Giving All for Jesus

Posted: August 24, 2015 in John

John 12:1-11, “Giving All for Jesus”

Some parties stand out in memory.  We’ve all been to parties & social occasions that fade into the background, but occasionally we attend one that we’ll never forget. (And it’s not always for good reasons!)  The dinner party that night in Bethany was one for the history books!  It was unusual enough simply because Jesus was there, but it turned wonderful – then awkward – dangerous, even.  It was so unusual that we’re still talking about it 2000 years later, every time the gospels are read.

When we last saw Jesus in the gospel of John, He had performed one of the greatest miracles thus far in His earthly ministry: the resurrection of Lazarus.  By raising a man from the grave who had been dead four days, Jesus prefigured His own resurrection, and He publicly demonstrated His power over death and identity as the Son of God.  He showed Himself to be the Resurrection and the Life – i.e., the Author & Source of Life, God Himself.  And with Lazarus now walking around healthy & sound, there could be no denial of it.

The chief priests and Pharisees were thrown into a panic, and they once more conspired against Jesus, having come to the conclusion they needed to have Him killed.  They weren’t sure what to do, but they certainly came to a conclusion as to what to be done.  Jesus, in the meantime, temporarily left the area – not out of fear, but in His sovereign control.  The time was indeed approaching for Him to die, but it would be in His way, according to the perfect plan of God.

Once the Passover approached, the time was right & people in Jerusalem were looking for Jesus.  He didn’t disappoint.  He doesn’t yet enter the city, but He comes to a town just two miles away and attends this infamous dinner party.  It would be one for the ages!

One thing that made it unusual (there were several!) was an act of worship.  It was simultaneously humble & extravagant.  It was something in which the person who offered it gave her all.  It was the same kind of worship that God desires from each of us.  After all, Jesus gave His all for us – we should give our all for Him.

John 12:1–11

  • The setting: dinner with Jesus

1 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. 2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him.

  • The very first detail mentioned by John is the timeframe, as he draws attention to “the Passover.” Every single thing that is said and done from this point on (which is roughly half of the book) is going to be done in its shadow.  John wants to draw attention to the cross, and this is one of his ways to do it.
    • BTW, when compared to the dates to this same event in Matthew and Mark, it would appear to contradict at first glance.  They put this event in the middle of a section two days before Passover; not six.  However, both of them (and Matthew appears to rely upon Mark) seem to organize the event thematically, contrasting Mary’s devotion with Judas’ betrayal.  In fact, it’s Judas’ betrayal that is identified two days out, while Mary’s action is technically undated.  As authors, Matthew and Mark use a technique of flashback to remember what she did, and then quickly bring the narrative back to Judas’ treachery & the Pharisees’ conspiracy.
  • The second detail pointed out is Lazarus.  This is not necessarily his home, but definitely his hometown.  Yet it’s his description that stands out.  He would forever be known as the one whom Jesus raised from the dead (which isn’t a bad identification!).  He was dead, but he was dead no longer. 
    • Those who believe in Christ can say a similar thing, spiritually speaking.  We were dead, but we are dead no longer.  We were _____, but Jesus changed us.  And praise God for it!
  • All in all, John is setting the scene.  Somewhere in Bethany, a supper was made for Jesus.  Matthew and Mark both identify the house as belonging to Simon the Leper, though surely (like Lazarus) this was also a former condition for him.  He was probably also healed by Jesus.  So Jesus was at this dinner, hosted by a man He healed from leprosy & accompanied by a man He raised from the dead.  It would have been quite a sight!
  • Consider the supper for a moment: Jesus was at a dinner party.  How amazing would it be to have been there?  GOD when to a house in small-town Judea & ate dinner.  Imagine throwing a party for Jesus here in Tyler & having Him show up.  Just the fact that Almighty God put on flesh to become an incarnate human is mind-blowing enough.  But to go a step further in His humility to have Him personally attend a dinner party is something else.  Such humility – such grace – such casualness!  This wasn’t a worship service (yet) – it was a dinner party.  And Jesus was delighted to attend.
    • This is the humility of our Savior!  This is the loving God we serve.  He delights in simply living life with us.  And guess what: when we do, our whole lives end up becoming a worship service for Jesus!
  • In the middle of all this is one detail we don’t want to overlook: “and Martha served.”  This probably wasn’t her house, though some speculate that Martha & Simon were married – but whatever her relationship to Simon (wife or neighbor) she was one of the ladies serving dinner.  The thing to remember is that this was not the first time Martha served dinner to Jesus.  He likely ate with her family often, perhaps every time He was in Bethany.  Luke records one such event much earlier in His ministry (Lk 10:38-42).  At that time, Martha also served dinner to Jesus, and became irritated that she was doing the work alone.  Mary had gone into the other room to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to His teaching.  The problem for Martha at that time was distraction.  Her service was a distraction from the things that were most important, and Jesus said that she was “worried and troubled about many things,” (Lk 10:41).  Now months later, Martha is still serving, but not a critical word is recorded either from her or about her.  What makes the difference?  Her acts of service were never the problem…it was her attitude while serving.  Earlier she served with a focus on the service; not the Savior.  Thus her attitude suffered & she was miserable.  Now she is again found serving, but presumably her focus is on the right place: Jesus.
    • It is good to serve.  Too many Christians miss out on the joy that it is to consistently serve the Lord.  They’re happy to go to church, listen to the message, worship & more (all of which is good & necessary), but they never get active in service.  Yet there is joy in serving!  And it is a joy you only know if you serve.
    • That said, service and go wrong.  When we serve for the wrong reasons or with the wrong focus, it leads to burnout, disappointment, and resentment.  If you find yourself experiencing those things, it may be time to take a break, reassess, and sit at the feet of Jesus for a while.  Get your focus back upon the person of Christ & the joy it is to worship & know Him.  Then by all means, get back to serving.  After all, that’s what Martha did.
  • The anointing: worship of Jesus

