Friday, January 19, 2007
Annointing His Feet or Serving the Poor?
in JOHN 12:1-8 Jesus is invited over for a meal with Lazarus and his sisters, Martha & Mary.
Martha served the food as Mary annointed His feet with very expensive oil. The fragrance filled the house.
Judas Iscariot - one of the disciples (the one who would betray Him) spoke up and voiced his displeasure for such an expensive being wasted in such a manner. "The perfume could have been sold and the money could have been given to the poor!"
Jesus rebukes Judas. "You always have the poor with you... you will not always have me."
Mary gave the very best - her very best to the Messiah. Honoring Him was the most important thing. Her genuineness was well received by Jesus Christ.
What a dichotomy. Give to the poor or honor the Messiah?
I had a discussion with some teens this week... we were talking about priorities. I asked them were God ranked among school, sports, band, work, family, friends, etc. I was asking them and about to lecture them on the importance of placing God at the top of the list - the Holy Spirit kicked me in the gut. Ever have that 'moment'? I in-turn invited them to ask me the same priority question. I admitted that at that very moment - God was not number one... my job was. I should tell you that I am a Youth Pastor. One of the girls said to me 'Your job is connected to God - how can they be separate on your list of priorities?'
We humans have the distinct ability to place anything in front of God... even ministry. I think this is why Judas is rebuked by Jesus. Noble ministry and serving others is not the most important thing - our relationship with God is! Many good deeds are done by many good people every day. Yet - those deeds do not save us - it is our honoring of the Messiah - our accepting Him - our believing that His blood takes away our sin - and our understanding that His sacrifice on the cross provides us with a bridge from death to life - a bridge to eternity with the Father above. THAT is more important than anything else - even more important than serving of the poor.
Mary understood this. I long for that kind of intimacy with Jesus. We all should.
[Alive + Kicking since '74]