Hey, what is that smell?

The Story "An Interwoven Gospel"   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Your life can be a significant aroma to others

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Do you smell that?

There are things that have a distinctive smell don’t they?
(Slide) What about the spiritual aroma of a Christian, can you smell that? What does it smell like (spiritually speaking)? (be ready to expand on this, it smells like love, it smells like charity, it smells like personal sacrifice for others).
Jesus had set his face toward Jerusalem and the cross sometime ago.
Luke 9:51 NKJV
Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,
So he has left Jericho (Mt20:29) and continues His journey to the cross and He comes to Bethany and that is where our story is set today.
As we look at this story, think about the impact of the gift given to Jesus had on the people then, the people today and the impact you can have on others today and in the future too.
(Slide) Turn in your story book to pg. 114 and we will read both sections, arrival at Bethany and Mary anoints Jesus’ feet. - in Bible it will be Jn11:55-12:11

Arrival at Bethany

(Slide) What do you see, what do you notice, what sticks out to you?
Interesting fact, in John version it names Mary as the person anointing the feet; in Matthew it says a woman (Mt26:7) and poured on His head and feet. In John it does not say where in Bethany they are, except Lazarus, Mary and Martha are there. In Matthew it says they are in the home of Simon the Leper (Mt26:6). Now these are the same event but each gives us a little more information from the view point of each of the writers. Hence why we need the “full counsel of God” to get a better picture. Now this event is not the same event, not the same Mary as the one noted in Lk7:40-50.
(Slide) Alright let’s get into it.
(Slide) Why were they going to Jerusalem (v.55)? - heading to the cross
(Slide) Why they seeking Jesus (v.56)? - to kill Him (Jn11:53)
(Slide) What was the orders given (v.57)? - seize Him
Jesus had already ended His public ministry (19:54) but it was not stopping Him; there is still much to teach before He gets to the cross, but the focus will be on the disciples not the crowd anymore.
(Slide) When did Jesus get to Bethany (12:1)? - six days before the Passover

Now, there is a series of crisis that Jesus will address over the next 6 days, today we look at just one and it surrounds the anointing of Jesus

II. Crisis of Values

From the get go we can see a couple of things, Lazarus was there (v.1) as were Martha and her sister Mary (vv.2-3).
(Slide) What was Martha doing (v.2)? - serving like was her custom, eventhough previously the Lord told her Mary being at His feet was the better thing (Lk10:38-42); but it was not wrong was it?
(Slide) What was Lazarus doing (v.2)? - reclining at the table with Jesus
(Slide) In looking at (v.3) there is much there
(Slide) What did Mary do? - she anointed his feet (Jn version) when put with Lk it is head and feet. Like David she did not want to give unless it cost her something. You can read that in 2Sam24:24. This nard would have been about a year’s wages. There is another thing to notice in this, a woman’s hair was her glory and she would not let down her hair except before her husband (see 1Cor11:15). So Mary took the place of a humble servant at Jesus feet and anointed Him. She had been there before when He told of His pending death and she anointing Him now knowing where He is going. Something else to note, this Mary, who is Lazarus and Martha’s sister is not one of the Mary’s who went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus (Mk16:1). See this Mary was showing her devotion to Jesus before it was too late. This was her act of love, it was her act of worship, it was sacrificial, lavish, personal and unembarrassed. Jesus called it a good work. He not only commended her for it, but defended her for it.
(Slide) What was the results of what she did? - the house was filled with the fragrance. So this was a visible and a smellable (my word) act of worship. It impacted everyone in the house, including Judas and we will see the crisis of values come in.
(Slide) Now let’s look at the following verses and see what we learn.
(Slide) What did Judas do in (v.5)?
(Slide) What was the real reason he said it (v.6)?
(Slide) What was Jesus response (vv.7-8)?
John paints a picture of Judas throughout the gospel, but in this passage today it is the first time Judas speaks. John’s portrait when finished would look like this.
He was of the devil
John 6:70–71 NASB95
70 Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” 71 Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.
He gave the appearance of moral person
John 12:5 NASB95
5 “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?
He was a thief
John 12:6 NASB95
6 Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.
He was a hypocrite
John 13:18 NASB95
18 “I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.’
He was the son of perdition
John 17:12 NASB95
12 “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.
(Slide) Mary’s gift was costly; Judas sold Jesus out for almost nothing
(Slide) Mary’s gift was unselfish; Judas was selfish and a thief
(Slide) Mary’s gift was from her heart; Judas took for his pocketbook
(Slide) Jesus told everyone to leave her alone, why (v.7)? - the scripture says “for day of burial” but this is symbolic isn’t it. He has His face set, He is on the way to the Cross, to Him it is as if it is already done. The sacrifice of His life already given so she is doing for His burial.
(Slide) what about (v.8) what did Jesus tell them again? - Jesus has told them that His death is forthcoming and imminent. But giving to the poor is good and you will have plenty of time to do that, and you should do that.
Now that brings us to last section of this passage, notice in (vv.9-11) Jesus does not address the crowd, but still the acts of Jesus and the faith and life of Lazarus does.
John 12:9 NASB95
9 The large crowd of the Jews then learned that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He raised from the dead.
John 12:10–11 NASB95
10 But the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also; 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus.
(Slide) Why did the crowd come (v.9)? - See both Jesus and Lazarus
(Slide) What did the chief priests plan (v.10)? - kill Lazarus
(Slide) Why did they want to kill Lazarus (v.11)? - Jews were believing in Jesus because of Lazarus
Just a couple more things, people can come to believe in Jesus because of you. Because of the aroma (spiritually speaking) that you let off. You can detour or attract people to Jesus by your actions and your words. With Lazarus there are no recorded words in the scripture but his life manifests a life of faith in not so many words.
Our life should be like Lazarus where we are reclining with the Lord, where we shine the light of Christ on others. May we have the heart of Mary too who gave a costly gift to the Lord, what gifts do we have to bring to the Lord today? Are we bringing our gifts? IT could be money, but it could be something else too, that is between you and the Lord. We know the results many were blessed because of Mary’s act of worship.
We see an example of acts of works for the kingdom in Martha, acts of worship in Mary and acts of witness in Lazarus. May our lives be a reflection of all so others maybe blessed through us.
We have seen
While this is a quiet evening, overall, with the Savior it was a great night of worship, work and witness that still impacts 2000 years later.
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