Summary: Discovering what it really means to love Jesus extravagantly
LOVING JESUS EXTRAVAGANTLY
Today we begin a new series of messages we have entitled, “Welcoming Jesus to Your World.” At first glance you might say, “this should be easy, Jesus is always welcome in my world, I always want him around.” But I want you to think about something, have you ever felt very unwelcome in the place you should feel the most welcome? Husbands have you ever come home to discover that your wife is angry with you? You know because she answers you in terse one word statements. “How was your day?” “Fine” Is something wrong? “No”, Honey what’s wrong? “Nothing” How do you feel fellas when that happens. And what about you ladies, have you ever really wanted to talk something over with your husband, something very important to you and have him respond in a way that makes you feel rejected? You know what I mean don’t you. You sit down beside your husband on the couch, take his hand, look into his eyes and begin to pour out your heart. He listens briefly but then you notice he is looking past you absorbed in the game that’s on TV and responding to you with disinterested grunts. How does that make you feel.
And you young people, do you ever feel discomfort where you should feel welcome. Like when you get together with your friends on Monday and they are all talking about the great time they had together over the weekend but you don’t have anything to contribute because you weren’t invited, you didn’t know anything was going on. I am sure you don’t like the feeling of being left out.
I am sure that everyone here this morning has experienced rejection, being left out. A feeling that is intensified if it takes place in surroundings where we have the expectation of acceptance and welcome.
This is what Jesus experienced. Isaiah 53:3 foretells that Jesus would be “despised and rejected” and John 1:11 states the Jesus “came to that which was his own, but even his own did not receive him.”
The truth is that we can love Jesus and still at times neglect him, or ignore him, even reject Him. During the next weeks we will be looking at how we can welcome Jesus into our lives, the way he should be welcomed. We begin with a heart warming story of welcome found in Mark 14:1-11 READ.
From the example of Mary we learn what it truly means to love Jesus extravagantly. There are four elements of her love that make it extravagant.
I. EXTRAVAGANT LOVE IS NOT DETERMINED BY CONTEXT.
A. We learn from John’s gospel that this woman was Mary the sister
of Lazarus. When she takes this very expensive perfume and poured it on Jesus head some become indignant and rebuke her
harshly. She didn’t care what others thought she was willing to
withstand the criticism to express her love to Jesus.
B. All too often our love for Jesus is molded by the context in which
We find ourselves. It might be difficult to love Jesus in the work
place, or at certain social events, or even in our homes. Mary
was in a place where Jesus was being honor and she was
criticized for her expression of love.
C. A young man was wooing a young lady trying to impress her with the depth of his commitment and love. “For you I would climb the highest mountain, I would swim shark infested waters, I would transverse the hottest desert. Would you go down town and get me an ice cream? You gotta be kidding its freezing out there. He would go to great lengths to prove his love if it was in the right context.
We can sing about loving Jesus, we can read scripture about loving Jesus, we can express our love to Jesus, and this is all good...but it is also fairly easy to do in the context of church, what about the other contexts of your life, the home, the workplace, the social life, can you express your love, do you express your love for Jesus in those contexts.
II. EXTRAVAGANT LOVE INVOLVES SACRAFICE.
A. The Perfume poured upon Jesus was very costly
1. Made from pure nard probably imported from India.
2. Worth more than a years wages.
3. May have been a purchase or perhaps a gift. I can imagine
Mary daubing a little bit on herself each day making it last
4. She breaks the alabastar jar that contains it she isn’t holding
Any of it back, not giving grudgingly but giving freely that
Which was precious to her. That is the nature of extravagant
B. O. Henry’s famous short story “The Gift Of the Magi.” tells the story of Jim and Della, newlyweds, poor struggling to make ends meet. Della wants to buy a present for Jim but only has $1.87 not enough. She has beautiful long hair, which she goes to a shop that buys hair to sell for $20.00 Shops all over for the perfect gift a watch chain for Jim on which he can place his prize possession a watched handed down to him by his father as it had been by his grandfather. Jim comes home to find his wife’s lovely hair cut off, surprized! Gives her a gift two beautiful tortoise shell combs to place in her lovely hair...she says her hair will grow back...she remembers her present and gives him the gold watch chain only to have him tell her he sold the watch to buy the combs....I think He captures the story of sacrificial love...thought for the other person, what will bless them.