Summary: Every man gives his life for what he believes… One life is all we have, we live it and it’s gone. What do you burn for?


THE BIG IDEA: Every man gives his life for what he believes…sometimes people believe in little or nothing, and yet they give their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have, we live it and it’s gone. What do you burn for? (Joan of Arc, Voice of the Martyrs).


“1 After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death. 2 But they said, "Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar of the people." 3 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard…

• We know from John 12:1-11 that this woman was Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus

Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. 4 But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, "Why was this fragrant oil wasted? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor." And they criticized her sharply. 6 But Jesus said, "Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. 7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. 8 She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. 9 Assuredly, 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." 10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him.” (Mark 14:1-11).


1. The chief priests and scribes: wanted to put Jesus to death.

2. Judas and the disciples: thought Mary’s act of worship was wasteful.

• They were indignant, didn’t understand extravagant love or worship.

3. Mary: wasted on Jesus. “She has done what she could.” Passionate worshipper!

• What was the difference between Mary and the other characters in this story?

• She was wasting her life on Jesus because of the difference He made in her life.

• This is the same Mary who sat at the feet of Jesus – she knew the importance of “One Thing” – passionate worship of Jesus (Luke 10:38-42).

QUOTE: “Mary is bent on wasting her life on her Lord – the God who loved her and forgave her – and she doesn’t care who knows about it or what anyone else thinks… As we realize more and more who we are as sinners, and as we recognize the magnitude of what Christ has done for us, the more our hearts will rise up in us like the heart of Mary of Bethany. We’ll find ourselves saying, “Lord, I want my life to be a drink offering, poured out upon you.” Wasting our life on God is a doorway to greater intimacy with Him. I’m tired of boring church and mundane Christianity, how about you?” (Jim Goll, Wasted on Jesus).

• But WHY was Mary willing to waste her life on Jesus?


“38 Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. 39 When the Pharisee who was the host saw what was happening and who the woman was, he said to himself, "This proves that Jesus is no prophet. If God had really sent him, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!" 40 Then Jesus spoke up and answered his thoughts. "Simon," he said to the Pharisee, "I have something to say to you." "All right, Teacher," Simon replied, "go ahead." 41 Then Jesus told him this story: "A man loaned money to two people – five hundred pieces of silver to one and fifty pieces to the other. 42 But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?" 43 Simon answered, "I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt." "That’s right," Jesus said. 44 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You didn’t give me a kiss of greeting, but she has kissed my feet again and again from the time I first came in. 46 You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. 47 I tell you, her sins – and they are many – have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love." 48 Then Jesus said to the woman, "Your sins are forgiven." 49 The men at the table said among themselves, "Who does this man think he is, going around forgiving sins?" 50 And Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:38-50).

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