Summary: A sermon examining the battle that you will face when you attempt to worship the Savior.
When The Worship Ends Trouble Begins
Many years ago I was present in a dynamic worship service. The Spirit was moving and people were being obedient to the Lord. Just as the time of praise began, someone got up and went to the altar to pray. Then someone went to pray with that person. As the service moved on others got up and began to go and pray. Hands were raised and heads were bowed. Tears of joy were streaming down the face of the worshippers. Then someone got up and began to testify. Then another and another, before you knew it a testimony service had broken out… IT WAS AMAZING.
Then it happened… A malcontent that was present decided that this testimony service was a great time to stand and voice his opposition to a decision that was made during the business meeting the week before. The pastor simply stated that now was not the time or place to discuss that and he rightly proclaimed that the worship service was about Jesus and nothing else. The malcontent sat down and dropped the issue. But as a result the atmosphere of worship was affected greatly. The spirit of praise and adoration had been replaced with tension and anger. No longer were hands raised and heads bowed… Not one more testimony was shared. In fact the songs that followed were empty and the response was dead. The pastor noticeably struggled just to preach the sermon. Though the actions of one man, the enemy had won a huge battle.
Satan does not want Jesus to be worshipped. He does not want you to see Jesus for Who He is and offer Him the praise that He deserves. And he will do whatever it takes to kill the spirit of worship in your life and in this church! And anytime that the enemy succeeds in hindering or stopping our worship… trouble will soon follow. This fact is illustrated clearly in the verses that we will consider this evening.
I want to return to the house of Simon The Leper and preach on this fact “When The Worship Ends Trouble Begins”. This is a continuation of last’s weeks message “Worship At The Feet Of Jesus”.
In verses 1- 3 we are introduced to a beautiful picture of worship in the life of Mary. There were several believers gathered at Simon’s house. As we survey the scene there are many different reactions to Jesus’ presence in this house.
1) Lazarus and Simon are at the table enjoying fellowship with Jesus.
2) Martha is stirring around with a desire to serve Jesus.
3) Mary is at His feet worshipping Him.
4) Judas and the other disciples were there listening to Him.
Then, after a while something amazing happens…. Mary takes a box filled with ointment or “perfume” and anoints the feet of her Master and then washes His feet with her hair. No doubt this action got the attention of each person present that evening. We are told that the aroma of the “perfume” filled the house. As we closed last week I speculated on a certain scenario and I would like to review that scenario before we move further. I can’t help but think that when the others witnessed this act of worship that it may have filled their hearts with joy.
- Perhaps they began to ponder the greatness of the Savior…
- Maybe Lazarus began to think of the amazing miracle that Jesus performed in his life.
- Perhaps Simon the Leper thought back to the day that Jesus made him whole
- Maybe Martha thought back to the sorrow she faced and the joy she experienced as Lazarus come from the tomb.
- Perhaps the other Disciples thought about the many miracles that they had witnessed at the hands of Jesus.
It is very possible that a good ol worship service may have broken out…. if Judas hadn’t opened his big mouth! We will never know what might have been because Judas spoke up and said - v5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
His declaration that the ointment should have been sold and the money given to the poor sounds noble on the surface, until we are told in verse 6 what was really in his heart - 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
Judas was the treasurer of the group and it is believed by many that he would embezzle from the funds. Jesus then defends Mary’s actions - v7 then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. 8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always. In this statement, Jesus again references His impending death.