The Celebration of Jesus
Sometimes I think we read Scripture in such short segments, we fail to see how it all connects together. When we pick up in John 12, Jesus is back in Bethany 6 days before Passover. Bethany sits 2 miles outside of Jerusalem where many travel to celebrate Passover. Jesus is invited to a meal in the home of Simon the leper, probably one who was healed by Jesus. Simon enlists Martha (who we have seen before) to help him host this meal. In fact, this dinner is not a normal family dinner. On this night, Jesus is celebrated for who He is and as a special thank you for raising Lazarus from the dead…How strange does that feel to say? They gave a thank you meal to Jesus for raising their family member from the dead. Wow!
John 12:2 – “Martha served and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at the table.” Wait, you mean the man who was dead just days ago is now eating with Jesus before the Passover? YES! The life of Lazarus continues to point us to a day when those who are in Christ will recline with Him at the table for all eternity!
Mary of Bethany
During this meal, we see Mary. Again, she is at the feet of Jesus. A position before Christ we need to see and understand. Mary realizes how important it is to hang on every word of Jesus. Why? Jesus is the One who brings Life. (Remember the “I AM” statement from the last chapter.) As she sits at His feet, she understands what His disciples did not seem to grasp. This may be a stretch but I think when Mary pours the perfume on the feet of Jesus she knows something different is about to happen. She prepares Jesus for what is to come – He would be the sacrifice for our sins. She worships Him because He is the treasure of her heart. Worship does not stay contained in the heart of Mary. John 12:3 continues to say, “the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” The pleasing aroma of worship filled those who sat with Jesus at the table – except Judas!
Lives Poured Out
If we could only be more like Mary where we sit at the feet of Jesus and hang on His every word. Where our lives are poured out in worship to Him and the fragrance of our lives poured out would fill the earth! May we, like Mary, sit at His feet as He is to be the treasure of our heart!
The Heart of Sinful Man
We leave this room with an abrupt change. We move from a room filled with worship to a group who wants to kill Lazarus because Lazarus points everyone to the deity of Christ. (Come on people. He already died once!) People believe in Christ because of Lazarus’s life. We see how far the world is willing to go to deny the power of Christ. We see a world that will do the unthinkable just so they do not have to see Jesus as He really is – the King who gives life!
Life To Any who Believe in Him
To our wonder, Jesus is willing to be LIFE to any who will believe in Him. Only when Jesus willingly places Himself on the Cross and dies do we gain life. Life comes when the Righteous One dies as substitute for sinners. Life is given when the innocent exchanges places with the guilty and when the perfect One takes the punishment and wrath for the unjust. Jesus explains this principle to His disciples following the supper with Lazarus. John 12:24 – “Truly, Truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Jesus will bear much fruit only when He gives His life in our place.
This Christmas season (and every season for that matter) may we all remember to sit at the feet of Jesus and place our hope and trust in Him. May we worship Him with our lives. The only One who brings us LIFE!