An Act Of Love As The End Approaches

How Mary Shows Her Love To Jesus!

 

Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, the man he had raised from death.
 

John 12:1 (GNT)

 

Our Lord knew that the Jewish leaders were out to arrest Him and kill Him (John 11:53, 57), but He still returned to Bethany, only two miles from the very citadel of His enemies.

 

Why?

 

So that He might spend a quiet time with His dear friends Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.

 

They prepared a dinner for him there, which Martha helped serve; Lazarus was one of those who were sitting at the table with Jesus.
 

John 12:2 (GNT)

 

After Jesus raised their brother, it was no surprise that Lazarus’ sisters wanted to hold dinner in Jesus’ honor. If God has worked in a person, bringing that which is dead back to life, the natural response is a desire to show Him gratitude and honor.

 

Cultivating Dynamic Devotion

 

John’s Gospel introduces the Holy Spirit as the key to a truly dynamic devotion to God. It anticipates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit who will become the very energy of the believer’s devotional life. The Holy Spirit will maximize prayer and worship, minister through the Lord’s Supper, and enable believers to continually draw their lives from Jesus Christ Himself.

 

Do not allow your ministry for Jesus to distract you from your more important ministry to him.

 

 

The Anointing At Bethany

 

Then Mary took a whole pint of a very expensive perfume made of pure nard, poured it on Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The sweet smell of the perfume filled the whole house.
 

John 12:3 (GNT)

 

love of MaryIn Hebrew, to sit at someone’s feet means to learn from that person. The idiom describes submitting to another’s teaching, authority, and ways of life.

 

Mary showed her love for Jesus by positioning herself at his feet other times as well (John 11:2, 32; 12:3).

 

We learn to worship Jesus with a sensitive heart when we follow Mary’s example of spending time at his feet. Real, fruitful ministry will follow.

 

Mary was also generous – she took the most honored part of her body (her hair) and used it to clean the lowliest and dirtiest part of Jesus’ body (His feet). Mary’s own brother had died, but instead of using her costly perfume for his burial, she had been saving it “for the day of [Jesus’] burial (Gen. 12:7).

 

What a picture of worship and sacrificial devotion! She lavished her most precious possession on her Savior, showing her complete submission and love for him.

 

Mary was humble and teachable (Luke 10:39). As she demonstrated, it is more important to be occupied with Christ than to be occupied for Him.

 

Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples (who was plotting to betray Jesus), began to speak.
 
Judas Iscariot: How could she pour out this vast amount of fine oil? Why didn’t she sell it? It is worth nearly a year’s wages; the money could have been given to the poor.
 

John 12:4-5 (VOICE)

 

It would have required a year’s wages from a common laborer to purchase that ointment. Like David, Mary would not give to the Lord that which cost her nothing (2 Sam. 24:24).

 

Her beautiful act of worship brought a fragrance to the very house in which they were dining, and the blessing of her deed has spread around the world (Matt. 26:13; Mark 14:9). Little did Mary realize that night that her love for Christ would be a blessing to believers around the world for centuries to come!

 

When she came to the feet of Jesus, Mary took the place of a slave. When she undid her hair (something Jewish women did not do in public), she humbled herself and laid her glory at His feet (see 1 Cor. 11:15). Of course, she was misunderstood and criticized; but that is what usually happens when somebody gives his or her best to the Lord.

 

It was Judas who started the criticism, and, sad to say, the other disciples took it up. They did not know that Judas was a devil (John 6:70), and they admired him for his concern for the poor.

 

This had nothing to do with Judas’s desire to help the poor. The truth is he served as the treasurer, and he helped himself to the money from the common pot at every opportunity.
 

John 12:6 (VOICE)

 

Judas was Jesus’ treasurer, and he was a thief. That is not a good combination. The real reason he was so upset at this “waste” was because he would have loved to have had that much money in the bag so he could have skimmed some of it. The love of money was the root of this criticism (1 Timothy 6:10).

 

There are people today who champion causes that “help” the poor, but that doesn’t mean their hearts are right with God any more than it meant Judas’ heart was right because he mentioned helping the poor. This is often done for totally selfish reasons.

 

Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial.”
 

John 12:7 (NLT)

 

Jesus always takes very seriously the persecution of those who love Him (Acts 9:4).

 

“You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
 

John 12:8 (NLT)

 

 

Jesus did not belittle the poor, and His statement must be read against Judas’s reprimand of Mary’s extravagant devotion. Judah’s apparent concern for the poor, however, was only pretense. The disciples were to serve the disadvantaged, but in this case Mary practiced her servanthood on Jesus while he was still with them.

 

The Decision To Kill Lazarus

plot to kill JesusThen a large crowd of the Jews learned He was there. They came not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus the one He had raised from the dead.
 

John 12:9 (HCSB)

 

Once again, we see the importance of miracles in the life and ministry of Jesus. The crowd was larger because of the miracle of Lazarus being raised from the dead.

 

Therefore the chief priests decided to kill Lazarus also because he was the reason many of the Jews were deserting them and believing in Jesus.
 

John 12:10-11 (HCSB)

 

 

How dumb can you get and still breathe?

 

Jesus had already proved that death wasn’t final, and yet they persisted in believing that if they could just kill Jesus and Lazarus, all this would blow over.

 

Here again is a testimony to the importance of miracles. This miracle caused many to believe on Jesus. We must have the same miracles that Jesus had to get the same results that Jesus got (John 14:12).

 

References
Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary

 

24442EB: Be Alive (John 1-12): Get to Know the Living Savior - eBook Be Alive (John 1-12): Get to Know the Living Savior – eBook

By David C. Cook

In BE ALIVE, Dr. Wiersbe presents the basic teachings of the first 12 chapters of John’s Gospel and urges readers to approach its truths with the hearts and minds of worshipers.He teaches how no other gospel paints such a vivid picture of Jesus as the Son of God. Through miracles, parables, and relationships, Jesus shows how He is the fulfillment of God’s promises of old.Questions for personal reflection and group discussion are included at the end of each chapter.

 

 

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