The Gospel of Mary
Topic: Gospel of John Passage: John 12:1–12:11
The resurrection of Lazarus stirred up all sorts of emotions and resulted in all sorts of reactions. In this passage, John captured the wide range or REACTIONS which led up to the crucifixion of Jesus. The dinner that was being held in celebration and gratitude to Jesus for raising Lazarus from the dead, turned out to be a preparation for His death and burial (ref. Matthew 26:6, Mark 14:3-9).
1. HEARTFELT SERVICE-MARTHA (vv. 1-2)
Martha was rather upset because there was much work to be done in preparation for the dinner and she was resentful that her sister Mary was spending a lot of time enjoying the company of Jesus, rather than helping to serve the dinner. Nevertheless, Martha's service was honoring to the Lord.
2. HUMBLE SACRIFICE-MARY (v. 3)
Mary's use of the expensive nard to anoint Jesus' feet was probably viewed as shocking and spontaneous. Her presence at the table with the men during dinner, and the fact that she had let her hair down was probably even viewed as scandalous. Through her actions, Mary modeled humble sacrifice, and as such, her use of the nard to anoint Jesus was sacrificial.
3. HYPOCRITICAL SELF-INTEREST-JUDAS (vv. 4-8)
All of the disciples thought that Judas Iscariot was trustworthy since he had been chosen to keep the money box on their behalf. However, Judas was actually a thief, and was more interested in the money that he could have pilfered through the sale of the nard perfume that Mary was applying to Jesus' feet rather than any benefit that such money would have been to the poor. In reality, Judas cared little for the poor, and saw an opportunity to embezzle money that would be acquired through the sale of the nard. Perhaps because Jesus had made it known that He was about to die, Judas made the decision to part ways with the disciples and seize upon the opportunity to profit by betraying Jesus to the Jewish religious leaders.
4. HOLLOW SUPERFICIALITY-JEWS (v. 9)
The Jews did not come to see Jesus as much as they had come to see Lazarus, who had recently been raised from the dead by Jesus. They were in essence thrill seekers, rather than seekers of faith in Christ.
5. HOSTILE SCHEMING-SANHEDRIN (vv. 10-11)
The Jews had intended to kill Lazarus along with Jesus, because Lazarus was undeniable proof that Jesus was who He claimed to be - the One who had the power to resurrect and forgive sins. The Jewish leaders were forced to acknowledge this power of Christ, which was a serious threat to their belief system and the power structure of the Pharisees.
Thank Jesus for saving you and being so worthy of your extravagant devotion. Ask Him to make your lavish love for Him a blessing to others and a powerful witness of the gospel.