Summary: This sermon challenges God's people to be completely devoted to Jesus on the basis of his infinite worth. I would be delighted if you could rate this sermon and give a brief feedback.
INTRODUCTION (SECURE ATTENTION) & BACKGROUND OF THE PASSAGE:
PRAY before starting the sermon.
ILLUSTRATION: I remember my college days when I was studying Masters in Computer Science.
In 2001, the Lord touched my life and I was on fire for God!
I would be very vocal about my faith and share the gospel with my non-Christian friends.
However, some of my ‘Christian’ friends would criticize me for my passion and devotion to Christ.
They asked me to calm down and be normal.
Listen, if you show extravagant devotion to God, fellow Christians will often criticize you.
This happens in a Bible college too.
They’ll say things like, “You don’t have to be so holy. You don’t have to act so godly. I know how you were earlier. You don’t have to be so sacrificial.”
Even in today’s text, a woman is rebuked for demonstrating extravagant devotion to Christ.
Would you take God’s Word and turn your Bibles with me to MARK 14:1-11 (READ)?
I have entitled today’s sermon as: “EXTRAVAGANT DEVOTION TO JESUS.”
Due to time limitations, I’m going to condense what I want to say.
The theme of chapter 14, which is the longest chapter in Mark, is the abandonment of Jesus.
In Mark 3:6; 11:18; 12:12, we see that the religious vehemently opposed Jesus.
But in Mark 14, we read that they begin to execute their plans to kill Jesus.
In the passage that we read today, we see that:
CENTRAL PROPOSITION OF THE TEXT: A woman demonstrates her devotion to Jesus, though the chief priests and the scribes seek to destroy him and Judas seeks to betray him.
When we read Mark 14:1-11, we understand that Mark has deliberately sandwiched the story of this woman’s devotion in between the conspiracy of the religious leaders in 14:1-2 and Judas’ plan to betray Jesus in 14:10-11.
In Mark’s sandwiching method, the middle story provides the main point of the story.
Mark contrasts the devotion of this woman with the betrayal of Judas.
The woman was willing to spend all her money on showing her devotion to the Lord, while Judas was willing to betray Jesus to gain some money.
FALLEN CONDITION FOCUS: Already dealt with.
THE PURPOSE BRIDGE: To exhort the CGLD community to be completely devoted to Jesus.
CENTRAL PROPOSITION OF THE SERMON: I have used inductive proposition for this sermon.
I. THE CHIEF PRIESTS AND THE SCRIBES SEEK TO ARREST AND KILL JESUS.
Refer Mark 14:1-2.
A. The Setting: two days before the Passover and the Feast of the Unleavened Bread.
Read Mark 14:1a: It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of the Unleavened Bread.
The Passover commemorated the deliverance of Israelites from Egypt (Exodus 12:1-51).
The Passover was a major festival and it was one of the compulsory feasts, the others being the feast of Pentecost and the feast of Tabernacles.
Every male adult Jew who lived within 24 kilometers of Jerusalem was to go to Jerusalem without fail.
However, the feast of the unleavened bread was a minor festival.
Now many people were keen to go to Jerusalem to participate in the Passover feast at least once in their lifetime, just like many Christians long to go to Israel once in their lifetime.
So, the diaspora Jews from different parts of the world went to Jerusalem to participate in the Passover feast.
There were huge crowds in and around Jerusalem during the Passover.
For instance, it is estimated that about 30 lakh pilgrims came to Jerusalem in AD 65.
B. The Chief Priests and the Scribes were seeking to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him.
Read Mark 14:1b: And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth and kill him.
Since there were huge crowds in Jerusalem during the Passover, the chief priests and the scribes sought to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him.
But why did they plan to arrest him secretly?
C. The reason they wanted to arrest him by stealth: to avoid uproar from the people.
Read Mark 14:2: for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.”
Many Jews believed that the Messiah would come and deliver them from the Rome rule during the Passover.
So, the Romans were on guard during the Passover.
They were on the edge of the seat as they expected trouble at any time.
The chief priests and the scribes knew that arresting Jesus during this time can cause a riot in Jerusalem.
So, they sought to arrest him secretly and kill him.
Instead of fearing God, they were fearing people.
As the Jews came to Jerusalem to celebrate their deliverance from Egypt, God was preparing his Son to die on the cross to deliver us from our sins.