About Jesus    Steve Sweetman

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Mary Worships Jesus With Her Hair

Concerning Mary using her hair to wipe Jesusí feet in John 12:3, Bible Commentators R. C. Lenski and A. T. Robertson use the words "indecent" and "immodest" to describe how others would have viewed Maryís actions. For convenience sake a woman tied her long hair back in those days. The untying of her hair in public was morally inappropriate and was reserved for the privacy of her husband.

I believe the context shows us that the Mary spoken of in John 12 was Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus. Some scholars suggest that this was Mary Magdalene who they claim was once a prostitute, thus sheíd find it easy untying her hair in front of men. I say this to show you the perceived nature of Maryís action.

Mary was a woman of passionate expression which she exhibited at the feet of Jesus. She was not being morally lose, and she was not flirting with Jesus. This was a heart felt moment of true worship. As R. C. Lenski says, "she was laying down her honour" before her Lord. She was giving herself to Jesus in a pure sense of the word, and it didnít matter to her how people viewed her actions.

This didnít bother Jesus either. He wasnít embarrassed but accepted her gesture of loving worship. He actually rebuked Judas and told him to stop bugging Mary about what she did. Itís ironic to note that Judas was bothered by Maryís expression of love but used a similar expression when he betrayed Jesus with a kiss.

The point Iíd like to make is that worship is an intimate experience between us and Jesus. It is "spiritual intimacy", and Maryís action is a clear example of what I mean. Worship is more than singing hymns or chapping hands on a Sunday morning. It is a time of spiritual union between us and Jesus.

The Greek word "proskuneo" that is translated as worship in the N. T. means to "kiss towards". Kissing is normally an expression of love and affection that one feels towards another and is not necessarily sexual. True worship is in fact kissing Jesus in a spiritual sense.

We need to see worship with the same understanding that Mary had. Thereís all sorts of different expressions of worship because we are all individually different. Whatever our expression of worship looks like, it should be intimate, and the Holy Spirit has to be involved. We canít worship without Him.

The next time youíre in a Christian gathering and you are asked to stand and worship, think about what worship is. Forget about those around you. Loose yourself in intimate and affectionate worship with Jesus. As Mary lost herself in this precious moment with Jesus, so loose yourself in like fashion. If my analogy of intimacy offends you, read the Song of Solomon and consider what I have said about true worship.

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