A Purpose Of Heart For Christ
-- Anon

John 12:1-8,20:1-18

The Lord comes out in the first few chapters of John as the Attractive One -- the Magnet, drawing solitary ones to Himself in an irresistible manner. Why, they could not tell; only they followed Him (see John 1). In these two scenes, we get the counterpart of this. Hearts which had been drawn to Him -- when the fitting time was come, coming out and doing things far beyond their intelligence or light. Mary (John 12) loved the Lord, so did Martha -- only differently. Martha loved Him according to the circumstances she was in; Mary loved Him according to what He was in Himself (see Luke 10, John 11). 

She had a purpose of heart for Him, and this led her as to what she did here in this sweet scene. Oh, that there was this purpose of heart found in the Church of God in these days! I want to see it, dear friends; I want it for myself; I want it for you. Mary loved Him, and love will do anything that puts honor on its object. But more than this, I think she looked up to God to know how she might be used to honor Jesus. Her heart is one of God's channels to unfold truth. She was in the wake of God's thoughts -- all she did was in season. In the grumblings of the disciples, we find the principles of human nature - niggardliness {acting as paupers} as regards Him. The "gather up the fragments that remain," is God's principle -- viz., that there is more when all is over than when they began. It is always so with Him. 

Then, there is Mary Magdalene (John 20) -- the same principle was there: a purpose of heart for Him -- shown out differently, it is true, but bringing her into deep blessing, as it always does. Hers was love without intelligence; her mind knew the spot where He was -- she had seen Him buried (Luke 23). Her heart was with Him dead; and she rises early, and comes to the spot -- this spot where He lay, dearer than all else to her now, for the One who had so captivated her heart was there, although dead, as far as she knew. She comes, and finds Him gone. Her heart, broken before, breaks afresh; and in her despair, she runs and tells Peter and John, although they could not help her. It was strange she went to them. Had she reasoned, she would have said, "Why are they not here also?" Out they came, and then John believed -- not that the Lord had risen, but only that the body was gone! Then the disciples went away again to their own home -- a low state of soul. Mary's home was the sepulcher, for He was there; hence she comes early, and stays and weeps. Mary fetched them out of nature's scenes; and then, the full purpose of heart being wanting, they go back to those scenes. When they find Him gone, they "went away again unto their own home." 

But Mary was riveted to the spot; nature forgotten, self forgotten -- all fear was gone as to what people might think of her strange doings -- all fear of the keepers gone: her object -- "My Lord!" God's hand is also behind her, guiding her. Hers was a heart that could be a channel for Him to use; so He keeps her to get rich blessing for herself first. This spot was very dear to her. Her heart was in a state for all that honors Christ to pass before it; so she sees angels, and by them God touches the spring of her heart. "My Lord!" Even angels do not distract her -- she soon turns from them; but, next to Christ, what can she see better than angels? Surely nothing. God causes her to see even that; but they cannot meet her heart. Then Jesus meets her. Her blind love draws Him to her: He cannot keep that loving heart any more waiting. He was her object, though dead; and she seeks Him dead -- little thinking He was alive, and come to tell her all His love. Living, she knew Him well. She sought Him dead; love had blinded her eyes. "Mary," reveals Him to her -- spoken as of old. The same old tone; yes, the same Jesus! "My Master!" falls from her lips. The severed link is joined again! 

Then she gets the place of messenger about the resurrection: no little thing. Did she seek it, or want it? No! Purpose of heart procured her this noble place. He having sent her, she goes away happy. Joy is her heart -- not simply in it: she was conscious of His glory in the message, and His approval of the love which had brought her there to bear the message -- personal devotedness, though she did not know it. Her Object did it all. His intention is to teach us Himself in resurrection. Our joy is to be henceforth in heaven. He says, as it were, "I have a place prepared proper to Me before My Father. Go, tell this to My brethren; but they may be quite at ease, for My Father is their Father, My God their God." She gets this by purpose of heart. 

Is all the truth given since the day of Pentecost: the truth of the Spirit --Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians -- to lower this attention for Christ, to lower this purpose of heart? No; oh no. In this instance, which would you rather have been -- Peter, James, or John, or Mary Magdalene? The three had many opportunities of gaining knowledge; the woman had aheart, a heart for Him. I would rather have been a Mary. Blessed be God, there were hearts in those days in full fellowship with God about Christ.  

May the Lord give His people this purpose of heart for Christ, for His Name's sake. Amen.