Summary: Sermon on Mark 14 about service
Sermon for 7/22/2001
A. The kind of love Jesus experienced from this woman would take anyone by surprise.
B. Walk into a teenager’s room and everything is neat and clean. You just know that your child must have done something wrong and was trying to win your favor. Or maybe your child wanted something in return. So you begin to question your child along those lines, only to hear this reply, "Mom, it’s no big deal. I just did it because I love you."
C. Husband comes home with a dozen roses. Just an ordinary day. You knew that he must have done something wrong, or that he was preparing you for some bad news. But he says, "No, honey. I brought these flowers because I love you. There’s no other reason. I just love you."
D. Husband comes home and the wife has set the table for a romantic dinner. She has set the children to a baby sitter. You begin to worry that maybe you forgot an important date. She says, "No dear. I did this because I love you. There’s no other reason. I just love you."
E. These are unexpected acts of pure love. And we see that kind of love in this story in a very beautiful way.
** Scripture background.
A. Mark’s gospel tells the story simply without a lot of details.
C. From these two we learn:
1. The time was within a week of Calvary.
2. Bethany was the place, where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
3. Mary, Martha and Lazarus where there for this celebration. In their hometown.
4. Martha in typical fashion served for the meal.
5. Mary in typical fashion was listening and adoring Jesus.
6. The woman who broke the box of ointment and poured the perfume on the head and feet of Jesus was Mary.
7. Mary wiped Jesus feet with her hair. When she undid her hair (a social no, no for a Jewish woman) she humbled herself and laid her glory at Jesus’ feet.
8. This family of Martha, Mary and Lazarus were not wealthy. This ointment was Mary’s to use how she wanted. However, human reasoning said this was really too much.
9. The first critic of the action was Judas Iscariot, with the other disciples joining in with him.
D. Take a break from 1 Corinthians 13 this morning, but this action is love displayed. It does apply.
E. A free expression of love from the heart.
Thesis: This morning we are going to discover some great truths about Christian service from our Lord’s words about this incident.
A. She has done a good work for Me. Vs. 6
B. This is a good definition of a Christian work. Anything that is done for the love of Christ is a good work.
C. All things are holy and spiritual when they are done for His sake.
D. This is somewhat of a revolutionary idea. The motive makes it right. The motive also can make it wrong. We can do the right thing for the wrong motive. WE can do the "wrong" thing for the right motives.
E. Our pragmatic or utilitarian minds tell us that if it looks right and turns out good, then it is a good work. No!
F. Some good works can be done for the glory of self.
G. Some good works can be done to cover up a rotten and sinful heart. A rich man who gives to take eyes off of a bad family life, or unscrupulous business dealings.
H. Jesus was impressed while everyone else was criticizing. He says that wherever the gospel is preached this woman’s act will be spoken of. Vs. 9. Why?
1. The Gospel is preached in the first place so that the Lord may be satisfied. It is to please the Lord.
2. The first thing is this that everything should be to the satisfaction of the Son of God.
3. The amazing thing is that when Jesus Christ is satisfied, then he fills us with satisfaction.
4. But we will have to remember this, that He will never be satisfied without our "wasting" ourselves upon Him. Have we ever given too much to the Lord?
5. The first thing to keep in mind must be the Lord Himself, not His work.
6. Here is our problem: We give and give and see little results. We want to give up.
7. However, why do we give? To express love to Jesus.
8. If we do this to express love to Jesus, should our emphasis be on the results? No, that is in God’s hands. Our adoration and satisfaction should be in loving Jesus.