Tuesday Morning: 12 Feb 2019 – John 12:1-11 ~ the price of devotion

Tuesday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – John 12:1-11 (NLT)

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.

But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.

Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.
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Morning Reflection:

In an act of selfless devotion, Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume during a dinner held in his honor. The occasion was Jesus’ return to Bethany prior to entering Jerusalem for the celebration of Passover.

Everyone was there – Mary, Martha, Lazarus, family friends, and the disciples (including Judas). And in the middle of it all, Mary expresses her love, and devotion, and gratitude to Jesus – uniquely, in her own way. And for this she paid a price –

+ Her finances – the perfume was worth a year’s wages. How much would that be in today’s currency? How long would it have taken her to save enough to purchase it? How long would it take for you to save a year’s wages?

+ Her pride – foot washing duties were assigned to servants. But Mary took it a step further by anointing Jesus’ feet, and then wiping his feet with her hair. Mary “let her hair down” without embarrassment or concern for what her guests might think.

+ Her reputation – Judas’ virtue signalling was couched in concern for the poor, when in fact he was the one skimming from the community purse. Disdaining Mary’s devotion to Jesus, he demeaned her reputation to enhance his own.

But Jesus would have none of it:

Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial.
You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
– John 12:7-8

Mary’s devotion to Jesus was costly – finances, pride, and reputation. And so it is today.

Questions for consideration:

  • Do you consider yourself devoted to Jesus? Please explain.
  • Can you think of a time when your devotion has been costly? Please explain.
  • How do your finances relate to your devotion to Jesus? Please explain.
  • How does your pride relate to your devotion to Jesus? Please explain.
  • How does your reputation relate to your devotion to Jesus? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Lord Jesus: I confess that I hold myself in reserve in my devotion to you. My finances are held in reserve for emergencies and retirement. My pride inhibits me from worshiping you with abandon in public. My concern for what others will think inhibits me from speaking the truth, even in love, to those who might disagree. Please forgive me and set me free from my reserve and inhibitions that I might delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
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“All To Jesus I Surrender” – Robin Mark

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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