The Gift of a Meal (John 12:1-3)

Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
John 12:1-3

Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were a family that Jesus loved. The Holy Spirit records in the Bible how Jesus spent much time in their home in Bethany, just outside of Jerusalem. In the passage above, Jesus had just raised Lazarus from the dead. It was now 6 days before Passover, when Jesus would be crucified. And Jesus chose to take one of his last meals with all of them.

Earlier in Luke’s Gospel, we learn how Martha was upset as she (Luke 10:38-42) was busy preparing a meal for Jesus when He visited but her sister, Mary, did not lift a hand to help her but sat at Jesus’ feet, listening to Him speak.

Martha may get a bad rap because of this first mention of her. But Jesus was not criticizing her because she was busy preparing him a meal, He was reminding her that all of us have special gifts and her gift of preparing a meal and serving Him allowed others in the room, including her sister Mary, to listen to His teaching. Some time later, the Holy Spirit records for us in this passage from the Gospel of John, how Martha is again serving Jesus. This time, there is no complaining on Martha’s part. The Bible simply records that Martha served. This was Martha’s gift! She prepared meals and served. The Bible does not record what kind of meals she served, but they were undoubtedly delicious! She was probably a wonderful hostess as well. But most importantly, by serving, Martha allowed her sister Mary to anoint Jesus with perfume, in preparation for His death. And the Holy Spirit records both Martha’s and Mary’s actions for eternity.

If you have the gift of preparing and serving meals, God has truly blessed you! Your gift provides enjoyment of food and fellowship and may enable others to exercise their spiritual gifts.

Thank God for the gift of preparing and serving a meal. You serve in God’s Kingdom!

Love and respect the Lord; seek His will in your life.