“Amazing Love & Service”
John 11:55-12:19 Anointing the King in the midst of conflict.
The people are arriving in Jerusalem for the “great feast”. Passover was the most significant event in the Jewish Religious calendar. We have once again an eager crowd and the antagonistic authorities. The people wonder if Jesus will come because they know the Sanhedrin plan to arrest Him.
Jesus travels to Bethany, stopping short of Jerusalem, the guest of honor at a special meal. Matthew identifies the host as Simon the leper and some speculate that this man was one who was healed by Jesus. Look at the players in this scene:
1. Lazarus, Martha and Mary are in attendance. I can only imagine the questions that would be directed toward Lazarus.
2. There is also a lesson for us in the actions of the two sisters. Martha, as always, shows her heart for Jesus and others by service. ______________________________________________
3. Mary on the other hand is attentive to the Lord by a type of devotion that is truly uncommon. She worships the Lord at a great depth. _________________________________
The testimony of John is a beautiful one – “the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.” Mary’s offering satisfies God’s command in Numbers 28:1: “Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘My offering, My food for My offerings made by fire as a sweet aroma to Me, you shall be careful to offer to Me at their appointed time.’” Mary may not have known the full extent of this appointed time but Jesus seems to make a reference to it in verses 7 & 8, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of my burial.” This is indeed an appointed time.
4. Also, there is a lesson for us from Judas. ________________________________________
5. Finally, we see the crowd finding where Jesus is staying and coming to see Him and Lazarus. This make be an exercise of faith. ________________________________________________
As we have looked deeply into the mindset of the Sanhedrin and their fear of Jesus we start to appreciate how horrific Jesus triumphal entry must have been for them. The multitudes greet Him as he enters the city. The prophesy of Zechariah, a King sitting on a donkey’s colt, is being fulfilled right before their eyes. The people are calling Him, King of Israel. If there was any doubt left about the action they must take it is now totally erased: “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the whole world has gone after Him!” (vs. 19)
So the question for us is where are we in this scene?
Are we in the crowd and will be shaken and moved to cry out with the mob a few days later, “Crucify Him!” Will we serve the Lord with excellence like Martha? Will you worship the Lord with passionate devotion like Mary? Will you face the threat of harm, even death, like Lazarus because you are identified with Jesus?
Days of persecution are coming soon for the Church of Jesus Christ.
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