Summary: Mary’s Giving is a model to us.
John 12 – Jesus anointed at Bethany March 1, 2009
Three stories of Mary, sister to Martha and Lazarus, and friend of Jesus.
1. from Luke’s Gospel Chapter 10 – Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet – tell the story
2. from John’s Gospel – Lazarus’ death and resurrection John 11 - tell the story
3. The anointing at Bethany – John 12 – read it
The extravagance of the gift: a pint of perfume, one years wages! – were they in the nard business? Was it Mary’s rainy day fund?
Mirrors God’s extravagant love – Joe Abby-Coburn
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.
Mary is extravagant in response to Jesus’ love
– “Mary has chosen the better thing”
- The raising of Lazarus
In anticipation of his death – Mark tells a similar story in Chapter 14, an unnamed woman (Mary) breaks the neck of the bottle: the breaking of the neck was a custom when anointing a dead body for burial
Judas’ response – this could have been used for the poor (or to fill my pockets)!
In Mark’s gospel, it is any number of the people at the table thinking like Judas – minus the thieving. I have to admit that I get their attitude more than I get Mary’s
It is Mary’s attitude and action that is lifted up, not the very practical nay sayers.
Jesus response: “you will always have the poor with you…” – quoting Deuteronomy 15:11
7 If anyone is poor among your people in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. 8 Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need. 9 Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: "The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near," so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your people and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. 10 Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be open-handed toward those of your people who are poor and needy in your land.
Jesus must be more important than money in our lives – rich young ruler story
16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
17 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments."
18 "Which ones?" he inquired.
Jesus replied, " ’You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ’love your neighbor as yourself.’ "
20 "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"
21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Relate to current budget problems
- need to be careful here – it was Judas that was concerned about the operating costs, not Mary.
That says, Mary’s offering tells us about the kind of giving that God is pleased with.
Sacrificial – a year’s wages – not just singing a song
More from the heart, than the wallet – widow’s mite
In response to God’s love
How to get a heart like Mary’s
Remember what God has do for you – focus on thanksgiving
Pray for a heart like Mary’s – one God likes to answer – my Richard Longnecker Story