THE PLOT THICKENS

I cannot get over the words, “what a waste” in our passage today.  When is it ever a waste to honor the Son of God?  Jesus has come directly from the throne of God with a mission from God to seek and to save the world all because of His love for the world.  Jesus has traveled with these disciples and followers for three years, teaching them about who God really is, what He wants from us, while revealing His will and plan for them.  What a privilege to be chosen to walk physically with Him, beside Him each day in wonder and amazement as He miraculously helps and heals people in mind, body and soul.  He is God in flesh, the Word, walking around, who will soon be their Savior! 

But some still don’t get it.  The disciples, led by an angry Judas who would rather Jesus be a revolutionary of the worldly kind, are indignant at this outpouring of affection!  Seriously?  A woman who does “get it”, gives of her very best and most expensive perfume that was probably purchased and kept as a savings account for when she or a loved one dies.  This type of alabaster jar is sealed until it is needed for the work of preserving the dead.  The only way to remove the contents is by breaking the neck of the jar to pour it out.  Once opened, there’s no turning back.  The precious oil, is broken and spilled out on the One and Only who would redeem people by taking all sin upon Himself to a cross of shame and rejection.  Jesus poured out his life to redeem/save/buy back our life.

And what did the prophets say? 

“…he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.  For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:12, NIV

“Awake, sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!” declares the Lord Almighty. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered…” Zachariah 13:7, quoted by Jesus to his disciples.

“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3)

Fulfillment by Jesus 

“He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” (John 1:10-11)

“But when they came to Jesus, they saw that He was dead already, so they didn’t break His legs. One of the soldiers, however, pierced His side with a spear, and blood and water flowed out. This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account; it is presented so that you also can believe. These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, ‘Not one of His bones will be broken,’ and ‘They will look on Him whom they pierced.’” (John 19:31-37)

No broken bones, but His body pierced, His lifeblood spilled out for you and me.  What kind of love is this?  How precious is the blood shed for you and me?  No words.  Our emotions take over in tears of gratitude.  This is amazing, relentless, never ending love of God displayed in His Son!  Whatever we have on earth will be never enough to honor the One who saved us.

Judas, disgusted by the “expensive” act of honor, who held the purse strings as the group treasurer, decided to carry out his plan to betray Jesus.  The loving act of this woman was his tipping point.  He sold Jesus out for thirty pieces of silver.  God knew he would. 

“I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”  Jesus was right, as always, we are still discussing her deed of honor along with Judas’ act of betrayal. 

Where do we stand?  Our behavior in this world will reflect what we truly believe about God.

Matthew—God’s Word Fulfilled

Matthew 26:6-13, NLT

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head.

The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.”

10 But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? 11 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. 12 She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. 13 I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

14 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests 15 and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.

ONE LAST THOUGHT…PAUSE TO PRAY

What will we break open within these “jars of clay” (us) to honor Jesus today? 

What is so precious within us that we might be holding back?

Our Treasure in Jars of Clay

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.”  2 Corinthians 4:7-12 ESV

“What a waste”, you ask? It’s Giving up! 

Jesus renews and feeds our souls each day!

“So, we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…”  2 Corinthians 4:16-17, ESV 

Lord, God of Heaven,

Thank you for saving our souls from ourselves, from our own foolish thinking, which leads to selfish living.  Thank you for this teaching, your example of living life, as well as your sacrifice for our redemption from sin and all the sadness and destruction that goes with living without you.  I’m yours, Lord, all that I have, all that I am, the good and bad, it’s all yours to mold, shape, break open and use for your glory. 

In Jesus Name, Amen

And I’m singing…I Offer My Life, by Don Moen

All that I am, all that I have
I lay them down before You, oh Lord
All my regrets, all my acclaims
The joy and the pain, I’m making them Yours

Lord, I offer my life to You
Everything I’ve been through, use it for Your glory
Lord I offer my days to You
Lifting my praise to You as a pleasing sacrifice
Lord I offer You my life

Things in the past, things yet unseen
Wishes and dreams that are yet to come true
All of my hopes, all of my plans
My heart and my hands are lifted to You

Lord, I offer my life to You
Everything I’ve been through, use it for Your glory
Lord I offer my days to You
Lifting my praise to You as a pleasing sacrifice
Lord I offer You my life

What can we give that You have not given?
And what do we have that is not already Yours?
All we possess are these lives we’re living
That’s what we give to You, Lord

Lord, I offer my life to You
Everything I’ve been through, use it for Your glory
Lord I offer my days to You
Lifting my praise to You as a pleasing sacrifice
Lord I offer You my life…

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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