3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

  • It was a normal dinner party up until that moment. (At least, it was as normal as it can get when Jesus is the guest of honor, and a former leper & former corpse are sitting on either side of Him!)  That’s when Mary did the unexpected.  Mary had demonstrated her devotion to Jesus in the past, when she listened at His feet & later wept in His presence.  But this time, she went further than anyone could have imagined.  Taking a heavy container of expensive perfume (imagine a jar-full of essential oil), she dumped the entire container on Jesus’ feet (and head, per Mt & Mk), and wiped off the excess with her hair.  Just the fact that she let down her hair in public was striking enough – culturally, that was something that simply wasn’t done.  But to use her hair in this way, combined with the amount of oil she used on Jesus would have no doubt shocked every person in the room.  They would have bene stunned.  Mary was likely always a bit more emotional than the others in her family, but not even they could have expected this.  It was such a humble act – a debasing one, even.  Probably the whole room fell silent at this point, not knowing how to respond.
  • Interestingly, there is a very similar event recorded elsewhere in the gospels in Luke 7:36-50.  There was another dinner party at that time, at the house of a man called Simon, and a woman came and anointed the head & feet of Jesus with oil.  Because of the similarities, many people assume these to be the same event, but they are mistaken.  Too many differences exist as well.  The date is different, being far earlier in the ministry of Jesus.  The location is different, likely taking place in Capernaum to the north in Galilee.  The “Simon” is different, in that he was not a former leper, but a Pharisee.  The reputation of the woman was different.  Luke’s woman was known by all to be a sinner (perhaps a prostitute), and she had come seeking God’s forgiveness through Jesus.  Mary, on the other hand, was well-respected by all as evidenced by the amount of people that came out from Jerusalem when her brother died.  The conclusion: these are two very similar, but very distinct events in the life of Jesus.
  • So what?  So this might add to the shock of the people that night in Bethany.  Not only had Mary seemingly debased herself the way she did, but she took as her example the actions of a former immoral woman in Galilee.  No doubt news of her had spread, especially as the disciples told of Jesus’ journeys, and now this friend of Jesus – the respected Mary – was doing the exact same thing.  And it didn’t bother her in the slightest.  Mary surely understood how others would react to her actions, but she didn’t care.  All she knew is that she wanted to give her all to Jesus, and that’s what she did.  She worshipped Him, and worshipped Him extravagantly.
  • That’s the kind of worship God desires from each of us!  Remember the Great Commandment: Mark 12:30, "And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment."  Is that not what is exemplified through Mary?  The Great Commandment is to love God with everything, and that is exactly what Mary did.  She held nothing back in her extravagant worship.
    • What is it that holds you back?  What is there in your life that stops you from giving your all?  Have you have been ashamed to praise Him – embarrassed to sing out – uncertain & afraid to publicly speak His name?  Let’s be done with it!  May we be those who love God extravagantly.  To praise Him fervently – to pray incessantly – to speak of Him readily – to truly show our love of Him in every way available to us.
  • Notice that other people got to join in as well, even in their shock & silence. “The house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.”  Just a little oil can go a long way.  Imagine an amount weighing a full pound being poured out!  There could be no ignoring of the gift that was given.  It was impossible!  Everyone smelled the same offering that Jesus smelled.  And based off the OT description of sacrifices, God loves a well-pleasing aroma.  This surely was that!  Others smelled the same thing, but how would they react?  Would they rejoice in what was given?  Would they become jealous they hadn’t offered the same?  Would they be inspired to join in?  After all, they could each offer something, even if it wasn’t the same thing.  They could have all followed Mary’s example and engaged in extravagant worship of their own.  Instead, they let the opportunity pass by, and the silence was broken in the harshest of ways.
  • The criticism: dismissal of Jesus

