Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What Does Your Worship Look Like?

Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table.

In this passage we see a woman anoint Jesus with a bottle of expensive perfume as He reclined at the table for dinner. This is another passage that we usually read and then just move on, but there is a lot going on in this passage and we need to pause and take note of what is happening here. In the parallel passage in the Gospel of John we learn that the woman mentioned here in Matthew 26:7 Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus who Jesus raised from the dead (see John 12:1-3).

As we read this passage we see that there were three different views of what was taking place here: first we have the view of Mary, then the view of the Disciples, and finally the view of Jesus. It is very interesting to look at what was happening here from each of these perspectives, at the individuals involved, and at the role each played in this encounter.

First we have Mary. Mary is only mentioned 3 times in the New Testament and in each of these occurrences she is found at the feet of Jesus. Warren Wiersbe writes:
She sat at His feet and listened to the Word (Luke 10:38–42); she came to His feet in sorrow after the death of Lazarus (John 11:28–32); and she worshiped at His feet when she anointed Him with the ointment (John 12:1).
There is a great deal we can learn from Mary; what a great compliment it would be if every time we were seen it was at the feet of the Savior. And what was she doing here? She came to Jesus with what the text calls a "very expensive ointment" and she anointed His head with it. In this passage we are not told the value of the ointment, only that it was valuable, but in the parallel passage in the Gospel of Mark we are told that it was worth more than 300 danarii (Mark 14:5). John MacArthur writes "Since a denarius was a day’s wage for a common laborer, it represented almost a year’s work for such a person." When was the last time any of us gave a whole years wages as an offering to Jesus in an act of worship?

Let's move on.

Next we have the disciples. The disciples watch this event take place, and instead of admiring Mary for the profound act of worship they have just witnessed, verse 8 tells us that they became indignant at wha they perceived as a colossal waste. Matthew tells us that it was the disciples who became indignant, but John tells us that it was one in particular who led the charge, and while all of the disciples may have joined in, it was Judas who in John 12:5 said , "Why was this ointment not sold for 300 danarii and given to the poor?" Then John goes on to tell us that Judas was not really concerned with the poor, but that he wanted to steal the money (John 12:6). Judas pretends to be concerned about what he perceives as waste, but Warren Wiersbe points out that it was Judas who was guilty of waste; he writes:

While we can never fully understand the mind and heart of Judas, we do know that he had every opportunity to be saved. He was often warned by Jesus: in the Upper Room, Jesus even washed Judas’ feet. Probably, Judas saw in Jesus the hope for Israel’s political freedom. If Jesus established His kingdom, Judas, as treasurer, would have had an important position. When Jesus repeatedly refused to become a political Messiah, Judas turned against Him. Satan found a willing tool in Judas. Satan put the ideas into Judas’ mind (John 13:2) and then entered into Judas to use him to betray Jesus to the enemy (John 13:27).

Judas’ life is a warning to those who pretend to serve Christ but whose hearts are far from God. He is also a warning to those who waste their opportunities and their lives. “Why this waste?” asked Judas when he saw that expensive ointment poured out on Jesus. Yet Judas wasted his opportunities, his life, and his soul! Jesus called him son of perdition (John 17:12) which literally means “son of waste.

So we see that Mary was performing and act of worship, and the disciples (at least Judas) saw it as a waste of money, but how did Jesus view this encounter? We get the answer to this question in verses 9-13.

Jesus comes to Mary's defense; He tells the disciples that what she had done was a beautiful thing; she has anointed His body in preparation for His burial (which we will see in the next chapter). Jesus didn't view this as a waste, He saw it as an act of love and devotion. Again, Warren Wiersbe reminds us,
Nothing given to Jesus in love is ever wasted. Her act of worship not only brought joy to the heart of Jesus and fragrance to the house, but also blessing to the whole world. Her devotion encourages us to love and serve Christ with our very best.
So my question for all of us today is this, what is our worship like? Are we giving Jesus our best, or are we indignant when we see true worship taking place perceiving it as a waste? We are not to ignore the poor, but we should take every possible opportunity to pause and worship our Savior with everything we've got.
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1 comment:

Patricia said...

Re.17:8 - The Son of Perdition out from the Bottomless Pit -

The son of perdition (2 Th.2:3-4, Re.17:8, 11 below), the “ANOTHER beast coming up OUT OF THE EARTH” (Re.13:11), the little horn, the false prophet, (Dan.7:20, 24-25, Dan. 8:9, 11, 22-25, Dan.11:36-38), will not be revealed until the BOTTOMLESS PIT is opened at the Fifth TRUMPET, the First WOE (Re.9:1-2 below). He will ascend out of the bottomless pit (Re.11:7 below). The spiritual opening of the bottomless pit is in the Dead Sea, as it will be in the “new” earth.

I believe that this spiritual evil entity the son of perdition (the little horn, false prophet) will enter into an existing king similarly as Satan entered into Judas (Lk.22:3)

Trumpet events follow Seal events, followed by Plague events.

2 Th.2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, THE SON OF PERDITION (Re.17:8, 11 below);

2 Th.2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Re 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, THE BEAST THAT ASCENDETH OUT OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT (Re.17:8 below) shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

Re 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and SHALL ASCEND OUT OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT (Re.11:7 above, Re.9:1-2 below), and go into perdition (2 Th.2:3 above, Re.17:11 below): and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Re 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition (2 Th.2:3, Re.17:8 above).

The Fifth TRUMPET Angel -

Re 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and TO HIM WAS GIVEN THE KEY OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT.

Re 9:2 And HE OPENED THE BOTTOMLESS PIT (Re.11:7, Re.17:8 above); and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

Patricia (ndbpsa ©) Bible Prophecy on the Web