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74. "Martha serves, Mary's devotion"
74. "Martha serves, Mary's devotion"
Ministry III (Sermon to Multitude, Sermons in parables, Woe to scribes , Talents etc)

74. “Me ye have not always”

John 12, 1-11: Matthew 26, 6-13: Mark 14, 3-9. A.D. 30. Age 33. Bethany.

JESUS came, six days before the passover, to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom he had raised from the dead. In the house of Simon the leper there, they made Jesus a supper; and Martha served. Lazarus was one of them at the table with Jesus.

Mary, having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious, brake the box, and poured it on Jesus’ head as he sat at meat, and anointed his feet, and wiped his feet with her hair. 

Some disciples had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? Judas Iscariot [which should betray Jesus] saith, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? And they murmured against Mary.

When Jesus understood it, he said.

Let her alone: why trouble ye the woman? Against the day of my burying hath she done this.

For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath wrought a good work upon me; for she hath done what she could: for in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying (she did it for my burial). Why trouble ye her?

Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, there shall also this that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

The Jews knew that Jesus was there: and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.

But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; because that by reason of him many of the Jews believed on Jesus.

Scripture: John 12:1-11

Meditation 1 of 1: 

Do you know the love that knows no bounds? As Jesus dines with his beloved friends, Mary does something which only love can do.  She took the most precious thing she had and spent it all on Jesus.  Her love was not calculated but extravagant. Mary’s action was motivated by one thing, and one thing only, namely, her love for Jesus and her gratitude for God’s mercy.  She did something, however, a Jewish woman would never do in public. She loosed her hair and anointed Jesus with her tears. It was customary for a woman on her wedding day to bound her hair. For a married woman to loosen her hair in public was a sign of grave immodesty. Mary was oblivious to all around her, except for Jesus. She took no thought for what others would think, but what would please her Lord. In humility she stooped to anoint Jesus’ feet and to dry them with her hair. How do you anoint the Lord’s feet and show him your love and gratitude?

The gospel records that the whole house was filled with the perfume of the ointment. What Mary had done brought sweetness not only in the physical sense, but the spiritual sense as well.  Her lovely deed shows the extravagance of love — a love that we cannot outmatch.  The Lord Jesus showed us the extravagance of his love in giving the best he had by pouring out his own blood for us and by anointing us with his Holy Spirit.   The Apostle Paul says that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:39).  Does the love of God rule in yourheart,  mind, and actions?

Why was Judas critical of Mary’s lovely deed?  Judas viewed her act as extravagant wastefulness because of greed. A person views things according to what it inside the heart or soul.  Judas was an embittered man and had a warped sense of what was precious and valuable, especially to God. Jesus had put Judas in charge of their common purse, no doubt because he was gifted in financial matters.  The greatest temptation we can face will often come in the area of our greatest strength or gifting.  Judas used money entrusted to him for wrong and hurtful purposes.  He allowed greed and personal gain to corrupt his heart and to warp his view of things.  He was critical towards Mary because he imputed unworthy motives.  Do you examine your heart correctly when you impute wrong or unworthy motives 
towards others?

“Give us, Lord, a lively faith, a firm hope, a fervent charity, a love of you.  Take from us all lukewarmness in meditation, dullness in prayer.  Give us fervor and delight in thinking of you and your grace, your tender compassion towards me.  The things we pray for, good Lord, give us grace to labor for: through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (Prayer of Sir Thomas More, 16th century)


Ministry III (Sermon to Multitude, Sermons in parables, Woe to scribes , Talents etc)The complete sayings of Jesus

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