At His Feet

To be at the feet of Jesus is to be in the most blessed spot in God's universe; it is there that every problem is solved, and every question settled; whether the questions be of sin, sorrow, self, or service; there is no place like this for the guilt-laden sinner; no place like this for the happy or perplexed saint.

Jesus is greater than our sins

The first great truth that dawns upon the soul as we come to this place of blessing is that Jesus is greater than our sins; it was this that the sinner of the city proved in Luke 7. He had said: "Come to me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." It may be that she had heard those words, and so she sought Him out. No doubt she would hesitate upon the threshold of the house of Simon as she saw the frown gather upon the brows of host and guests, but two mighty powers conspired together to bring her to Jesus' feet: her great need drove her there; His great love drew her; and between the driving power of her need and the drawing power of His love, her hesitancy was overcome, and as a tempest-tossed bark finds peace at last in the calm waters of some long desired harbour, so she found a place of refuge and rest at the travel-stained feet of the Son of God. Simon would not have had her touch him; the disciples would doubtless have treated her with scant grace; but He, the lowly Jesus, and yet the mighty Prince of life, allowed her to weep out her repentance and her gratitude at His feet.

She found that He had a heart of infinite tenderness, for He neither spurned her nor fastened her sins upon her, but His hand lifted the burden, and she heard His own voice declare, "Thy sins are forgiven … thy faith has saved thee, go in peace."

The past, present and future was all settled there for her who had long been the prey of men and the Devil, and her whole heart, cleansed from its evil ways by the sanctifying power of His blessed love, poured out its affection upon Him. "She loved much," for He had forgiven much.

At His feet she found salvation, and the same priceless boon is still to be found there, for He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Jesus is greater than our service

We do not say that the beloved Mary of Bethany is identical with the woman of the city, we merely point out that she loved the spot where that woman's burden rolled away, in fact in each instance which is recorded of her in the Scripture she is at Jesus' feet. The first of these instances is in Luke 10:38-42. We have no word for condemnation for Martha's service, the service was right, but the servant was wrong, she had missed the secret of a peaceful and unburdened spirit, and "many things" cumbered her, whereas "one thing" and one thing alone, Himself; was Mary's object.

We often admire Mary for taking the place of the disciple on this occasion; may it not be that we waste admiration on her that might well be bestowed upon the Lord? for He it was who drew her to that place of blessing, she had but responded to His drawing as the needle to the magnet. He came forth from the Father to do the Father's business — to fill up the hearts of sinful men and women with a satisfaction and joy of which the world knows nothing. He, at whose feet Mary sat without a fear, was none other than the One before whom mighty angels veiled their faces, crying, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts"; but she knew Him in the revelation of His grace; as the Breaker of the bread of life, His words were the words of eternal life, and her heart delighted to feed upon them. Oh! if only Martha had known that He had come not to be ministered to but to minister, that His heart found a peculiar and unspeakable joy in filling up the vacancies in human hearts with the knowledge of His Father and Himself, the Father's sent One, she would have left her serving awhile and joined her sister at His feet, and there found the satisfaction that Mary found. May we prove this also, for He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Jesus is greater than our sorrows

The chill winds of bereavement had passed over that home of peace at Bethany, and the sisters were crushed and broken and bewildered by the wrecking of their circle. When all hope had failed them, for their brother lay in the sealed sepulchre, Jesus came to them. And when Mary was come to where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet saying to Him, "Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died" (John 11:32). With a broken heart she cast her heavy sorrow at His feet. What passed between them is not recorded for us, for there are moments such as these when the communications that pass between the Lord and His sorrowing saints cannot be expressed. The sense of His love and sympathy is too deep for words. One thing we know: He walked by her side; and in His company, with Himself so near, her heart must have said, "All is well."

Presently His voice of power unloosed the bands of death and set the captive free; but Mary saw something more wonderful than His power. She knew His sympathy, for she saw His tears; and never would she have known how much He loved her, or how tender was His heart, or how all-sustaining His sympathy, had it not been for that great sorrow. Sorrowing saints of God! Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Jesus is greater than self

The last we read of Mary is in John 12, and it is fitting that the record of her life should close there. The pound "of spikenard very costly" would have distinguished her in the midst of her acquaintances, but she lavished it upon Him, well knowing that He was going into death. The world had nothing to give Him but a shameful cross and a grave, and she only amongst all His loved ones seemed to realise this, and she said by her action, "The best I have shall go into His grave, for He is worthy." The Lord interpreted that action, and said, "Let her alone; against the day of my burying has she kept this," and "Verily I say to you, Wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman has done, be told for a memorial of her" (Matt. 26:13).

Thus the Lord valued that which was despised of men, that which was the result of self being eclipsed and Christ all in all. It was this point that Paul had reached when he said, "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world" (Gal. 6:14).

To this point the Holy Ghost would lead us, and it is at the feet of Jesus that these lessons are learnt. Soon (may the Lord hasten the day) every ransomed soul will bow before Him, in the Father's home on high, there to cast our crowns before those blessed feet once pierced in death for us, and forever, without a rival in our hearts, to worship and adore Him who has won our hearts. But if worthy then to be our all in all, He is also worthy now, for "Jesus Christ (is) the same yesterday, today, and for ever."