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A Pound of Kindness

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A Pound of Kindness

A Pound of Kindness
John 12:1–8 ESV
Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
Scripture -
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Pray
[Value of the gift?] [give a gift, go to a party, housewarming, shower…]
Monetary value - 300 days wages...rougly 20k
What went in to saving for that
What was really the total value in that alabaster box?
Wasn’t just money, it was time. Persistence. Sacrifice. Love. Dedication to a cause. It was everything that she was, or wanted to be, being offered to the only person that really deserved all that she was - the one who deserves all that we are.
[picofmaryfeet]Not to ignore Judas, but I want to ignore Judas for a moment.
You see, there were other people in that room. At least the 12 disciples plus Simon the Leper and Lazarus - not to mention the women! People who saw that example and didn’t have such a negative reaction. In fact, I would dare say that there were people in that room who were moved by the sincerity and beauty of the offering made to God!
It wasn’t just a pound of perfume. Or money that could have been used somewhere else. It was a pound of kindness. It was an offering that didn’t just affect Jesus, as our text says, the offering “filled the whole house!”
The effect of the gift lingered in their minds, just as it lingers today. And church, the effect of kindness like that can change our world.
[A pound of kindness story]
Ernie Clark. Polio. First Grade. Walking trip to a fire station.
Church, the best way we can use our resources, our time, our money, our energy, in our world today isn’t on building ways to deal with those who are different, or are in need, no, the best way to use what God has given us is to simply reflect the greatest gift that love could offer. Kindness. And there is no greater kindness that to pour all that we are into the life of another! To offer to someone, just as Mary offered to Jesus, the very best of all that we have and all that we are!
You see Mary wasn’t just offering a pound of alabaster to Jesus. This is a pound of kindness! A pound of love! A pound of gratitude!
Church this really wasn’t about the money, what she was offering wasn’t something money could really buy! And that really isn’t what Judas was so mad about! The text even alludes to that with the parenthetical reminder that he would betray Christ! You see, all that anger was built up in his heart, so much so that he couldn’t even stand it that someone - ANYONE - would be kind to this man he was going to betray to death!
[strugglesinlife] And life can do that to us. We can grow so bitter and disillusioned with our situations, that the only sensible solution is hate, or bitterness, or detachment. But in those moments, what we really need is kindness. To make a connection with another, and allow God to pour out His blessings on us as we pour our kindness on another.
[Autism girl setup...only up to her finding her voice] Carly Fleischmann
New thing
To get to the new thing we must put aside the old! [phil 3]
When we consider anything except Christ rubbish, then church, and only then, can we pour out all that we are onto the feet of Jesus, no matter the cost! No matter the perception! No matter the result! We pour out all the pain, the difficulty, the moments of despair, the hate, the detachment - all those things that affect us all - we pour them all out of the feet of God so that He can refill our jars with His love and mercy!
The father of the autistic child, the young boy, both show us the example of Mary! The example that tosses aside expectations. That forgets norms and forgets the past! Instead, they see a need, they see an opportunity, and they do all they can to make it happen!
"Dear Dad, I love when you read to me. And I love that you believe in me. I know I am not the easiest kid in the world. However you are always there for me holding my hand and picking me up. I love you."
I desperately don’t want to cry again, but I had to close with the end of the story - well really the beginning of the story. You see, when Carly’s father opened that world for her, he discovered a life and a love that he always wanted. No more was he frustrated by the hopelessness and helplessness that he felt! No more was he trapped in a world where he wondered if he was even being helpful.
But when kindness came, when he poured out all he was to find a way for all he loved, he found the truth [read]
But not just a truth for him! Carly is now thriving, and has her own career, and is writing a novel. Opening the eyes of the world to the truth that is her, and many others, condition.
Church, when kindness comes out of you, when you pour out all that you are onto the feet of the one you love, you will find the truth, and that truth will set you free.
[the son is free indeed]
Not free from hurt, but free from the lasting effect of hurt. Free from the effects of despair. Free from the clutches of evil and hatred! Free from everything that would entangle you, and keep you from Jesus! After all, it was in that box! And when you break it open and pour it at Jesus’ feet, you are freed from it!
So choose freedom. Choose love. Choose kindness. Choose Christ. If you do nothing else be kind! Pour out everything on your Savior, and let Him fill your heart with everything you need to love and live more like Him.
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