Summary: Martha’s worship language was service. Lazarus spoke the language of witness.Mary shows us how to speak the worship language of giving.
#3 in the series
“Finding Your Worship Language”
Giving As Worship
For the last couple weeks I have been preaching about different ways of worshipping God. We looked at Martha as an example of Service as Worship. Lazarus was an example of Witness as Worship. Today we look at Mary as our example of Giving As Worship.
The point I want to make is that Giving… tithes and offerings… is one way to worship God.
Each week we pass the plate to take up an offering. Most people see that as something we do to pay the bills… a necessary evil. IT IS NOT!
We take up an offering in the worship service because giving is one of the ways we worship God… one of the worship languages.
Our scripture text today is found in John and it is the story of Mary anointing Jesus feet with the very expensive oil.
Get the picture: The house is filled with people… the disciples, some close friends and Jesus. It was a clandestine meting. Jesus was a wanted man… a man with a price on his head. The end of the previous chapter tells us that Jesus was no longer appearing in public. He was hiding out in different rural towns with some of the disciples. Out of fear? NO! Timing!!! He knew he had to be the Passover Lamb and so he could not die until then.
So here he is, according to Mark’s account, in the home of one of his newest disciples… Simon… a former leper who had been healed by Jesus.
What a great place to hide… I the home of a leper. There is no way any of the Scribes of Pharacees would come looking here. They were too worried about their ceremonial cleanliness. To come near this house would leave them ceremonially unclean for a long time.
It reminds me of Corrie Ten Boom’s book, “The Hiding Place.” Some of you know that book. Corrie and her family were locked in a Nazi concentration camp because they had helped many of the Jews escape. In that camp life was more horrible than you can imagine. She tells of the dormitories they lived in… they were filthy and filled with lice. She tells of the misery the lice caused. But then, she praised God because she realized that the lice were a gift from God. That is right… a gift. Because of the lice the Nazi guards would not come inside the dorms. That left Corrie and her friends to have bible studies right there in the open. Because of Simon’s former disease and people’s fear… Jesus had safety from his pursuers.
And just imagine the stories that are being told in that room.
The home that they were in didn’t belong to Lazarus though, it was, according to Mark 14:3, “Simon the Lepers” home.
I bring that up because it is amazing. Imagine being asked to come to dinner and then you find out the host is a leper. Would you go? NO! NEVER! What would it take before anyone would ever come into that house again? A MIRACLE!!! The fact that they were at Simon’s house points to his healing.
Imagine the excited talk that day about what Jesus had done for Simon.
Another guest also owed his life to Jesus. Lazarus was there. In the previous chapter, where was Lazarus? In the tomb!