Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair, and it was her brother Lazarus who was sick. So the sisters sent a message to him: ‘Lord, the one you love is sick.’
An Open Invitation
As a kid, I loved getting mail. It meant someone, usually a grandparent, had taken time to let me know I was important to them. I always enjoyed looking at the postcard they sent or dreaming about the adventure they shared in a letter. Through their message, they invited me to be part of their life. In a similar way, our prayers do the same. So, just bring it to Jesus.
In John 11:1-2, John provides a lot of information. We learn about Mary and how she has interacted with Jesus in the past. We are then told she has a sick brother, Lazarus. John doesn’t tell us how sick Lazarus is, but when we read the rest of the passage, we discover he is deathly ill. And I can just imagine Mary’s concern for her brother.
The Ones Jesus Loves
We’re told that Mary sent Jesus a message, but she doesn’t know when the message will get to Him. She doesn’t know how Jesus will respond, nor does she give demands or indicate what she wants Him to do. She simply tells Jesus, “Lord, the one You love is sick.”
And with that simple statement, Mary invites Jesus into the situation, trusting that He knows, loves, and cares.
Understanding Who He Is
How can Mary appear so calm in this moment? How can she not beg Jesus to do something? The simple answer is that she knew Jesus. Mary’s message indicates that she understands who Jesus is: He is Lord. John tells us she had already anointed Jesus and washed His feet with her hair because she recognized that she was in the presence of God.
She had come to understand Jesus’ heart and character.
To Tell and To Trust
Since she knows who Jesus is, Mary understands that she doesn’t have to do or say anything else. She tells Jesus what is going on and then simply trusts Him. She doesn’t have to tell Jesus what she wants because she trusts that He knows her heart’s desire and that He has a good plan for her and her brother.
After she sends her message, she goes back to caring for Lazarus and her family, and she waits for Jesus.
Just Bring It to Jesus
You and I can learn a lot from Mary. How do you respond when life—either our own lives or the life of someone around us—presents uncertainty? Do you try to hold it all together and figure it all out on your own? Or do you send Jesus a message and invite Him to respond as only He can? Do you try to manipulate the outcome to what you desire, or do you trust Jesus’ plan for that situation?
When we understand that Jesus is Lord and that His character and plan are perfect, we find the confidence to invite Him into our situations and then to trust Him with it all.
Consider how likely you are to simply take your troubles to Jesus. Is He your go-to person? Are you more likely to turn first to others or to yourself? Reflect on His character as the basis of our trust. Then, take your troubles to Him, knowing that He really and truly does care for you.