As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!
If you know me and have come to ask if I have any time to meet with you, my statement to you is this: I minister to people, not schedules. So for me, I am available to what God called me here to do, and that is to be your pastor. Schedules can be changed unless it is a date with my bride, or one of with my children. I must remember not to cut them out of the value that I place on people.
Introduction—Value has a different meaning to each and every one of us. We all value different things in this life. For some possessions are what is valued. For others time is what valued. Some may place a high value on good health. Others and hopefully many of you place value in relationships. People are what count.
Mary, in our text today has placed a great deal of value on worship. She made sure it was a priority. She had prepared for this day in advance.
Read: John 12:1-10
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the moneybag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” 9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.
- Value: Preparation for Worship
- Worship doesn’t usually just happen. There are things that need to take place in order to worship.
- We can learn from the Scriptures that Mary was preparing to do something with this perfume that had obviously been saved for a special occasion.
- Her preparation started with a dinner invitation for Jesus as the guest of honor. If we were to invite Jesus to a birthday party, I believe He would still be the guest of honor since He is the Messiah.
- This dinner could have been a life celebration for Lazarus’s being raised from the dead. A meal of gratitude if you will.
- So, Mary knew Jesus was coming. She wanted to worship Him like never before. She knows that He is the giver of life and now the victor over death. This worship was going to be valuable.
- The value of the perfume is said to be a year’s worth of wages. In 2012, the average American full time worker made $44,000. Could you imagine an act of worship at the feet of Jesus being worth $44,000?
- If you were to give such a valuable act of worship how long would it take you to save up $44,000 to give as an act of worship?
- The value of this worship is not really the premise of this text. It is the preparation to worship that makes Mary’s offering so valuable.
- Spices and perfumes were imported back then. There was no UPS or Postal Service, so the cost of bringing the product to Israel was quite expensive.
Application—How have you been doing as you prepare to worship the King?
- Value: Priority of Worship
- You know when you worship Jesus in the presence of others you have come along way in your value of who Christ is in your life.
- So many times, Jesus isn’t even a part of everyday conversation.
- Mary made her worship a priority. She wasn’t really concerned with others thought.
- You could say, well yeah, she was in the presence of other followers so it wasn’t like she was worshipping Jesus in front of a group of strangers.
- Ok, how about you, you are here in church with other like-minded worshippers. Would you kneel at the feet of Jesus in the presence of all that are here today?
- Have you made Jesus a priority even today?
- Judas decided to open his mouth saying how wasteful Mary was being because he did not view what Mary was doing as worship.
- Jesus allows Mary to continue in her worship by letting Judas know that what she was doing was of great value.
- Jesus said you will always have the poor here among you. Which means you should be ministering them now, not just when someone gives a donation to the caus.
- There is always going to be ministry to do. It is a given. But sometimes even ministry itself can get in the way of worship. You can come to church as a worker and forget about the value of worship.
- Jesus reminds us all to make sure we do as Mary did and take time to sit at the feet of Jesus and worship Him.
Illustration—The Touch of the Master’s Hand
‘Twas battered and scarred, And the auctioneer thought it hardly worth his while To waste his time on the old violin, but he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bid, good people”, he cried, ”Who starts the bidding for me?” ”One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?” ”Two dollars, who makes it three?” ”Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,”
But, No, From the room far back a gray bearded man Came forward and picked up the bow, Then wiping the dust from the old violin And tightening up the strings, He played a melody, pure and sweet As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer With a voice that was quiet and low, Said “What now am I bid for this old violin?” As he held it aloft with its’ bow.
“One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?” ”Two thousand, Who makes it three?” ”Three thousand once, three thousand twice, Going and gone”, said he.
The audience cheered, But some of them cried, ”We just don’t understand.” ”What changed its’ worth?” Swift came the reply. ”The Touch of the Masters Hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune All battered with bourbon and gin Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine, A game and he travels on. He is going once, he is going twice, He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes, And the foolish crowd never can quite understand, The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought By the Touch of the Masters’ Hand.
Application—Have you prioritized your worship yet? If not, now is the time to do it.
Conclusion—Mary was quite the woman. She had her priorities in order. She knew the value of worship by the way she prepared to meet with her King.
Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,