Summary: This is part 3 of this sermon

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Pastor Ed Pruitt



Sunday, June 10, 2007

John 12:1-8 (NLT)

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

12 Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead.

2 A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him.

3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.

4 But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said,

5 “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.”

6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.

7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial.

8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

In last week’s text (Isaiah 6:1-8) we studied the authority of the King in worship.

Central to Isaiah’s encounter with God was the pre-eminence of God’s throne.

First and foremost, Isaiah is confronted with a King.

Worship is weightless sentiment without due caution and regard for the rulership of the King.

Worship sets my life before the throne and rule of God.

In worship, I don’t just admire God’s greatness.

I bow before His throne.

Today’s text adds another dimension to our study of the theology of worship:


This story of Mary anointing Jesus with expensive ointment is also told, with slight additions and omissions, by Matthew and Mark.

And, in very simple terms, it expresses one very prominent truth.

Because one big truth is sometimes more forceful than several smaller ones, let me summarize the theological core of this event as it relates to worship:

Worship involves giving our Lord more than just praise.

We’ll see in future teachings that worship must include praise.

But the point of this passage is different.

Worship calls for the offering of something tangible of ourselves, our time, and our resources.

This seems the most obvious feature of this story of Mary and Jesus.

Everything else seems small and pale in comparison to her instantaneous, almost reckless, pouring out of about one year’s income over the head and feet of her Lord.

Whatever else worship may or may not involve, worship is the opposite of detachment.

Who told Mary to pour out this perfume over the body of Jesus?

Or, for that matter, who told the magi from the east to bring gold, frankincense and myrrh?

“We have seen His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”

So worship Him, already.

But no, it’s not enough just to bow or say things to the Baby.

Something must be given.

Something must be brought and offered along with the words of praise and adoration.

This is the very same truth underscored by Kind David:

Psalm 96:1-13 (NLT)

1 Sing a new song to the LORD!

Let the whole earth sing to the LORD!

2 Sing to the LORD; praise his name.

Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.

3 Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.

Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.

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