Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm19991222.htm
JOHN: TRIUMPHING IN LIFE'S MOST CRITICAL ISSUE
Part III: Presentation Of The Messenger Of Salvation
C. Christ's Credentials Revealed In Confrontations With Men
15. Christ's Credibility Seen In The CONTRASTING Responses Of Close Eyewitnesses
Lesson: Since close associate, MARY deeply worshipped Jesus while disciple, JUDAS lamented his secular loss at this worship, people who saw Jesus up close CONTRASTED in HOW they viewed Him. Jesus is thus the truly RIGHTEOUS One from God who sparke d a dividing reaction in a sinful world.
- If Jesus is God's Son and Messiah, the Righteous One, and He came into a world of sin, we should expect there to be a contrast of responses to His ministry: those who believed on Him should have come deeply to love Him while those who rejected Him should have hated Him for exposing their sin, John 3:20-21.
- We should expect to see a contrasting reaction to Jesus from those who knew Him up close, and John reports the reactions to Jesus from people who rubbed shoulders closely with the Lord as follows:
- Christ's Credibility Seen In The CONTRASTING Responses Of Close Eyewitnesses, John 12:1-8.
- After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He was invited to a meal hosted by Lazarus' family, John 12:1-2.
- At this meal of close associates, there is recorded a stark contrast in responses to Christ's ministry, 12:3-8:
- On the one hand, Mary expressed deep worship to the Lord due to her witness of His ministry:
- Prior to her brother, Lazarus' death, Mary had committed herself to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of His teachings as a priority, cf. Luke 10:39, 40-42.
- However, Lazarus later died from Jesus' stalling His response to Martha and Mary's message to heal Lazarus (John 11:3, 6-7, 14), so Mary was so hurt that she stalled going to meet Him when Jesus returne d, and blurted out her complaint that His stalling had led to Lazarus' death, 11:20, 28, 30-32.
- However, Jesus proved His resurrection power by raising Mary's beloved brother, Lazarus from the dead, teaching her to trust Him more than ever, John 11:43-44.
- Accordingly, at this post-resurrection meal, Mary worshipped the Lord in appreciation for all that He was and had taught her by word and deed: (a) Mary took an ounce of expensive perfume, valued at a year's salary's worth of earnings, opened it, and anointed Christ's feet. (b) Th en she humbly wiped His feet with her hair, John 12:3, 5; cf. Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 316.
- On the other hand, Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, objected to Mary's deed out of unbelief, 12:4-6:
- The author of John's Gospel significantly notes that Judas' response came from one who would actually betray Jesus, showing that the seeds of rejecting and hating Christ were within him, 12:4.
- Judas reacted to Mary's action, complaining that she should have sold the expensive perfume for 300 day's worth of wages (a denarius was a laborer's daily wage) and given to the poor, John 12:5.
- Unless we think Judas was expressing a genuine care for the poor, the author reports that Judas had ulterior motives: (a) Judas was apparently the treasurer of the group who carried around the small chest or money-box that held the don ations to Jesus' ministry, Jn. 12:6; Ryr. St. Bib., KJV, ftn. (b) his concern over Mary's having spent her money on the perfume and not having given it to him to use for the money-box rose from the fact that Judas later was found to have pilfere d from the box for his own private resources, John 12:6b. His only concern was that he had missed a huge opportunity for a big profit by Mary's choice to use her money on the ointment and not for a donation to him!
- Accordingly, Judas did not value Jesus, or worship of Him as did Mary, but had a totally earthly view and value system though having rubbed shoulders with Jesus throughout His earthly ministry!
- Jesus graciously defended Mary's worship without exposing Judas' evil motives: He revealed Mary's deed was worthwhile in view of His soon departure through the cross, and in view of the fact that there would always be the poor to whom they could give alms, John 12:7-8.
Application: (1) This CONTRASTING response to Jesus' ministry argues for the reality of His RIGHTEOUSNESS, cf. Jn. 15:18-19. (2) Similarly, we who are sent into the world by the Father should expect such a CONTRAST of responses OURSELVES IF we are UPRIGHT, cf. Lk. 6:26.