Bible Lesson: John 12:1-11
Theme Verses: Vs 2-3b. Here they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair.
A growing tendency to receive rather than to give among human is becoming a common practice and thus giving is becoming a rare virtue. In Jesus’ times in most of the incidence people expected something from Him. But here is a family at Bethany who honoured Jesus and His disciples with true hospitality. They served them with delicious food and wiped Jesus’ feet with an expensive perfume. On the other hand Judas Iscariot showed his displeasure over the use of an expensive perfume for Jesus. He showed his concern for the poor which John clarifies in Vs. 6 He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief.
A wife invited some people for dinner. At the table she turned to their six year old daughter and said, ‘would you like to say the blessing?’ ‘I don’t know what to say,’ the girl replied. ‘Just say what you hear your mom says,’ the wife answered. The daughter bowed her head and said, ‘Lord why on earth did I invite all these people for dinner.’ As Christians we are not called to be hypocrites. The above passage shows a joyful welcome of Jesus by Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Because of their loving attitude Bethany became a prominent station for Jesus during His visit. Jesus gave clear teachings about hospitality and how to welcome the guests (Luke 7: 45-46; 9:5). Christians should have a welcoming attitude towards God and His people. When Zacchaeus welcomed Jesus in his home, his life was transformed and was blessed with the gift of salvation. Similarly, when we welcome Jesus in our midst then He makes a permanent dwelling in our homes where we all live in relationship, honouring each other and hospitality becomes a virtue.
Giving the best to Jesus should be the priority of every Christian home. Mary offered the most valuable and expensive perfume to anoint Jesus’ feet. It is said that Spikenard was a fragrant herb obtained from the roots of a plant grown in the Himalayas. From Himalayas it came to Palestine and that must have added more value to the product. Jesus is our King and He deserves the very best of ours. In Rev. 4: 10-11 John saw a vision where the twenty-four elders fell before him and lay their crowns to Him because He is worthy of everything. A giving heart is acceptable in the sight of God and while giving anything to Jesus we should not think about what the world will say because God loves a cheerful giver as mentioned in 2 Corinth 9:7. We need to recognize that all we have is from God and we are called to be faithful stewards. Henry Drummond says: the most obvious lesson in Christ’s teaching is that there is no happiness in having or getting anything, but only in giving. When Christ visits our home what best we may give to Him?
When the family welcomed Jesus in their house, it was an act of worship. The word Bethany also means a ‘house of worship.’ Here we find Jesus is being revered and acknowledged by every member of the house. Martha prepares delicious food, Mary wipes Jesus’ feet and Lazarus gives company to Him. Worship is not just limited to rituals but it’s an overall attitude towards God. In John 4:23 Jesus mentions that true worshippers should worship God in true spirit but on the other hand He also cautions us in Mark 7:6-8 from empty worshippers. But Mary in her true devotion to Christ poured perfume to anoint His feet and wiped them with her hair and by doing so she laid her glory at His feet. In true worship we pour our hearts to Jesus. Paul appeals us in Romans 12:1 to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Let us rededicate ourselves along with our family members in the true service of our Lord Jesus Christ. John C. Broger says, In addition to teaching your children, you must set aside specific, planned times to worship the Lord and learn His Word together.
Happy the home where Jesus’ name
is sweet to every ear;
where children early speak his fame,
and parents hold him dear. Henry Ware