4 But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”

  • It was Judas who spoke up, making an awkward moment even more so in his attempt to shame Mary for her actions.  He was a disciple of Jesus but (as John is quick to remind the reader) he was the disciple who would soon betray Jesus to the Pharisees.  He would sell his former rabbi for the price of an injured slave, and betray Jesus with a kiss in front of the soldiers arresting Him.  Of course, that was still 6 days away & none of it was known at the time.  During the dinner party, Judas was just a disciple along the same lines as the other disciples.  Nothing about what he said would have been considered unusual.  To the contrary – the rest of the disciples agreed with him.  Matthew & Mark show that it was more than only the hard-hearted Judas criticizing Mary, but that several (if not all) of the disciples joined in the criticism with him.
  • His excuse was so pious – so outwardly selfish. “Why not give the money to the poor?”  It would have sounded so noble – so reasonable.  Everyone would have agreed, thinking of course the money should have been given away.  If Mary wanted to get rid of a perfumed oil that cost a years’ salary (300 days’ wage), surely the very best use of it would be benevolence & outreach.  Just think of all of the good that could have been done with all of that cash! … Question: what’s the problem with that line of thinking?  It presumes that what Mary did with the oil wasn’t good.  It assumes that Mary’s gift to Jesus was wasted.  It says that Jesus wasn’t worth the gift.  Was Jesus worth the gift?  Absolutely!  He’s worth all we have to give & more!  But Judas (and the other disciples) dismissed it all.  They dismissed Jesus when they dismissed Mary’s gift to Him.  In their minds, He wasn’t worth it – some other use would have been more holy in the sight of God.
    • The thing God desires from us first is our worship.  That goes back to the Great Commandment.  We are to love God before we do things for God.  Certainly we are supposed to obey, serve, and do things for our Lord & King, but it all needs to be kept in the right priority.  We love God first, and do things secondly.  Both are important.  Actions without love are empty ritual; love without actions is superficial.  Both are needed, but one has priority: love.  We are love God with everything that we are – we are to love God extravagantly & without apology.

6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.

