Who is Mary of Bethany?

The CEO of the Taiwan Love and Hope International Charity, Ms. Hsin-Ting Teng, preached at the Kaohsiung Methodist Church on July 12 and at the Daliao Methodist Church on July 19.

She focused on the story of Mary of Bethany, who was criticized by the apostles and some other people for using expensive perfume to anoint Jesus’s head or feet (John 12: 1-8, Luke 7:36-50, Mark 14: 3-9, Matthew 26: 6-13). Ms. Teng explained that Mary was criticized for what seemed to others as exuberance in anointing Jesus with expensive perfume. Yet, people failed to see what was really in Mary’s heart. It was not Mary’s intention to show off or brag about anything. More so, she used her resources, and it should be made clear that she did not use any public funds or resources meant only for the poor. Mary was motivated by a sincere appreciation and love for Jesus. In the first place, Jesus just raised her brother Lazarus from the dead. Jesus saw through the genuineness of Mary’s heart despite how she was judged by the others using their limited perspective. Thus, in Matthew 26: 13, Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Ms. Teng challenged everyone to examine what they value most and exercise more caution when judging people’s actions without truly understanding what is in that person’s heart.

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