Summary: What are some characteristics of remarkable worship?
Text: Mark 14: 1-11
Title: Remarkable Worship
Definition of worship
Worship is seeing God for who he is and then giving him what he is worth.
This woman was remarkable in her worship for several reasons
1. At that time those in power were hostile towards the worship of Jesus.
“Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him.” (V1)
The reason this is remarkable is this:
Whether we realize it or not those outside the church often have a huge influence in how far we go in our worship.
In fact these same priests and teachers of the law that we read about in verse 1 will cause Peter two days later to deny he ever knew Jesus.
-We might not tell those we work with that we are Christians
- We might not invite someone to church
- We might not think of standing up for Jesus
But this woman did not care what those outside the church thought of Jesus. She was still going to worship Jesus.
Just in case we might think that she had no idea that while she was worshiping Jesus others were plotting to take his life let me draw your attention to what Jesus said in verse 8.
“She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.
She clearly knew what would happen in two days to Jesus and it only made her even more determined to worship him.
New England is not the easiest place to worship Jesus. But this is where God has put us.
This is not the easiest of times to worship Jesus but these are the only times we got.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
The woman was also remarkable in her worship because
2. The church took great offence to someone who was so radical in his or her worship of Jesus.
“Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a years wages and the money given to the poor”. And they rebuked her harshly.” (V4)
It’s one thing when those outside the church take offence when people worship Jesus, you can understand that. But it is a far worse problem when those inside the church take offence when people worship Jesus.
They were so indignant at how far she went in her worship that
1.They rebuked her harshly
2. Judas left the church.
Why did the church get it wrong?
“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them at any time you want. But you will not always have me.” (V6-7)
They had made working for Jesus more important than worshiping Jesus
Notice that the church had no problem with her giving everything to the poor but they did have a problem with her giving everything to Jesus.
We encourage others and ourselves to excel in all other areas of our lives but we neglect the most important one: our worship.
Why did she give so much in her worship? More than anyone thought Jesus deserved.
The third remarkable thing about this woman’s worship is.
3. She saw Jesus for who he was and gave him what he deserved.
She is the standard by which all of us can judge our worship
“I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” (V9)
She saw Jesus as the one who would two days later die for her sins in order to purchase for her a place in heaven.
What do you give the person who in two days would die for your sins and purchase for you a place in heaven?
The most expensive gift you got.
“While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. (in verse 4 we are told it was worth more than a year’s wages). She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.”