3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. -John 12:3 NLT
The purpose of every human is to glorify God. On an earlier occasion, Martha had complained about Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus while she cooked and served the people. Now, Judas is complaining about Mary “wasting” the expensive perfume to anoint the feet of Jesus. God has gifted each of us with different talents to achieve His glory. Martha was a worker and a helper. She knew how to get things done. Mary had the gifts of giving and encouraging. Some of us are vessels of gold and silver while others are vessels of wood and earth. Sometimes we try to do things outside of our gifting and calling. Those are the times that cause problems in the body of Christ. If you haven’t already, ask God to show you the gift He has given you to glorify Him. The body of Christ needs each of us to fulfill our calling, God needs each of us to exercise our gift so that the body will be complete. Once you discover “what is right” for you, you will find the joy and peace that God wants to give each of His children every day.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
The disciples had been through basic training and spent three years with Jesus. They had peen patient, prayerful and persecuted and they had persevered through it all. True, they had their moments of doubts and disappointments and had at one point run away and left Jesus all alone to face his killers. But when the time was right, Jesus had brought them all back together and given them their final instructions before His departure. The first instruction was to “wait in Jerusalem”. The basic training was over and they were about to go on their first missions without Him as their leader. Up to now, the provisions and power had come through Jesus but He was no longer physically with them. Now, the time had come for them to tap into the source of power through another person, the Holy Spirit. A person just as much as Jesus, in fact, the same person but not in human form. Jesus was God in visible human form. The Holy Spirit is the new heart-sized version, just as powerful and able to be everywhere at once.
The disciples now had the power and God would give them the provisions. The fight was on, the Commander had given the order– “Charge!” and the power started a great movement that is still alive today. We are the “far away” mentioned in this verse. It is up to us to be the hands and feet as the Holy Spirit carries on the battle.
3 During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God. 4 Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before.5 John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” — Acts 1:3-5 NLT
Jesus spent forty days on earth after His resurrection. He would often appear to the apostles and talk with them, giving them further instructions about what they should do and how they should do it. The most important instruction was not to leave Jerusalem until they had been baptized with the Holy Spirit. That instruction is still just as important to God’s children today. When God calls us to do something specific for the Kingdom, we should immerse ourselves in prayer and wait for the moving of the Holy Spirit before we attempt anything. The reason for this is that we are merely mouths, hands and feet for God, He will accomplish the work to be done. What God speaks to us, we speak to others. We take the message wherever He instructs us to take it and we minister to those who He puts in our path. That is how the message gets to the ends of the world. We are carriers, He is the activator. The reuslts are not in our hands, they are in His hands. We are to be concerned about being obedient and God will take care of the results.
4 So during the meal Jesus stood up and took off his outer clothing. Taking a towel, he wrapped it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a bowl and began to wash the followers’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 Jesus came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later.” 8 Peter said, “No, you will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “If I don’t wash your feet, you are not one of my people.” 9 Simon Peter answered, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but wash my hands and my head, too!”—John 13:4-9 (NCV)
Jesus showed us example after example of His humbleness. From the time He laid aside His glory in heaven to come to earth clothed in the flesh of a lowly human. Jesus was the perfect example of supreme power under control. He could have lashed out at any time and wiped out village after village. But He chose to be a servant to the people. Serving them by teaching and healing every disease. Now, Jesus was preparing to perform an act that in that time and place was performed only by servants. To wash another person’s feet showed complete meekness and humbleness. The disciples knew that and that is why Peter said “No, you will never wash my feet”. Peter could not imagine Jesus, His Lord and Master, stooping so low as to do that. But when Jesus explained to Peter that He could not be one of His disciples if Peter didn’t allow Him to wash his feet, Peter said “”Lord, then wash not only my feet, but wash my hands and my head, too!” Peter would later understand that Jesus was doing this as an example of how humble we, as Christians, must be. Maybe we all need to participate in a good old fashioned foot washing ceremony. Would we be willing to do that for our brothers and sisters?
1 Six days before the Passover Feast, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus lived. (Lazarus is the man Jesus raised from the dead.) 2 There they had a dinner for Jesus. Martha served the food, and Lazarus was one of the people eating with Jesus. 3 Mary brought in a pint of very expensive perfume made from pure nard. She poured the perfume on Jesus’ feet, and then she wiped his feet with her hair. And the sweet smell from the perfume filled the whole house. 4 Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ followers who would later turn against him, was there. Judas said, 5 “This perfume was worth three hundred coins. Why wasn’t it sold and the money given to the poor?” 6 But Judas did not really care about the poor; he said this because he was a thief. He was the one who kept the money box, and he often stole from it. 7 Jesus answered, “Leave her alone. It was right for her to save this perfume for today, the day for me to be prepared for burial. 8 You will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.”–John 12:1-8 (NCV)
The purpose of every human is to glorify God. On an earlier occasion, Martha had complained about Mary setting at the feet of Jesus while she cooked and served the people. Now, Judas is complaining about Mary “wasting” the expensive perfume to anoint the feet of Jesus. God has gifted each of us with different talents to achieve His glory. Martha was a worker and a helper. She knew how to get things done. Mary had the gifts of giving and encouraging. Some of us are vessels of gold and silver while others are vessels of wood and earth. Sometimes we try to do things outside of our gifting and calling. Those are the times that cause problems in the body of Christ. If you haven’t already, ask God to show you the gift He has given you to glorify Him. The body of Christ needs each of us to fulfill our calling, God needs each of us to exercise our gift so that the body will be complete. Once you discover “what is right” for you, you will find the joy and peace that God wants to give each of His children every day.
25 Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” 27 And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home. 28 Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.–John 19:25-30 (NLT)
We cannot even begin to imagine the roller coaster of thoughts and emotions that Mary went through as she stood and watched her Son being ridiculed and mocked. He was physically and verbally abused beyond belief. If Mary knew the book of Isaiah then she knew that this death and this type of death was inevitable for her Son. Knowing something, in the human sense, does not necessarily prepare us to see it in actuality. I believe that at this very moment, Mary’s knowledge turned to reality and she now understood Simeon’s prophecy. “And a sword will pierce your very soul”. From sometime Thursday night until 3 PM on Friday, Jesus suffered more than we will suffer in a lifetime. And just as surely as those Centurions drove the actual nails into His hands and feet, our sins drive nails straight into His heart.
13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” 16 But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ. 18 But I ask, have the people of Israel actually heard the message? Yes, they have: “The message has gone throughout the earth, and the words to all the world.” Romans 10:13-18 (NLT)
We, who have been chosen by God and saved by His gift of Jesus dying on the cross, have a great responsibility to carry the message forward. As one anonymous writer stated: “The Gospel has come to you because it is on its way to someone else”. We have received the commission and we must go forth. Not everyone will be glad to hear the Good News and not everyone will accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. But that does not relieve us of our responsibility to tell it everywhere we go. We are told that the angels in heaven rejoice greatly when a lost soul comes home. So, let’s make it our goal to keep the angels rejoicing continuously by leading people to Jesus Christ. Then when Jesus welcomes us home, we can just join in the festivities.