Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: using the story of Mary of Bethany we look at what it is to be ’poured out’ for God

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Mary of Bethany – A Wasteful God?

Pre-Easter 2006 • Chris Rowney

These messages are also available as audio podcasts at www.tcfnet.org.au/podcasts

“1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.

2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honour. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.

3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected,

5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.”

6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.

8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.

10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well,

11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him.

12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.

13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the King of Israel!”

14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written,

15 “Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”

16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realise that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him.

17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word.

18 Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him.

19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!””

John 12:1-19, NIV.

VIDEO CLIP from DVD Gospel of John

Explain each Gospel records an anointing with similarities & differences –

In Matthew Mark and John it is in Bethany in the house of Simon the Leper, and the onlookers complain of the waste that should go to the poor, and Jesus answers about it being an anointing for his Burial.

In Luke it is also a house owned by a Simon (but that is a common name) and he is a Pharisee, the woman is not named as Mary, the complaint is that Jesus shouldn’t associate with such a woman, and his response is that she washed his feet and anointed him in for the banquet, which his host should have done.)

SO in MY VIEW – two different anointings!

People confuse Mary Magdalene with Mary of Bethany (explain why this cannot be so…)

THEN they confuse the two anointings and come up with the theory that Mary must have been ‘the sinful woman’ (TRUE – all women are sinful .. so are all men!)

Summarise Today’s story..

Mary – sister of Lazarus, who has been brought back from death!

(summarise from John 11:1 to 44

key verses 11:17-20

“17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.

18 Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem,

19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.

20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.”

John 11:17-20, NIV.


“28 And after she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.”

29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him.

30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.

31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

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