see if we are on the watch in faithfulness, and holding firmly to the priority of, seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. He that is in the Way comes to the knowledge that all things are of God, and that if He be for us, who can be against us.
It is the trust in God of a Daniel in the lion's den, or of the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace. It is the coming to know through faithful obedience, that our God is present as in the Passover, and at the Red Sea.
The trials and distresses are your opportunities to overcome these and to truly know the Presence of God with the Christ-Child ruling in your heart as its joyous and everlasting comforter.
Unto those that have been in distresses and depressions let us look unto "Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." So Paul wrote to the Philippians, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Where much is given, much is required. So, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks.