Day 14: John 12
We are just over half way through John’s gospel and in this chapter we read about Jesus explaining why He must die – vs 20-36 and the Jews continuing in their unbelief – vs 37- 50.
But let’s take a look at vs 1-11, Jesus anointed at Bethany and Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem – vs 12-19.
Here we find Jesus at the home of Simon the leper (Matthew 26:6 & Mark 14:3) in Bethany, which is where Lazarus, Martha and Mary lived. A dinner party is going on and these three close friends of Jesus are there. I wonder if it was to celebrate Lazarus’s return to life!? Some people like any excuse for a party! We don’t know – John records it as ‘a dinner being given in Jesus’ honour’ and, of course, had it not been for Jesus, Lazarus would still be dead!
Lazarus is certainly in a relaxed mood – ‘reclining at the table’. Typically, Martha is serving, but what is Mary doing? She takes a jar (an alabaster jar according to Matthew and Mark, which was a beautiful and expensive, carved vase) of pure nard (again Mark’s version) which was a very expensive perfume and pours it on Jesus’ feet. (Matthew and Mark must have witnessed it going on His head as well!) Judas Iscariot objects and tries to justify his indignation by saying that the perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor. But Jesus defends Mary ….. ‘Leave her alone,’ Jesus replied v.7.
Mary was carrying out an unselfish act of worship, she was worshipping Jesus with the utmost love, respect and devotion and was willing to sacrifice to Him what was most precious.
Is that our attitude when it comes to worshipping the Lord Jesus whether publicly, when we’re all together, or privately during these days of lockdown?
Then, this chapter goes on ….. and we read about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. This time it isn’t one individual worshipping Jesus, but a ‘great crowd’. In fact the Pharisees described it as ‘the whole world has gone after Him!’
They waved palm branches and shouted “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!” But their adoration was short-lived and their commitment shallow because in a few days they would do nothing to stop His crucifixion. Devotion based only on curiosity or popularity fades quickly. I wonder how many people in that ‘great crowd’ were praising and worshipping Jesus with the same attitude and devotion as Mary, or were they just ‘going along with the crowd’?
My prayer for us all is that our worship will be like that of Mary – sacrificial, devoted and sincere, showing love and respect. Then, when we all come together again as the body of Christ ….. if we all worship with that same attitude then ….. Wow! Just Wow!
Connect Group Leader