Arresting The Attention Of Jesus
Have you ever felt like: “If only I could get God’s attention?” “If only Jesus was paying attention to me?” I have been meditating along this line quite a bit lately. There are several people in the Gospels that had success getting Jesus’ attention. I believe that we can learn a great deal from their examples. We could speak of Zaccheus, the tax collector, blind Bartimaeus, and Mary Magdalene. All of them had personal encounters with Jesus because they arrested his attention. From looking at their stories in Scripture it appears that there are a couple of ingredients to arresting Jesus’ attention that aren’t always present in the body of Christ today like they should be. It seems that Jesus responds very well to hunger, desperation and worship.
There is no way that we can deal with all of these thoughts in a short article like this. However, in keeping with the theme of some of the other articles we have written this year, and our new focus of speaking what we believe to be the “NOW” or “RHEMA” word from God we are going to stress the aspect of worship from Mary’s life.
The life of Mary is portrayed in the Gospel accounts as one of humility and worship. She was the one in Luke chapter 7 who came into the Pharisees’ house and washed the feet of Jesus with her tears and dried them with her hair. She kissed his feet and anointed them with perfume. Perfume speaks of the fragrant aroma of worship. When Mary let down her hair to dry the feet of Jesus, it was symbolic of letting down or despising your own glory for His. What we fail to realize is that Scripture teaches that a woman’s hair is a glory to her. But she considered the glory of Jesus of much more value than her own. How many of us could say that?
When we see Mary a little later in Matthew chapter 26 & Mark chapter 14, we find her coming to anoint Jesus again with costly perfume. Again the perfume is a symbolic picture of pure worship, which has a sweet aroma to Jesus. “For when she poured this perfume upon My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done shall also be spoken of in memory of her.” Matthew 26:12 & 13 New American Standard Bible This is the second time she worshipped Jesus by anointing him with costly perfume. Notice Jesus said that whenever the Gospel is preached her worship will be remembered. God doesn’t always stand up and take notice of the things that we think He will, but He always pays attention to worship and worshippers. Remember Jesus said: “But a time is coming, and it is already here! Even now the true worshippers are being led by the Spirit to worship the Father according to the truth. These are the ones the Father is seeking to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship God must be led by the Spirit to worship Him according to the truth.” John 4:23 & 24 Contemporary English Version
In Mark chapter 16 we see Mary once again with spices to anoint the dead body of Jesus as an act of worship, not knowing that He had risen. In John chapter 20 we find to me one of the most amazing encounters in all of Scripture. Mary is standing outside the empty tomb weeping because the body of Jesus had been moved so she thought, and did not get to anoint it. Jesus was on His way to the Father to sprinkle His blood on the heavenly mercy seat to seal the full payment of our redemption, when He heard the familiar cry of a woman with a proven track record of being a worshipper and an anointer.
“Jesus saith unto her, ’Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father…’” John 20:17a King James Version Notice He told her not to touch Him, which means she was close enough to Him that she could have. However, He hadn’t ascended to the Father yet. Just meditate for a moment on the fact that Jesus allowed Himself to pause in the eternal purpose of God, (sprinkling his blood on the heavenly mercy seat), all because of the cry of a worshipper. As the Psalms say “Selah” pause and think about that.
We have not fully understood the importance of worship in the body of Christ. However in this day, God is raising up many voices all throughout the different “camps” or “circles” of the church that are speaking of the importance of worship. Over and over again Jesus said that those who had ears to hear should hear. Do you have ears to hear what the Spirit of God is speaking to the church today? You can arrest the attention of Jesus! You can make Jesus take notice of you! Not by doing miracles, but by being a true worshipper that worships in Spirit and truth.