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Summary: Extravagant Love (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Reading: Matthew chapter 26 verses 6 to 16

Ill:

Two brothers were getting ready to boil some eggs and then to colour for Easter.

• "I'll give you £1 if you let me break three of these eggs on your head," said the older one.

• "Do you promise?" asked the younger brother.

• "I promise with all my heart!" said the older brother.

• With the agreement made he then broke two eggs over his brother's head.

• Standing stiff for fear the gooey mess would get all over him, the little boy asked,

• "When is the third egg coming?"

• "It's not," replied the brother.

• "If I do that then it would cost me a £1!"

Sometimes things do not work out the way you have them planned:

• That was certainly true for the People we reads about in;

• Matthew chapter 26 verses 6 to 16

I want to divide the story under five headings:

(1). the Place (vs 6a).

• Verse 6:

• “Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper”

• The village of Bethany is only 3km from Jerusalem;

• That is two miles in old money.

• It was a favorite place of Jesus and he visited it on many occasions;

• Three of his closest friends shared a house there.

• Bethany was home to Mary, Martha & Lazarus.

• And for Jesus Bethany was an oasis, a hideaway, somewhere to go and relax!

• For Jesus these friends did not just own a house but a home,

• A home where he can switch off and relax, ‘recharge his batteries’.

• He was accepted for who he was;

• Rather than a miracle working showman.

• The crowds were after miracles;

• Mary, Martha & Lazarus wanted him! These were his close friends!

• For Jesus this was a real home,

• A place where he can switch off and relax, ‘recharge his batteries’.

• Have you ever been so tired that you are just not sure you can go on?

• If the answer is yes, you might appreciate this story.

ILL:

• A woman who had recently moved into a small village in Wiltshire,

• Was in the backyard hanging out the washing on the line.

• When an old, tired-looking dog wandered into the yard.

• She could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home.

• As she walked into the house, the dog followed her in,

• Sat down under the kitchen table and fell sound asleep.

• An hour later, he woke up;

• Went over to the door and she let him out.

• The next day he was back.

• He took up the same position under the kitchen table and slept for an hour.

• This continued for several weeks. Curious, she pinned a note to his collar:

• "Every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap."

• The next day the dog arrived with a different note pinned to his collar:

• "He lives in a home with 6 children - he’s trying to catch up on his sleep."

As I have mentioned, Bethany for Jesus usually was:

• A place where he is loved and accepted,

• A place people wanted to enjoy him and his company.

• But on this occasion Jesus was not visiting Mary, Martha & Lazarus;

• Verse 6: “Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper”

(1). the Host (vs 6b).

• Verse 6: “Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper”

• We are told two key things regarding Simon.

(a). He was a leper.

• Almost every age has had its social outcasts,

• People barred from normal society whether through physical illness or national origin.

• At the time of Jesus leprosy was the most feared disease you could get!

• You became an instant outcast as soon as exhibited any of the symptoms.

Ill:

• The norm in Bible times was that if you had leprosy;

• Then you were waiting to die! There was no cure and there was no hope!

• Leprosy was a highly contagious and deadly disease;

• It would attack the extremities of the body, the ears, the toes, the nose, the fingers.

• If contaminated you would have been forced to live in local caves or woodland;

• And under NO circumstances could you mix with anyone who was not a fellow leper.

• Ill: Seen going any where near healthy people;

• They would pick up stones and start stoning you!

Ill:

• In the late 1800’s as in Bible times, there was no cure;

• In order to keep leprosy from spreading and creating an epidemic,

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