The Gospel of John, The Period of Crisis, First Part, The Return to Bethany, Part IV, John 12:8-11 - Lesson 101
Read Verses John 12:4-8 for review: Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
So against the day of Christ's burying hath she kept the ointment.
She had known that death was coming for Christ.
He was the resurrection.
Jesus had said that he would be crucified, that he would be buried and that he would rise again.
The raising of Lazarus was proof that what he said was true and that if he said he was to die, Mary believed him and acted upon that belief.
She could have used the ointment on her brother Lazarus but she kept it against the day of Christ's burying.
Why did she use it now?
She knew that death would not hold him.
She knew what David said.
God would not allow his holy one to see corruption.
She knew that he did not need ointments to prevent corruption after his death because there would be no corruption.
The grave would not hold him.
She loved him and worshipped him with the ointment before he was crucified because she believed in the resurrection.
She gave of all she had to a living Christ.
A wonderful example to us.
She was the one who could say as verse 1:12 of the Song of Solomon says:
While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.
Jesus Christ did not want this taken away from her.
This was the gold, silver and precious stones of Mary's works for Christ.
They would survive the testing fire.
Judas could not take that away from her.
Jesus says: For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
Jesus reminds all that the opportunity to serve him is brief.
Mary's opportunity to worship him in this fashion was but for a moment and could not have been accomplished had she been diverted by the poor.
She had opportunity to participate with him in his sufferings.
We too have opportunities to suffer for him but that opportunity also is brief.
You can involve yourself in all kinds of social programs to banish the poor, the great society programs, the war on poverty but Jesus has told us here that the poor you will always have.
You have constant opportunities to help the poor.
But the better part is Mary's part.
Worship and devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ.
John 12:9, Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
How often we concentrate on the works of the Lord instead of the Lord.
How often our curiosity moves us, instead of a love to do the Father's will.
Much people came to see the sensational, the out of the ordinary, that which tickled the flesh instead of that which sowed to the spirit.
So the crowds came when they heard that both Jesus and Lazarus were together in Bethany.
Perhaps an encore', by this miracle worker, perhaps a bigger and more astounding event.
John 12:10,11, But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
The chief priests were the Sadducees.
Those who did not believe in the resurrection desired the death of one whose life testified against them.
Lazarus was a resurrected man!
Lazarus was a thorn in the side of their security.
He too must go, they consulted, if we are to keep our positions and our nation.
His resurrected life testifies for this Jesus and against us.
Before it was one man they said should be sacrificed for the nation.
Now it was two men who needed to die.
By reason of Lazarus many of the Jews are going away and believing on this Jesus.
We are losing our crowds and our control.
Get rid of the evidence of this resurrection.
Kill him and the crowds will stop!
Throw obedience to God's command out the window when it comes to personnal ambition and personal power.
They had rather commit murder than admit their error.
Oh, the pride of position.
Guard against it, it is a very powerful tempter to sin!
God may be doing you a favor by not giving you position!