Saturday, October 22, 2011
Saturday October 22, John 12.1-11
12Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 2There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5“Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” 6(He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) 7Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” 9When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, 11since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.
Thoughts: Oh boy, did you catch it? In verse 10 we see that Lazarus--who has just been brought back to life--is once again destined for the grave! Tradition holds that Lazarus was indeed killed shortly after his being brought back to life. Doesn't this seem unfair! What was the point of bringing him back if he was only going to die again? Many believe that John is reminding all of us that to put our lot with Jesus is to make enemies of many powerful people. In fact, while Jesus is the resurrection and the life, we still live in a world where folks often try to solve their problems through dealing death. I also have to laugh at the perfume and the smell of the perfume that most have overtaken the room where they were eating. Remember, just yesterday we read that Lazarus had the stench of death....here again we have the 'stench' of death, but this time it is the fragrance of perfume that is used to mask the smell of decay. Death is in the air in this section of John's gospel and I think we are reminded to remember Lazarus---there is always hope that death wont have the final word.
Questions: What do you think of the woman's exuberant act of worship and devotion? Have you every wanted to worship your Lord with such devotion?