Summary: Mary risked discomfort and rejection in order to offer Jesus an extravagant gift. What do we risk in our worship?
1. John 12.1-8
2. Selective Hearing (2 Slides)
I like the story about a hobo who walked up to the front door of a big farmhouse, and knocked on the door until the owner answered. The hobo said, "Sir, could I please have something to eat? I haven't had a meal in days." The well-to-do owner of the house said, "I have made my fortune in the world by never giving anything away for free. If you go around to the back of the house, you'll find a gallon of paint and a clean brush. Paint my porch and I'll give you a good meal."
The hobo headed off to the back of the house. About an hour later he knocked on the front door. The homeowner was surprised. "You're finished already? That was quick! Come on in and sit down, and I'll have the cook bring you a meal."
"Thank you, sir!" the hobo said. "I must tell you though; you really don't know your cars. That's not a Porsche back there. It's a BMW."
Sometimes people just don't understand clearly, and that is the case with Judas. He didn't understand why Mary was wasting the expensive perfume with the anointing of Jesus at Bethany. Jesus had to explain it to him.
3. A dinner party following the resurrection of Lazarus and Mary's profound gift of appreciation -- a year's salary worth of oil to anoint Jesus
a. Judas becomes the disciples' self-appointed referee/ policeman /critic and condemns her
b. Jesus honors her for her generosity
4. This account shows us an example of Extravagant worship of our LORD
I. We Pay a Price in Showing Our Hearts -- Love and Emotion
A. Love is Risky -- Jonathan and David; Men and women -- potential rejection
At the end of their first date, a young man takes the girl back to her home. Emboldened by the night, he decides to try for that important first kiss. With an air of confidence, he leans with his hand against the wall and, smiling, he says to her, "How 'bout a good night kiss?" Embarrassed, she replies, "Oh, I couldn't do that. My parents will see us!" For several minutes he pleads and she deflects. "Oh please, please, I like you so much!!" "No. I like you too, but I just can't!" "Oh yes you can. Please?" "NO, no. I just can't." "Pleeeeease?..."
Suddenly, the porch light goes on, and the girl's sister shows up in her pajamas, hair disheveled. In a sleepy voice the sister says: "Dad says to go ahead and give him a kiss. Or I can do it. Or if need be, he'll come down himself and do it. But for crying out loud tell him to take his hand off the intercom button!"
B. We worry about what others think about our gifts to God -- Judas in 12.4-6
6 But Jesus said, "Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. 9 And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her."
D. A Truth: God knows our hearts -- Hebrews 4.13
And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
1. Demonstrations of loving God will vary -- David dancing before the ark; Michal's response
2. Our worship and gifts to God are to be unselfish acts of the heart
a. Mary -- oil
b. Martha's service [We have people in this congregation whose service is an act of worship; they enable the rest of us to be more focused-- Nursery workers; CBH workers; ushers; communion servers; money counters; worship leaders
c. [My sermon is my offering to God -- sometimes others like it; sometimes they don't, but every time it is my gift to God
II. We Pay a Price in Showing Our Hands -- Actions
"The tragedy of life is often not in our failure, but rather in our complacency; not in our doing too much, but rather in our doing too little; not in our living above our ability, but rather in our living below our capacities."― Benjamin E. Mays
A. Her Posture is Significant
1. Reclining at the table forced her to bow and kneel
2. Proskuneo -- prostrate oneself; kiss toward as a dog licking its master's hand