Bethany-Response: Part 5

John 12  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Part 5
John 12
Martha: no cumbrance or complaining calling for reproof, but unselfish love waiting upon the desires of His heart. The one thing needful learned, her ministering to Him shines now as acceptable service in the glittering galaxy of communion, worship, service, the essentials for that Bethany supper prepared for Him. Not "many things," but one object sought after, her example tells us that Christ Himself (surely our one object in a coming eternity) should here and now win from our lives such grateful service as the love that bore the sufferings, of the cross demands, viz.: that we should be at His disposal, and saved for His pleasure, having hearts that covet the joy of constantly gratifying His every wish, and by such service honoring Him in a scene where bold scorning or cold indifference sadly contrast with-Communion-the mutual joy of loving hearts; the being in His company for the simple joy of it-with Worship-the homage of the heart to which He has become "the preciousness" (1 Peter 2:77Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, (1 Peter 2:7), N. Tr.),-with Service-testimony flowing out of communion, devoted regard for his interests, serving His heart, studying His pleasure. We are warned against objectors, such as Judas; all who are mere followers by profession-betrayers as with a "kiss"-terming only that service which regards human advantage, for "poor" etc., and as "waste" the heart's, lofty purpose to gratify Him only, against those who bear no such mark of true service, as Paul's "humility," "tears," etc. (Acts 20:17-3517And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. 18And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, 19Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: 20And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, 21Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. 22And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 23Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 24But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. 25And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. 26Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 28Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. 32And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. 33I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. 34Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. 35I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:17‑35)). On the other hand, we are encouraged to treasure in the secret of our souls, the heavenly incentive, His words, "Me ye have not always," should exercise over our lives.
In the heaven we soon shall enter, there will be no reproach, no cross to bear, or shame to suffer for His sake; no world to refuse, or self to deny. It is only here we have Him to honor by identifying ourselves with His rejection, by standing for Him amid the hatred and antagonism of enemies of the cross of Christ; seizing the brief opportunity to have "fellowship with His sufferings" before it passes forever, to be succeeded by the fellowship of His glory.
The gracious appeal of His feast for them is well calculated to lift dull spirits to His presence. They were cold; He knew it. Hungry; He knew it. Fearful; He knew it. Ashamed; He knew it. But the same as before, their Lord was thinking of them, spreading for them a table of refreshment.
Companionship-with our risen and glorious Head, desired by Him, so blessed for us, even amid Laodicean abhorrent conditions-may to His joy and ours be experienced yet. That He should be outside (Rev. 3:2020Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)) shows what recreant hearts are ours; that He should "knock" shows the measureless love that will not be denied His desire of companying with those He loves so dearly; presenting Himself and the purpose of His love to sup with us, sharing, feeling, bearing the pressure of our earthly pilgrimage. Then to "sup with Him" in the heavenly scenes where fellow-participation in joys unending will forever satisfy the Eternal Lover and His loved ones.