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John 12:1-11 (2)

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The Battle of Quebec, The Battle of Saratoga, The Battle of Gettysburg, The Battle of Marne, D-Day.
These all have one thing in common.
Though there were many battles that comprised the French and Indian War, The Revolutionary War, The Civil War, WW1, and WW2, these battles are almost unanimously recognized as being the 5 battles that was the turning points of these war.
I have actually had the privilege to go to two of the 5 battle grounds and observe the different monuments and here the history behind the Wars and the battle.
I’ve only been to one of these battle fields, so that is the one I will tell you about.
June 6, 1944, American, British, and Canadian forces invaded Normandy France and took the beach.
This allowed for France to be liberated from Germany, and the Allied Powers went on to win the war.
The common theme of any turning point is that the direction changes. In reality though acts as half way point in the book of John, it serves as a movement toward the end.
John 12:1 NASB95
Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
John 12:1 NASB95
Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
John 12:1 NASB95
Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.

Jesus is back.

Just a few days prior as we have just go through explaining over the past month, Jesus has raised Lazarus and with Lazarus, Jesus also raises quite the uproar.
As we discussed last week, due to Jesus’s raising of Lazarus, the Jewish leaders have came together in the Sanhedrin, and have counseled together against Jesus Christ.
Caiphas has stepped up and has presented and the entire council have approved a plan to capture and kill Jesus.
From this point forward in the book of John, it seems that the purpose shifts.
John in the first 12 chapters, has made it his aim to tell of some of the works and signs of Jesus. We each passing chapter, the hope is that our belief in Christ will grow stronger and stronger.
Since we are at the half way point let me just remind you of where we have been so far in our study through the book of John and who we have seen Jesus to be through this book.
In , Jesus is the eternal Word of God through whom all has been made, and according to the last Old Testament prophet, JTB, He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
In , Jesus has shown he is God through creating wine from water, and we see Jesus as the one who will cleanse us all through his cleansing of the temple.
In , Jesus is the only begotten Son, through whom, we have eternal life.
In , Jesus is the living water that heals the nobleman’s son.
In , Jesus is the one who gives us life instead of judgment and John the Baptist, His Works, His Father, and the Scriptures all tell us this.
In , Jesus is the bread of life that, if eaten, will lead to eternal life, and according to Peter, Jesus is the only one who has the words of eternal life.
In , He is the great Teacher who divides.
In , He is the Light of the World who is the Great I AM.
In , He is the restore of sight to the blind.
in , He is our Good shepherd, who calls us out by name and knows us.
in , He is the resurrection and the life, and we ended last time with reality that despite all of this , all of this that Jesus has done, the sanhedrin has come together and plotted to kill Jesus.
So now Jesus has shrunk back from the crowds.
and the next place we see him is back at Mary, Martha, and Lazarus’s home.
And just to recap John gives us a summary of the events that happened in chapter 11 in verse 1
John 12:1 NASB95
Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
Couple of things here:
Jesus is back in Bethany.
This is really where we see this turn from the signs to the cross.
Lazarus is there and alive.
We take this for granted.
We know this story and at times, because of its familiarity, it can lose some of its awe, but this man was dead a few days ago, and he was dead for 4 days, and now he is here. He’s alive and He is eating with Jesus.
Look in verse 2
John 12:2 NASB95
So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him.
Jesus is here having a meal with the guy he raised from the dead.
This particular event is recorded in all the Gospels. John at times records different events and has a different purpose with his record.
In two of the Gospels, we are told that they are actually not at Lazarus’s home. They are at a guy named Simon the Leper’s house.
Matthew 26:6 NASB95
Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper,
Matthew 26:6–7 NASB95
Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table.
Matthew
Mark 14:3 NASB95
While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head.
and
Martha is serving.
Luke tells us of a similar event where Martha is serving and worried about all kinds of things other than being with Jesus.
In that case she is rebuked. In this case she is not.
It is certainly not a negative thing to serve our Lord.
We are called servants many times throughout the New Testament.
In fact, Jesus himself says that he came to serve not to be served.
Martha is serving. Mary is at the feet of Jesus. This is the second time she has been at Jesus’s feet.
The first time in
Luke 10:39 NASB95
She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word.
Now, she is there for a different purpose.
Look at verse 3.
John 12:3 NASB95
Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
She is there
First a pound in Roman measurements around this period is about 12 ounces, so this is a lot of perfume.
The perfume was made of pure nard.
Fun fact here: Nard was imported from Northern India, so it was considered to be very expensive, because of the distance it had to travel to get there.
So lets look at what she is going to do with this expensive perfume.
She anoints him with this costly perfume.
This is service to Jesus. I just want to highlight a few aspects and attributes of her service, because I believe her act here give us a pattern that we should follow with our service.
Her service is humble.
Mary takes the form of servant.
It was degrading to touch the feet of anyone in this culture.
It was the job of the lowest rung slave to wash feet.
But her mind is not on her own pride and appearance. Her mind is on one thing, and that is serving her Lord. She humbles herself because she know that he is worthy. She has seen his power. She has witnessed his sovereignty over death, so this leads her here to humble service to God.
How we doing with that?
Humility in service. Have we came to the point where our awe of Jesus pushes us to our knees in service to Him.
CJ Mahaney defines humility as “honestly assessing yourself in light of God’s holiness.”
