Reading through the Bible together

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

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Just six days before the Passover, Jesus is back at Lazarus’ house, having a dinner in His honor.  Many Jews were in Bethany when Lazarus was dead.  The cultural practice was to hire mourners when someone died, and with Jerusalem so close, friends and many hired mourners came to see Lazarus alive again.

Contrast that with what happens next.  Mary takes a bottle of perfume worth a year’s wage, pours it on the feet of Jesus, then proceeds to wipe His feet with her hair.  And NO ONE paid her to do it!  Mary shows love like no other.  A year’s wage of perfume on Jesus’ feet!  Genuine worship!  Judas Iscariot criticizes the act because he wanted some of the money for himself.  Inauthentic worship and selfishness!

A large crowd of Jews heard Jesus was there and they also wanted to see Lazarus.  Ironically, the chief priests wanted to kill Lazarus and Jesus because he was a living testimony that Jesus was the Messiah who, so they thought, threatened their national security under Roman law.

For a time, many Jews jumped on the wagon of belief in Jesus.  They even welcomed Him into Jerusalem with palm branches and “Hosanna’s” as Jesus rode the young donkey into the city.  They welcomed Jesus as the Messiah, His blessings and healings gave proof of this, and the waiving of palm branches was like waiving the national flag in sight of the Roman oppressors.  There was belief and unbelief among the Jews and their leaders, but some who believed were afraid of being truthful about their faith in Jesus (John 12:42-43).  Had they only known what would come the following Sunday, Resurrection Morning!

What about you?  Are you an authentic believer, or an inauthentic one?  Are you a true worshiper, or a false worshiper?  Are you a true believer or a fearful believer?  Let’s be spiritually honest in our belief and worship the Father in the name of Jesus!  A “time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father . . . for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (John 4:23)

Christopher Bullock, M.Div.
Pastor in Atlanta, Georgia.
North American Division