At the feet of Jesus

At my seminary’s Board meeting yesterday, the Board chairperson, Joe Longo led a devotion on Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus.  The three siblings lived in the villiage of Bethany, just a few miles east of Jerusalem.  The two sisters appear together in three passages in the New Testament (Luke 10, John 11 and John 12).  I’ve studied the story of Mary and Martha many times in Luke 10:38-42, but Joe made a striking connection to John 11 and 12 that I had never seen before.  In each of these three chapters, Mary is at the feet of Jesus.

“She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying” (Luke 10:39).

“When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:32). 

“Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair” (John 12:3). 

What was so attractive about Jesus’ feet that kept drawing Mary?  (This is a serious question.)  What lessons can we learn from Mary about being focused on Jesus?  Any comments about the image?  (The image is “Martha and Mary” by He Qi.  I assume you can figure who is who.)


  1. I like the way Calvin put it, that the customary practice was to fall at the feet of a Dignitary or a king, but Jesus being the Suffering servant, had no magnificance as a King and ruler; yet Mary fell at His Feet, because She knew He was the Son of God–SOmeone greater than a Ruler and leader, the eternal Son of God, the creator of all things:

    32. She fell at his feet. From her falling down at his feet we learn that Christ
    was honored in that house beyond the ordinary custom of men. For,
    though it was customary to throw themselves down on the ground in the
    presence of kings and great men, yet as Christ had nothing about him,
    according to the flesh, that was royal or magnificent, it was for a different
    purpose that Mary fell down at his feet. Indeed, she would not have done
    so, if she had not been convinced that he was the Son of God” John Calvin.

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