When we think of it that way, we really aren’t much at all. When we think of it that way, we never could deem our selves too old, too busy, too tired, too sick, too good, to high, for any position of service.
Think about that this week as our nominating committee searches for people to serve in the church.
Her service is sacrificial.
Again, the perfume was costly.
Some say that this perfume probably made up a considerable amount maybe even a majority of everything Mary had.
She gave without regard to herself, because of the worth of the one who she was serving.
She sees her “stuff” in light of Jesus and realizes that serving him means much more.
We see this same type of sacrificial attitude in David in
David visited a man named Araunah and David is building an altar there at Araunah’s house, Upon building the altar, Araunah offers David to take any of his oxen and he offers his ox yokes as wood unto David, all for free. But listen to what David says:
2 Samuel 24:24 NASB95
However, the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.
We see this principle develop in Scripture, that sacrifices are sacrifices. That if we are seeing who God is properly, then it will provoke us toward a heart toward costly giving that expects nothing.
Let me tell you Mary got for her perfume offering. Nothing.
but it wasn’t what she got, it was what she gave and who she gave it to that matters.
Her sefless service places the attention on Christ.
She is a state of humble service, wiping his feet with her hair, the fragrance of the perfume filling the air as it comes off of Jesus.
Her service is to Christ
Her humility is because of Christ.
Her sacrifice exalts Christ.
Everything she does here is seen as a bringing glory and service to Jesus and she rightly concludes that their is no one more worthy of her humility. No one more worthy of her sacrifice, and no one is more worthy to be exalted than the one on whom she has poured her most prized possession.
We have in Mary a wonderful example of humble service mainly because her service looks like how Jesus served us.
Philippians 2:5–8 NASB95
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Philippians
While we have a wonderful example in Mary and really Martha as well he, we get a negative example from one of the men who has walked with Jesus the most.
Look in the next few verses.
John 12:4–6 NASB95
But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people? Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.
Imagine this for a moment.
They are eating, and Mary breaks what would have been probably the most expensive thing she owned and began pouring it upon Jesus.
Imagine the awe here. Imagine maybe even the awkwardness of the moment. Jesus obviously accepts this as she does it.
Everyone looks on no doubt stunned at what just happened and then voice breaks the silence.
And its Judas Iscariot.
John describes him here as one of the disciples, and as the one who would betray Jesus.
Lets look at what he says.
John 12:5 NASB95
“Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?
Judas questions this acts because had she sold this, she could have gotten 300 year which was about the equivalent to a years wages.
Imagine working for a year, and giving everything you earned to buy a perfume(I feel like we do this today with essential oils, which by the way, we didnt take any on vacation with us, so apprently they aren’t essential.)
I was curious yesterday and looked up the most expensive perfume that they make today, and it was 1 million dollars per bottle. I can’t even imagine that.
And i thought essential oils were
DKNY Golden Delicious 1-million dollars.
Apparently,
Chanel Grand Extrait – $4,200 per ounce
And I bet the knock off brand get at Walmart smells better.
Judas is upset about this.
She has poured out all that perfume on Jesus, and it cant be salvaged.
So wanting to at least appear like he cared, he asked why it was sold and given to poor people?
John knowing Judas now at the time of writing gives us insight to Judas’s true motives.
Look at verse 6
John 12:6 NASB95
Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.
Judas doesn’t have a heart for the poor. He has a heart for his pocket.
In fact, John reveals that he used to take money out of the money box for himself.
While Mary is humble, selfless, sacrificial, and all about Jesus being exalted.
Judas is prideful, selfish, self righteous, a hoarder, and is about his own exaltation.
John tells us this.
and the point of the passage today is this, that there are some who love him and will serve Christ for who he is and there will be some who will be about themselves.
Judas is about himself.
Look at how Jesus responds.
John 12:7–8 NASB95
Therefore Jesus said, “Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial. “For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.”
Jesus rebukes judas.
Leave her alone.
She kept this for my burial.
Jesus has just let us know the significance of the even that just happened.
She has anointed him for the task he is about to pursue, which will ultimately lead to his burial.
Matthews accounbt of this tell us the same thing
Matthew 26:12 NASB95
“For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial.
and he follows that up with another prophecy.
John 12:8 NASB95
“For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.”
John 12:
Judas can help the poor anytime, but Jesus won’t be physically present with them much longer.
This was a good thing she did. Her heart was right. Judas though by the world’s standards appeared to be right was not.
Judas was a hypocrite.
In the passage there are two types of people.
Those who serve the lord selflessly abandoning what they have and laying it literally at the feet of Jesus no pun intended.
While others, Judas, self righteously look down. This is all a result of the hearts of these people.
Jesus is there seemingly peacefully enjoy meal, but word has spread of Lazarus’s raising, and people find out where he is and where Jesus and they quickly make their way to see him.
Look in verse 9-11
John 12:9 NASB95
The large crowd of the Jews then learned that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He raised from the dead.
John 12:9–11 NASB95
The large crowd of the Jews then learned that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He raised from the dead. But the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also; because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus.
Look at what happens here.
Not only are the Jews concerned about Jesus and ultimately they want him dead because people are believing in him, they want Lazarus dead as well.
Again, as we’ve seen throughout John, no one is neutral regarding Jesus.
You cannot ride the fence
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