Summary: I preached this sermon after the death of a man who was a big help to me in my ministry. Perhaps you can adapted it to fit after the death of someone you want to pay tribute to.
How Will You Be Remembered?
6 And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper,
7a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table.
8But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste?
9For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor."
10But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me.
11For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always.
12For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial.
13Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her."
Last week I lost a good friend.
His name was Bill.
I first met him in 2003 when he came to my church.
He joined the church and eventually became an Elder.
Over the years, I often called upon Bill for advice.
Many times he gave me encouragement when I needed it.
Bill was a strong Christian man.
He knew what the Bible says and he lived it, too.
He served his country
in World War II and the Korean Conflict, too.
When he got out of the Navy, he got married.
Bill and his wife had 3 sons.
Those 3 boys grew up in a Christian home.
All 3 have grown up to be strong Christian men
just like their Dad was.
Bill also worked hard as an Electric Coop Manager.
He also served as Mayor of Albion.
Many people are going to remember Bill.
Have you ever wondered how you will be remembered?
I want to be remembered!
I want to be remembered in a positive way!
In our Bible text today, a woman does something for Jesus.
Notice in Verse 13, Jesus says: what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her."
We aren’t given her name in this Bible passage.
However, John 12:1-8 tells us it was Mary.
There are several Marys in the Bible,
but this Mary is the sister of Martha and Lazarus.
The disciples must have been surprised
when Jesus said this Mary will be remembered.
It doesn’t appear she did anything significant does it?
All she did was pour out some expensive perfume
on the head of Jesus.
But over in John 12.5 we learn that that perfume
cost an entire annual wage of a day worker,
which was about 300 denarii.
To put that in American dollars today,
that would be equal to someone working 40 hours a week
earning the minimum wage of $11.00 per hour…
or about $22,880 before taxes.
Now you can see why the disciples
responded the way they did.
They couldn’t believe it!
What a waste.
What was she thinking!
Knowing the value of that perfume themselves,
the disciples thought it would have been better used…
by selling it and giving the money to help the poor.
Just think how many poor could have been helped.
This was the first night of Passover.
It was customary to give alms to the poor.
Nonetheless, notice Jesus’ response in contrast to theirs.
They thought it was a wasteful act!
Jesus saw it as an extravagant act of love for Him.
Even though selling the perfume and giving it to the poor…
would have been a good thing to do,
what she did at that time was even better.
Jesus says what she did will become a memorial to her.
Why did Jesus emphasize this?
I suspect it’s because of 2 previous occasions:
#1. She sat at His feet and listened to His Words (Luke 10:38–42)
That’s when Mary’s sister Martha got upset
Because she wasn’t helping prepare the meal.
#2. She came to His feet in sorrow after the death of Lazarus. (John 11:28–32)
Mary was a person who deeply loved Jesus!
That’s how my friend Bill will be remembered.
That’s how I wish to be remembered!
How about you?
Point #1. I want to be remembered as a person who loved Jesus more than any person or thing.
This perfume poured on Jesus was extremely valuable.
What are the bottles of perfume in your life?
Is it your family?
Could it be your possessions?
What or who means more to you than Jesus?
I hope my family will remember me
for the love I have for them.
However, it’s more important
that they remember the love I have for Jesus.
God wants our memorial to be…
where people see and know that we love Jesus…