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John’s gospel post 55: Worship

January 12, 2014

“Love has died but love is gonna live again
I’ll pour upon it my love like rain
My love like rain, my love like rain, my love like rain” – Marillion – Pour my love ( from the album “”Sounds that can’t be made”)

John 12:1 – 11

Six days to go until the Passover, and Jesus returns to Bethany. To the scene of his greatest miracle. Laz is holding a party. The party is in honour of his friend Jesus. Seems reasonable doesn’t it? If someone has just raised you from the dead, organise a celebration with him as the guest of honour.

Martha was serving. It seems that was her thing. Laz was at the table with his guests.

So where is the other sister? Mary? Not far away. She arrives with some perfume. Laz throws a party. Martha does the roast. And Mary comes in with perfume. Of course John has already told us what Mary was to do.

Pour the perfume over Jesus’ feet and wipe them with her hair. Now that is something that people are going to sit up and notice!

Judas Iscariot especially. 6 chapters ago John has already marked this disciple out as the one who is going to betray Jesus and he reminds us again here.

Evidently this perfume was worth a year’s wages (do your own calculation). And this was a huge waste. Poor people needed to be fed.

But we are told that Judas’ motives were not pure. The betrayer to be was also a pilferer, with his hand in the money bags. He cared nothing for the needs of the poor.

Jesus rises to Mary’s defence. In some way this perfume spoke of death – Jesus’ burial. But this was a limited opportunity. Jesus’ time on earth was limited. And running short it seemed.

People started to gather at the house. The 2 A list celebrities. The man who was raised from the dead. And the man who did it. Quite an attraction.

Laz was the star witness. A danger to the Chief priests’ plans. They added Laz to their hit list! He had to go too. Jesus following was growing.

So apart from the continuing dark plans of the priests and Judas ( will their paths one day collide?), what is this passage about.

It’s about worship. It’s about how we respond to a saviour. How we respond to a life changer. Jesus changes lives. Gives life. Brings hope. And the response is eternal gratitude and worship.

Laz and Martha express it by throwing the party. Mary shows in by wasting perfume. Literally pouring money down the drain.

You see true worship is costly. It involves our emotions, it costs us. Worship is not something that we let wash over our heads in church every Sunday. It’s not something that we leave for someone else to organise. We give of ourselves. We give thanks. We tell what Jesus has done for us. We kneel at his feet. We worship. We worship extravagantly, uninterested in the grumbling of those round us who just don’t get it.


From → Christianity

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