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1. *((illus))* One of the *great joys of life* is to have *a few friends* that when you go to their house you are *treated like a member of their family.*
You just walk in, go right to the refrigerator and take out whatever you want.
a. *As your pastor*, I want to be your friend.
b. I’ll be over after church.
2. *Jesus had that kind of friendship with Mary*, Martha, and their brother, Lazarus.
As you read the Gospel you get the impression that Jesus could not wait to get to their home from time to time
b. because it was the *one place that he could walk in*, loosen his robe, take off his sandals and plop down on the sofa and just be himself.
3. One day Jesus was told that *his friend, Lazarus*, was desperately ill, and instead of immediately going to help, he delays and then he was told that Lazarus had died.
But it set *the stage for the greatest of Jesus miracles*.
By raising Lazarus, Jesus became an *instant celebrity *in Jerusalem.
After raising Lazarus from the dead, the Scriptures say that Jesus */retired for a time to the dessert./*
4. And in our Scripture for this morning, *Jesus comes back for the first time to their home in Bethany*, just outside Jerusalem.
In that town was also *Simon, a leper* that Jesus had healed
As you can imagine everyone’s so delighted to see Jesus that they through *a dinner party* in his honor and it takes place at the house of Simon.
And we’re going to *look at that occasion in John’s Gospel*, chapter twelve, verse one through eight.
*/1 Six days before the Passover ceremonies began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead.
\\ 2 A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor.
Martha served, and Lazarus sat at the table with him./*
*/3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it and wiped his feet with her hair.
And the house was filled with fragrance.
\\ 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples—the one who would betray him—said,/*
*/5 “That perfume was worth a small fortune.
It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.”/*
*/6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief who was in charge of the disciples’ funds, and he often took some for his own use.
\\ 7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone.
She did it in preparation for my burial.
\\ 8 You will always have the poor among you, but I will not be here with you much longer.”/*
*PRAYER: *Lord, this morning in your presence, we find this woman Mary at Bethany to be our role model.
Help us to pour out to you all that we are.
Help us to give you our attention in this moments as we give attention to your word.
And we pray that by your Holy Spirit you would illumine these verses that we might obey you more diligently, and that we might love you more recklessly, to your glory and to your name in this world.
For we pray in the name of Jesus, Amen
*1. *I have *A QUESTION *I would like to ask you *women: How would you handle a $12,000 bottle of perfume?
a. Very carefully – yes, very carefully.
You’d probably keep it under lock and key.
i) In my study I’ve seen figures of the worth for this flask of perfume anywhere from $60 - $12,000.
ii) It represented what a person would normally make in a whole year – so you fill in the worth from your own income.
c. Mary, because she was a single woman, may have kept it buried down deep in her hope chest.
This was a pint of pure nard, which was an fragrant ointment that was imported from the hills of northern India.
*2. *Now here’s a *BIGGER QUESTION*: *Can you think of one man that is so special that you would pour it all out in one evening for him?
a. Well *Mary found that man* in her life.
i) This account is in Matthew and Mark, as well as John.
ii) Don’t confuse this event with Luke 7 where a prostitute come and poured perfume on Jesus feet and then kissed them.
iii) The Mary of John 12 is a virtuous woman
*3. **Envision the scene, the party’s in full swing.
You can hear the clink of pottery, the laughter, the animated conversation around the table.
b. Mary gets up from her place, she circles the table, and stopping at the place of Jesus she suddenly falls to her knees.
(parallel passages include his head)
She takes an alabaster flask and she breaks off the long narrow neck.
She then takes the flask and pours the contents on Jesus’ feet.
d. Instantly around the room people begin to smell this aroma.
i) And the guests begin to elbow each other and say “Nard, nard, it’s nard.
ii) She poured out a whole pint of pure nard!”
*4. **And that’s not all.
It says that reached up and pulled off her head covering which was the proper dress in polite company.
And after pulling off her head covering she shakes her head and the long tresses of her hair fill out and fall down around her shoulders.
Mary then takes her hair and begins to massage the ointment into Jesus’ feet.
5. :5 - Well, Judas can not handle this and he immediately announces to the group the cost of this perfume.
Here are the first words recorded in the Gospels of Judas.
i) Sad that the last words were - Matthew 27:4 - */“I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.”…/*
But isn’t that just like Judas and who would know better than Judas.
i) Not everybody knows the cost of an Armani suit, but those things mattered to Judas.
ii) And so he *gets a social conscience* all of a sudden and says, “Why we could have done some real good in this world if we had given the money to the poor.
I mean, what was she thinking.
She could have given this money to some food bank.
c. *Do you know what shocked Judas*?
i) I don’t believe it was the money.
*ii) *I believe that it was this *shocking, public display of Mary’s extravagant love.
I don’t think that many of us enjoy *PDAs* – Public Displays of Affection.
a. Especially those of us in the church.
b. *((illus))* Now we just had the wedding of *Ted and Kelly and they did great.
i) But I must confess that in recent years I’ve had a little, unannounced, crusade going – to tone down what goes on at the end of weddings when I tell the couple that they may now kiss.
ii) I have encouraged couples to engage in a nice conservative, protestant, evangelical kiss – done decently and in order; none of this sloppy agape stuff.
iii) But nobody listens to me.
iv) I have seen things take place inches from my eyes that cause me to blush.
¨ How do they hold their breath so long?
¨ I’ve seen mothers cover the eyes of their children in the congregation.
c. *I coach couples* that they should not make this kiss as if it was their first kiss.
i) But that they should not make it seem as if it is their last kiss either.
ii) They never listen to me.
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