Faithlife Sermons

The Perfume of Intimacy

Lent 2019  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  27:08
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The Perfume of Intimacy


Synesthesia is a neurological condition that causes the brain to process data in the form of several senses at once.
The most common form of synesthesia is called grapheme: connecting numbers to colors.
Smell is actually closely linked to memory.
Try this: Close your eyes and think of a fond or vivid memory.
Do you experience a smell that wasn’t here before?

In today’s passage, there are many smells:

The Dinner
The Perfume
And Judas’ Attitude
When we don’t like someone’s attitude we say,

Jesus and his Disciples went to stay with Lazarus, Mary and Martha for his last week with them.

Jesus was the honorary guest at this dinner.
The Synoptic Gospels say that Jesus was at the home of Simon, called the Leper, who was a Pharisee.
The tables of the time were low to the ground with no space beneath for legs.
The diners laid on cushions on their sides with legs sticking out.
While Martha was serving the meal at the table, Mary brought out a pint worth of pure perfume in a jar for Jesus feet.
She poured a year’s worth of perfume made of nard (a rare flowering plant from the Himalayas) on Jesus feet.

She wiped his feet with her hair.

This is no small act of
cleaning off dirty feet.
This was an intimate act of love, honor and appreciation;
a true act of worship.
The smell of perfume filled the whole house.
And Judas had a problem with it.

What was Judas’ problem?

He asked accusingly, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.”
In the Synoptic Gospels, Simon accuses Jesus reminding everyone of her past as a prostitute.
Here, Judas had accused Mary with suspicion of misusing money.
John writes that Judas had been stealing from the money purse that Jesus and his disciples used.
He was Jealous, thinking of what he could have spent the money on.

Jesus defends Mary’s pure motives for buying the perfume.

Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.o 8 You will always have the poor among you,c p but you will not always have me.”

Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 15:11, but adds to it’s meaning.

Deuteronomy 15:11 NIV
There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.
Jesus and his Disciples were already giving to the poor.
He wan’t denying their need to give to the poor, he was pointing to motive.
Her intention was to bless Jesus with the perfume for his burial, unwittingly preparing him in advance.
This is a loving act of honoring a loved one. That was beautiful.
In using her hair to wipe his feet, this was undoubtedly an intimate act.

How could Judas, Simon and the chief priests have been so wrong?

It was the motive of their hearts that blinded them of her good intentions.
Judas could only see the money spent, that he could have taken.
Simon and the other Pharisees could only see the past of Mary and what they perceived as loose morals of Jesus acceptance.
They were also jealous of Jesus popularity with the people, especially with raising Lazarus.
They were blinded by their own fear, hatred and addictions.
Fear blinds us from reason, from faith, and from compassion.

Fear drives us to be suspicious of everyone because we internally condemn ourselves.

Only by Getting to know each other through close relationships with shared commitment builds intimacy and compassion.

Judas was so chained to his addiction to wealth...

The Pharisees were so insistent that other’s sins were so much worse than theirs...

that they missed the Kingdom of God while it was being demonstrated right in front of them.

That Really Stinks!

Would you choose the perfume of intimacy in
covenanted relationships
that result in greater love of God and others?
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