Summary: A sermon addressing the importance of worshipping Jesus.
Worship At The Feet Of Jesus
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William Temple gives a great explanation of biblical worship:Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; It is the nourishment of our mind with His truth; It is the purifying of our imagination by His beauty; It is the opening of the heart to His love; It is the surrender of our will to His purpose… all of this gathered up in adoration,
There is much debate concerning worship in our day. I spoke with a pastor this week that is ready to resign his church because of the conflict that he encounters on a weekly basis regarding corporate worship. It seems that most of the grumbling that you encounter in the “worship wars” is over the style of music.
But John Macarthur says in his book “The Ultimate Priority that “the crucial factor in worship in the church is not the form of worship, but the state of the hearts of the saints. If our corporate worship isn't the expression of our individual worshiping lives, it is unacceptable. If you think you can live anyway you want and then go to church on Sunday morning and turn on worship with the saints, you're wrong. (Source: The Ultimate Priority, p. 104)
So, what is your view of worship? Is worship what happens in church on Sunday? Do you identify it with an emotional experience, spiritual thoughts, or maybe performing certain rituals? The fact is, true worship is not defined by a place, a feeling, or a ritual. God set the standard for worship in His Word, and the standard is much higher and more rewarding than most of us ever imagine. (John Macarthur)
I would like to look at and act of worship in the life of Lazarus’ sister Mary. In John Chapter 11 we find one of the most amazing miracles that occurred during Jesus’ time on this earth. Word had been sent to Jesus that His beloved friend Lazarus was sick. Jesus had a purpose and a plan and as a result Jesus delayed His response until after Lazarus had died. Jesus arrived at Bethany and was confronted by Lazarus’ sisters Mary & Martha. These ladies were completely devastated and their hearts were filled with sorrow. Jesus said “take me to the tomb”. Once Jesus arrived and the stone was rolled away Jesus spoke the words “Lazarus come forth”. Lazarus came out of the tomb alive.
There is no way for us to fully grasp the joy that must have filled the hearts of Mary and Martha. I can guarantee you that Mary, Martha, Lazarus and anyone else who witnessed this event NEVER FORGOT WHAT THEY HAD SEEN.
As we arrive in John chapter 12 we find a beautiful picture of worship offered to Jesus by Mary. She comes before for her Savior, bows down before Him and anoints His feet with a very costly perfume, and then wipes His feet with her hair. The actions of Mary paint a picture of the kind of worship that we should offer our Savior today.
Let’s take a little while and walk through these verses and consider the thought “Worship At The Feet Of Jesus” .I would like to begin by examining… “The Place Of Worship”
I. THE PLACE OF OUR WORSHIP - v1 Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. 2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
In Mark 14:3 we find that this event took place in the “house of Simon the Leper”
Gathered in this house was:Simon the Leper, Lazarus, Martha, Mary, Judas Iscariot & the rest of the Lord’s Disciples.
Though there were several followers present, each one had different things on their mind. Martha (once again) was concerned with serving with the Lord. It seems that Lazarus & Simon were enjoying fellowship with the Lord. The Disciples were there listening to the Lord and Mary was there offering worship to the Lord.
The scene here illustrates a very important fact concerning worship. You can be gathered among other believers… you can even be in the presence of Jesus and still miss out on worship! Worshipping the Savior is a personal action! But in this moment of worship we can see something important about the “proper place” of worship. Mary was not in a temple, a church or cathedral… she was in Simon’s house. The key was not the place where she abode but rather the fact that she was in the presence of Jesus.
The proper place of worship is “in the presence of Jesus”. This means that our worship is not limited to a certain time or location. We don’t have to bow down facing the east a certain time of day. We don’t have to take a yearly trip to a specific destination; we don’t have to enter into a church building in order to worship our Savior. We don’ have to wait until 11:00 on Sunday Morning to worship Jesus!