  • In the end, Judas’ pious excuse was just that: false piety.  He didn’t care about the poor.  All he cared about was the till…the petty cash.  He kept the money box, and apparently he kept for himself some of what was put in the money box.  “He was a thief” and cared nothing about the poor.  They were just a convenient excuse for a quick score.
  • The fact that Judas kept the money box ought to tell us something about him: he was trusted.  At the time, neither John nor any of the disciples realized that Judas was a thief.  If they had, he never would have been the group’s treasurer.  Think about it: Judas was deemed more skilled and trustworthy with money than even Matthew, the former tax collector with previous financial experience (even if it had been scandalous).  No one but Jesus knew what Judas was truly like on the inside.  None of that was revealed until the Garden of Gethsemane & Jesus’ arrest.  Up to that point, Judas was just a disciple, and a trusted one at that.
  • False converts aren’t always obvious.  Judas didn’t dress the part of a villain or wear a black hat while twirling his mustache.  It wasn’t obvious on the outside.  In fact, he outwardly appeared to be quite pious.  That’s often the way it is.  The reason why so many false converts are rarely confronted is because no one realizes who they are.  There isn’t any outward obvious sign that the person isn’t saved.  On the surface, they seem like any other Christian.  They have a testimony, they know all the Christian phrases, they hang around other Christians, etc.  It’s not until their life is probed deeper that anything appears “off” or anything is revealed.  They may seem pious, but they have no compassion.  They may know doctrine, but they demonstrate no love.  The fruit of the Spirit isn’t always immediately evident, but it ought to show up eventually.  When it doesn’t, something’s wrong.
    • So how do you deal with a false convert?  The same way you deal with any non-believer: take them to Jesus.  Share the gospel with them, and keep pointing them to the person of Christ.  A real born-again Christian will rejoice to talk about or be in the presence of Jesus. A true Christian can’t help but rejoice when speaking of His grace & His mercy.  But for a non-believer & false convert, it will make them aware of their sin.  As a result, they’ll either embrace Him or flee from Him.
    • What if you realize that YOU are a false convert?  Cry out to Jesus!  Believe upon Him by faith!  Repent from your hypocrisy & false testimony, and grab hold of the promises of grace through the person of Christ.  You may be a false convert today, but you don’t have to remain one forever!
  • The response: defense by Jesus

7 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial.

  • Jesus quickly came to Mary’s defense.  Undeterred by the grumbling of Judas and the other disciples, Jesus stands up to the religious bullies and commands them to leave her alone.  He saw Mary’s act of worship as a good thing, and He knew that it wasn’t their place to rebuke her.  Who were they to shame Mary?  They were no better than she.  Every one of them served Jesus, and the act had been done unto Jesus; not them.  Judas & the disciples were way out-of-line, and Jesus called them on it.
    • We need to remember that it was more than just Judas who shamed Mary – it was all of them.  That means that the sin belong to more than only the false convert of the group.  The real Christians were just as guilty of this as was Judas.  This kind of self-righteous thinking – the I-know-better-than-you mindset is possible for any of us.  And just was it was wrong for the disciples to rebuke Mary for how she worshipped the Lord, it’s also wrong for us to judge fellow Christians in non-essential areas of doctrine or practice.  That simply isn’t our job.  Romans 14:4, "Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand."  Don’t judge other Christians!  Not in non-essential areas, at least.  We are supposed to judge doctrine, using the plumb-line of Scripture as a guide, but there are many areas in which there is liberty.  So allow it!  We spend far too much time fighting over non-essentials – time that could be spent in prayer interceding for our brother, rather than tearing him down.  Let his Master deal with him.  After all, we have the same Master, and He will deal with us.
  • As for Mary, Jesus knew something about her act of worship that she didn’t even realize: this was a burial anointing.  In Mary’s mind, she had come to Jesus in an act of devotion, serving Him in love & thankfulness, expressing her worship of Him in the most extravagant way she knew.  Yet God the Spirit used her prophetically in a way in which she knew nothing.  Her anointing was done in advance of Jesus’ death.  This was all part of His preparation for the cross.  His whole earthly life had led to this particular week, and Mary’s anointing kicked it all off.  Interestingly, this would be the only anointing she could offer.  After Jesus’ death, the women would travel to His tomb on Sunday for the specific task of anointing, but they never got the chance to do it.  Jesus’ resurrection took place before they had the opportunity.  Instead, Mary did the anointing in advance – all without her realizing what was really happening.
    • The Holy Spirit may have His own purpose for any one of our actions given to Jesus.  We might never realize how He will use even the smallest of things we do for the Lord.

