Derek Thomas, a few years back, told this story:
“A dear, dear lady, she’s 101 years young, as she would say. She had two sisters and I would visit them. One day, when I was a young minister, I had been in the ministry maybe a couple of years, and I was a little discouraged and perplexed by certain problems and difficulties that were taking place in the congregation. And Mrs. Spears, she looked me straight in the eye, and she had only one eye, because she’d had cancer in one eye and lost it and had a glass eye, so she had this sort of piercing look when she looked you in the eye. And she said, “Derek, see no one in the picture but Jesus.” It was one of those aphorisms, those sayings that sounds a little blasé, but I can’t tell you how many times I think about that statement. Hardly a day, hardly a week goes by without me thinking about that incident. See no one in the picture but Jesus. And I think that is what Mary is doing here. She sees no one here except Jesus. She sees no one but her Saviour. She sees no one here but the Messiah. She’s overcome with love and devotion for the One who has raised her brother from the dead, but more than that, He was a family friend, but more than that, He was the Son of God. He was the Lord of Glory incarnate.
See no one in the picture but Jesus.
“I think this forces a question to bubble up to the surface. Do we know anything about this? Do we have any idea what Mary is doing here? To be so overcome with love for Jesus Christ that you would do anything for Him, at whatever cost, no matter how ridiculous it would appear to others, and it did look ridiculous, and extravagant to others. And Mary didn’t care. She only had eyes for the Saviour. “O love divine, how sweet thou art, when shall I find my willing heart, all taken up by thee. I thirst, I faint, I die to prove the greatness of redeeming love, the love of Christ for me.” This is more than just female sentimentality now – men. It’s more than that. It’s paradigmatic, of how I think it is appropriate for us to be taken up with the love of Christ.”