This month's teaching : Repentance

The Ministry of Mary

Scores of people always surrounded Jesus wherever He went. No matter the location, they would be there waiting for Him for numerous reasons. Many needed healing—they were healed. Many needed teaching—they were teachable. Many looked for fault—they found none. Many were lying in wait to latch onto a wrong word for which they could criticize Him—they did. Even in faultlessness, the Son of God was constantly criticized in all that He did, and all that He said. Out of all these people around Jesus, there was only one of whom He declared this: that throughout the world, wherever the gospel was preached, she would be remembered. Something happened in the little town of Bethany while Jesus was there. Jesus gave a command that everywhere the gospel would be preached, there must also be told this account, as a memorial. The anointing poured out by a woman upon Jesus that day was for all the death Jesus would experience at the conclusion of His life.

What happened that solemn evening on the hillside in Bethany? A spiritual woman saw a king through the eyes of pain and rejection. She saw a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, and poured her gift upon Him. This king suffered a different pain than many complain about today. It was a spiritual pain, because of the power of the Holy Spirit that rested within Him. It is far beyond me to imagine how man could be so evil and so against the Son of God! They imagined evil in Him, He was lied against, ridiculed, despised, forsaken, rejected, and we esteemed Him not. Nothing has changed to this day. The pure and holy, and those filled with the Holy Spirit, suffer in the same manner in our day. Is there anyone in our day that might have the same ministry hidden within themselves that Mary had in the days of Jesus?

Mary aimed her life at accepting Christ in His entire ministry. Today’s Mary still ministers to Jesus in this way through the people of God. There are many true servants of Christ who are rejected and despised because of the power of Jesus within them. Mary found one of the greatest ministries to Jesus that one can have. She ministered to Him with anointing. It was precious and aromatic. The smell filled the room in the presence of Jesus. She blessed the feet that carried Him and His ministry to so many places with anointing oil of spikenard, which was very costly. She not only accepted His feet but also blessed them and anointed them. She caused His head, where all His senses functioned, to smell precious and clean. Mary approved Jesus in all that He did. She anointed His walk by anointing his feet with precious oil. Contrastively, the enemy always tries to blemish the head of Jesus, and make His feet smell bad.

How can this precious ministry function in our day? The Lord revealed this truth to me several years ago and placed upon my heart the desire to be a Mary. There are organizations by the thousands that minister to the poor and even to those who reject Christ. Millions and millions of dollars are channeled into these types of ministries every year. But where are those that minister to the ones that are hated, despised, and rejected because they are carriers of the power of Jesus? Many organizations are rich because of the poor.

Mary found a ministry that will never be taken away from her. She poured out her life upon Christ in blessing and acceptance. We meet unusual people in whom we can sense the power of Jesus. Their effectiveness is obvious. They endure much conflict, and they are despised, rejected, and constantly ridiculed. The anointing of Mary will bless these people in their walk and their talk. Luke 10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Notice how Judas was inflamed with indignation over Mary’s anointing and called it a waste. He said that this precious anointing should have been sold and given to the poor. Jesus rebuffed him, saying that the poor are always present, but truly those that have Jesus are not always with us.

We need the ministry of Mary! The contrast between Judas and Mary is very troubling and evident. Yes, Judas was a leader, but he obviously never received discipleship. Mary was the one with precious oil, which Judas criticized only after it was poured out upon Jesus. Mary gave all she had to anoint Jesus. My spiritual friend, may you discover that precious oil in your life which blesses Jesus. May you honor Christ with acceptance, encouragement, blessing, joy, and love! May you be the one who is bold to bless, anoint, and accept the Christ you can see in a brother or sister despised and forsaken because of the Jesus within them. Hallelujah!

Read the account: Mark 14:3-9.

The Ministry of Silence

The natural man that tries to be spiritual has un-crucified ambitions that cannot find foundational rest. He will fight a fight that is not of faith, demonstrating a lingering need within which he does not recognize. The problem repeatedly shown is a difficult disability called ability. This personal ability is incredibly detrimental to the spiritual ability that God considers to be ministry in His servants.

The personally capable and self-righteous man will be haunted with thoughts that cannot find rest until the self-esteemed monster is personally gratified. His restless mind is perpetually filled with thoughts such as:

What can I do?

Let’s do something.

I can do it better.

I wish they would just ask me.

If only they would hear my opinion.

I see the picture clearer than anyone.

It’s easy.

Many self-relating thoughts of personal ambition become a haunting reality of personal frustration when this person is around spiritual people. The thoughts of a spiritual man are not: let’s get it done, but rather: how is God glorified? Performance is a constant pressure and annoyance to the self-made man. The spiritual man might seem to get much less done in the eyes of man, but God is greatly glorified.

May we take a careful look at several ministries of silence in the Bible which speak incredible volumes?

JACOB, after having accomplished countless masterful things in his many years of living, resorted to a final moment of deep unconditional surrender to the point that he had a change of name. God requested this change because of the dramatic internal change that occurred at the moment in Jabok.

Jacob was done with Jacob! Jacob was sick of Jacob! Jacob was tired of Jacob and all his great abilities! With all the things that Jacob did in his life, there were only two specific things so magnificent that his name and faith were placed in the highest category of Biblical faith.

Hebrews 11:21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. Many professing Christians have such a shallow notation concerning this great and important revelation of Jacob. If not for his right hand upon Joseph’s son Ephraim, we would not be included in the Messiah’s salvation. Ephraim is Israel. Ephraim had a mother from Egypt and a father from Israel. This mix of races could never have the blessing of the Messiah until Jacob’s hands crossed even while his natural eyes failed. God simply needed that moment with Jacob’s hands to fulfill His will on the lost sheep of the house of Israel, which is us, the mixed race Ephraim.

One last token of great faith was a very difficult one that few can ever surrender to and be at rest. Jacob worshipped leaning upon a stick. The word worship here means to fully and deeply surrender all forms of strength and even the ability to walk alone. When the top of a stick becomes strength to walk with, you have even lost your own walking capability outside of divine help. This is where the spiritual man walks. These two things were the greatest spiritual achievements in the life of Jacob.

We want to consider the silent ministry of MARY. John 12:3 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 odour of the ointment. V.4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, V.5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with seemingly all she had earned and poured it from a bottle that had to be broken in order to pour from it. She did it without a spoken word. The aroma filled the entire room with this glorious offering. It ministered to Jesus in a way that nothing could at that time. The anointing was from a spiritual woman that foresaw the death of Jesus. The only one who spoke was Judas; he was entirely critical of her ministry of anointing. Judas wanted the money to go to the poor rather than precious wholesome ointment upon the life of Jesus.

When the end of all time has come upon us, there will be a great reckoning. In Matthew 25:32-39, Jesus divides the sheep from the goats and calls the sheep to their inheritance. Jesus said, You ministered to me while I was naked, sick, hungry, thirsty, a stranger, in prison. The ministry of silence again was not even obvious or noticeable enough to be recognized by the ones who had this spiritual ministry. The righteous sheep questioned in full surprise saying that they never even knew that they did such a thing or even saw Jesus in this manner.

This is where the Lord showed me clearly that the spiritual ministry from the sheep is to Jesus. Mathew 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. God’s spiritual people are the least. Have you ministered to them ointments of healing and aromatic silence? Then you have ministered to Jesus.