Summary: Looking at Mary and Judas as disciples of Jesus.
John 12: 1 – 8 / Why?
Intro: “Kiss today goodbye, the sweetness and the sorrow. Wish me luck, the same to you. But I can’t regret what I did for love, what I did for love. Look my eyes are dry. The gift was ours to borrow. It’s as if we always knew, and I con’t forget what I did for love, what I did for love. Gone, Love is never gone. As we travel on, Love’s what we’ll remember.” Beautiful words from the broadway musical , A Chorus Line sung by Diana and the chorus.
I. Mary does not utter a word. Why does she do this? No respectable woman would let her hair down in public. VS. 3
A. How extravagant a gift? Nard is available today at a cost of about $328 a pint or $20.50 per ounce. “I love you . . . but” Love is not love if it nicely calculates the cost.
B. With what attitude? – great honor to anoint a person’s head. Mary anoints Jesus’ feet – sign of humility. – What Mary does, Jesus later does for the disciples.
C. It is a faithful witness to the even more costly and extravagant act that Jesus does, following God’s will. Though Mary does not speak a word, what she does speaks volumes because IT WAS “WHAT SHE DID FOR LOVE!”
II. Judas on the other hand speaks in VS 5. He plays just as important a role in John’s story of Jesus as Mary does.
A. Jesus trusted Judas – knew how Judas was with money and trusted him to do the right thing.
B. Judas stole from money bag – bastazein – to lift – had a gift for handling money – temptation often comes through that for which we are naturally fitted. But, WHY? WHY WOULD JUDAS BETRAY JESUS?
C. In his betrayal and handing over of Jesus to those who would kill him, Judas, no less than any of the other of the disciples, serves God’s great purpose of saving the lost.
III. Judas plays just as important a role in John’s story as does Mary. The choice for the reader is not whether to identify with one or the other. For the Christian disciple is neither Mary nor Judas but a paradoxical combination of Both.
A. VS. 8 These words of Jesus sound harsh – not intended as such.
B. Clearly, Jesus was not counseling neglect of the poor. His words are a quotation from Deut. 15:11, who message is “For the poor will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, You shall open wide your hand, . . . to the needy and to the poor, in the land.
C. Those who are serious about discipleship struggle with the tension between money spent in beautiful acts of worship and money spent on behalf of the poor?
Conclu: We live our lives in the shadow of the cross and the presence of the risen Christ. We are invited to daily companionship with Jesus in extravagant acts of compassion and generosity, in moments of worship. We exist in a world which lives by a mind-set of scarcity, rather than a mind-set of abundance, and so tempts us to close in and give little. In a world whose violence and cruelty crucify people every day we are challenged to be broken and spilled out for love of our Lord.