8 For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”

  • Be careful not to get the wrong idea here.  Jesus isn’t being callous or flippant.  He isn’t giving anyone an excuse not to help the poor, or giving a justification for building the most ornate sanctuary around so that there is no money left to help the poor.  All of that is to miss the point of what Jesus was saying.  He is simply contrasting the present moment with Judas’ excuse.  (1) Jesus saw straight through Judas’ false piety.  That wasn’t the real issue, and Judas may have been able to persuade a lot of people, but he wasn’t able to fool the Lord.  (2) Jesus acknowledged the poor, who were in Bethany that day as well as the day before and also the day after.  Judas didn’t need 300 denarii to go feed the poor.  He could have given out of his own personal funds at any time, if he was so concerned about their plight.  And this wouldn’t be their only opportunity to help the poor – there would be many more opportunities in the days & weeks ahead.  (3) What they wouldn’t always have is the bodily presence of Jesus.  Mary had the opportunity to physically anoint Him that day, but that was it.  Once Jesus rose from the dead & ascended to Heaven, that opportunity would be gone.  Out of the opportunities available to her, Mary had chosen the far better option.
  • Again, we have no excuse NOT to help the poor.  Too many Christians look to this verse as their excuse, but Jesus doesn’t give us one.  One of the primary sins that God lists against the nation of Judah in the OT is the way they treated the poor.  Their mistreatment of the widows, orphans, and other poor people in the land is listed nearly as often as their sin of idolatry, and it was something for which the nation was judged.  Remember that the Greatest Commandment to love God is followed closely by a second commandment to love our neighbor.  If we never engage in the 2nd, it’s difficult to claim that we actually do the 1st.  As for Mary, she had surely had helped the poor in the past & would do so again in the future.  She just took the opportunity she had at the moment.
  • One more thing: don’t be confused by Jesus statement of being gone.  After Jesus’ resurrection, at the end of the Great Commission, Jesus promised to be with us always even to the end of the age (Mt 28:20).  Of course, He spoke these words right before He physically ascended to heaven.  Was He lying?  Obviously not.  Jesus is not physically present among us, but He most certainly is spiritually present.  Physically speaking, the Son of God is still incarnate.  Once the Word of God became flesh, He remained flesh.  Jesus will be incarnate into the eons of eternity.  That is why He physically ascended into heaven, in order that He can await the day of His return & the institution of His kingdom upon the earth.  But spiritually speaking, He is always present with us.  The Holy Spirit has taken up residence within each one of us as believers in Christ, and we have constant access to Jesus through prayer.  He truly is with us & will never forsake us.
  • The witness: testifying of Jesus

9 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.

  • Not only was there an event on the inside of the house, the dinner party itself got the attention of those in & around Bethany.  Word got out that Lazarus was attending the supper, and many folks came out just to see the man whom Jesus raised from the dead.  Seemingly, Lazarus had tried to keep a low-profile after his resurrection, and based off the account here, it’s not difficult to understand why.  He was a celebrity in his own right, just by virtue of what he had experienced from Jesus. (Imagine if he lived in the days of paparazzi & social media.  He never would have gotten any rest!)
  • Issues of privacy aside, Lazarus was (literally) a living testimony unto Jesus.  The work that had been done in him was undeniable.  His death was well-known in the area.  Remember that Bethany was only two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come out from the city to comfort his sisters (11:18-19).  Lazarus had apparently been a person of influence, and thus had a lot of mourners.  All those mourners were witnesses to his resurrection, and once they got back to Jerusalem, the word spread quickly!  Now more Jews came out in an attempt to see him.  Jesus usually attracted a lot of attention when He arrived, but now people had the added draw of seeing living proof of Jesus’ power.
  • In a sense, isn’t that what we all want to be? (Though without the intrusiveness.) Anyone who is born-again has been changed by Jesus.  Don’t we want to be known for that change?  How great it would be, if the people who looked at us instantly understood the transformation that took place in our lives because of Jesus!  As if when they looked at us, they immediately saw the fingerprints of Jesus upon us – that would be fantastic!  Why not?  Why can’t it be that way?  We may not have experienced the outward transformation as much as Lazarus, but we have all certainly experienced a similar inward transformation.  We’ve all gone from spiritually dead to spiritually alive.  Those who believe in Jesus as Lord receive a new birth, and He has transformed us from the inside out.  We’ve even had changes on the outside, though perhaps to a lesser extent than Lazarus.  Some of us were fornicators; now we’re not.  Some of us were drunkards; now we’re not.  Some of us were liars, cheaters, rage-filled, XYZ (you name it!), but we have been transformed by the work of Jesus Christ at the cross & the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  We are no longer the people we were, but we are now new creations in Christ – amen!  If it has taken place, it’s going to be evident to others.  It’s certainly not something that ought to be hidden.  Better to be known for the transforming work of Jesus in our lives, than for any notoriety of any kind!  That is who we are: witnesses of Jesus.  To witness is not just something that we do; it’s part of our very identity in Christ.
  • Of course, not everyone wanted to see Lazarus for innocent reasons.  Vs. 10…

10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.

