Summary: Jesus had just revealed Himself as the Resurrection and the Life at the raising of Lazarus from the dead. This message will look at four of the people’s reactions to this resurrection.
Jesus had just revealed Himself as the Resurrection and the Life at the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Tonight we are going to look at four of the people’s reactions to this resurrection.
READ 1-2. I thought about this scene and wondered how I would have felt dining with a man who had just been dead a few days before. Jesus dined in a home in Bethany. Matthew and Mark record this anointing of Jesus in Matt. 26 and Mark 14. John says it actually took place six days before the Passover. Matthew and Mark say that Jesus was in the house of Simon the Leper, and john says that Martha served. Apparently Simon the Leper was the husband of Martha.
But the stress of the Scripture is that Jesus was with Lazarus, the young man who was raised from the dead. And Jesus was facing the Passover. He was only six days away from becoming the Passover Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. (Answers Ray’s question from last week of how long before the crucifixion did chapter 11 of John take place. A couple of weeks.)
READ 3. Here we see the reaction of the supreme believer. The supreme believer is a person like Mary who loves the Lord with her whole being, sacrificing all that she is and has. Mary gave herself out of a heart of pure love for the Lord. Does that describe your relationship to Jesus? Are you a supreme believer? Let’s see.
1. The supreme believer expresses a repentant love. Mary had criticized and accused Jesus of neglecting her family when He hadn’t come sooner to the aid of her brother Lazarus. Here she is seen repenting of her sin. Is that something you still need to do? 100% repentance.
2. The supreme believer expresses a sacrificial and costly love. Note the word “expensive” in v. 3. The ointment was a perfume or oil. The perfume was worth about a year’s wage. Just imagine the scene! A bottle of perfume worth a whole year’s wage being poured on the feet of Jesus. Think of the costly sacrifice being made. Perfume was the most precious thing to Eastern women. Mary was taking her most precious possession and giving it to her Lord. Do you love Jesus enough to sacrifice like that?
3. The supreme believer expresses a believing love. She honored Jesus as the Christ, the Anointed One. Mary’s anointing was an act of love and faith in the Lord Jesus. Very simply put, Mary anointed Jesus to show how deeply she loved Him and believed Him to be the true Messiah. He had done so much for her and her family that she wanted Him to know how much she appreciated and loved Him.
Something else needs to be noted. Mary sensed something within Jesus; a heaviness of heart. Here heart reached out to Him and wanted to encourage and help Him. Being a young woman in the presence of so many men, she wasn’t allowed to vocally express herself that much. Such a privilege wasn’t allowed women of that day, so she did all that she could.
She acted by arising and going after the most precious gift she could think of—a very expensive bottle of perfume. She gave it to Jesus in such a way that He would know that at least one person truly love Him and believed Him to be the Messiah. Her hope was that such worship and love would boost His spirit.
Note how May demonstrated her love and faith. She gave the most precious possession she had to the Lord. She publicly demonstrated her love and faith in Christ.
What would we do to show our love and faith to Christ? Imagine how difficult it was for Mary to do what she did in the presence of so many men. She set aside pride and embarrassment in order to demonstrate her love and faith in Jesus. How fare are we willing to go in order to show our love and faith?
READ 4-8. So we see the hypocritical, unbelieving disciple. This was Judas. A study of Judas’ character in these verses reveals what it is that often causes a disciple to become hypocritical and unbelieving. Listen up! This next portion is for all of the hypocritical Christians.
Judas followed Jesus, but he criticized other believers. He was a professing believer, but when he disagreed with others, he criticized them. He criticized even those who had great devotion and love for the Lord, and those who repented to the point of making great sacrificial gifts.
Mark pointed out that Judas was especially strong in his criticism. He says that Judas was indignant, growling, rebuking, and scolding. Here’s the point:
Criticism is a sign of hypocrisy. Don’t we all stand in need of repentance and devotion? Don’t we all need to give more and more? When we come so short ourselves, how can we possibly criticize what we consider to be the mistakes of others?