  • The chief priests wanted to see Lazarus also, but they desired to see him dead (again).  They were already plotting Jesus’ death, but they understood that there were too many proofs of His power.  One of which was living in Bethany two miles away.  If they could kill both Jesus AND Lazarus, then they believed they’d be able to show Jesus’ work to be in vain.  Too many people were believing in Jesus because of what He had done with Lazarus, and they could see the proof for themselves, even when Jesus wasn’t around.  So the priests conceived the logical plan (or so they thought) to kill them both.
  • As an aside, this may be one reason why the Synoptic Gospels are silent regarding Lazarus’ resurrection.  Many have wondered why, if this was so great & influential a miracle, why it wasn’t mentioned at all in the other three gospel accounts.  It may have been that Lazarus was still alive at the time those accounts were written.  John’s gospel was written last, and it’s possible that Lazarus had died by that point, and was no longer a target for the Jews.  After all, if the chief priests wanted Lazarus dead while Jesus was still around, no doubt they especially wanted him dead after Jesus’ own resurrection.
  • Lazarus was a solid witness of Jesus – an undeniable testimony of Jesus.  His very presence spoke of the power and deity of Jesus Christ.  All Lazarus had to do was show up, and people would know everything they needed to know to be saved: Jesus is God, and in Him is life.  It was a marvelous privilege given to Lazarus – but it also came with a price: persecution.  Of course, that is true regarding any disciple of Jesus.  Anyone who witnesses of Jesus to others (whether by active voice or silent presence) has the potential of being persecuted.  Jesus flat out told the disciples to expect it – the world hated Him, so the world would hate His disciples as well (Jn 15:18).  Paul told Timothy plainly that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution,” (2 Tim 3:12).  That’s just the way it is.  It’s that way for Christians all over the globe: for men like Saeed Abedini, still suffering in Iranian prison – for the young women abducted by Boko Haram & forced into Islamic marriage – for men & women in Iraq & Syria, suffering at the hands of ISIS, and more. Men and women in the United States are starting to get a tiny taste of what Christians around the world have experienced for centuries.  Persecution is not something to fear, but it is something to be prepared for.  God gives strength to His people in our times of need – His grace is fully sufficient for us.  All we need do is be faithful to Christ, and trust Him to do the rest.  Our suffering may be the very thing that brings others to faith, just as was the case with Lazarus.

It was quite the night in Bethany!  It was a dinner party that none would ever forget.  Martha was serving – Mary was worshipping – Judas was lying – Jesus was prophesying – Lazarus was testifying – all were quite busy as the days led up to the cross.  Is there a common thread in any of it?  Sure…those who believed in Jesus were giving Him their all – and Jesus was preparing Himself to give His all for us.  Think about it.  Martha showed her love for Jesus in the way that came naturally to her: acts of service.  Mary took what she had and poured out extravagant worship of Jesus when she humbled herself in such a monumental way.  Lazarus showed his love for Jesus simply by showing up, endangering himself just so that he could be with his Lord & Savior who had raised him from the dead.  Each of them gave to Jesus all they had to give.

Likewise, Jesus was prepared to give everything He had for them – and for us.  Mary’s act of worship turned out to be a prophetic act of burial preparation.  Jesus was looking ahead to the cross, just as He always did.  He had come for the specific purpose of laying down His life for us sinners, so that we could be forgiven & transformed by His grace.  And what Jesus spoke of, He followed through upon.  Jesus did die, He was buried, and He did rise again to the point that He was no longer physically present with the disciples (not even leaving His body in the tomb for them to visit).

Jesus’ death and resurrection wasn’t just given for the people in that room that day, but for all of us.  It was even given for the worst of us…even for Judas.  Although Judas never received the grace of Jesus, it was just as much available to him as it is for any false convert.  Judas didn’t need false piety; he needed true forgiveness – he needed the grace that only comes through sincere faith.  And he could have received it, if he had simply been honest with Jesus and asked.

So can you.  So can anyone. 


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