I’m Diving In!
This was one of my favorite songs growing up! It called “Dive” by Steven Curtis Chapman. Listening to the song and reading the lyrics goes together of what I want to share with you from today’s sermon.
“I’m diving in, I’m going deep, in over my head I want to be
Caught in the rush, lost in the flow, in over my head I want to go
The river’s deep, the river’s wide, the river’s water is alive
So sink or swim, I’m diving in
There is a supernatural power
In this mighty river’s flow
It can bring the dead to life
And it can fill an empty soul
And give a heart the only thing
Worth living and worth dying for, yeah
But we will never know the awesome power
Of the grace of God
Until we let ourselves get swept away
Into this holy flood
So if you take my hand
We’ll close our eyes and count to three
And take the leap of faith
Come on let’s go”
The anointing of oil, Mary and Jesus
This sermon from today honestly made me think and cry…
We started off in John 11 where we were given the background for what was to occur in chapter 12.
All of Judea is under control of the Romans. If you pay your taxes, follow the rules, you can have freedom of religion. However, if there is any fighting, the Roman government is there to end the fight.
Lazarus dies, Jesus raises him from the dead, and of course the Pharisees are upset by this because Jesus is getting a larger following. In the mindset of the Pharisees, if the people follow Jesus who will follow them? Caiaphas, the high priest, is corrupt and full of wickedness.
Passover is coming and there will be an influx of 2 million people coming into Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. Caiaphas and the Pharisees don’t want to have any fighting occurring between their followers and Jesus’s followers as they don’t want any issues with the Roman government. Caiaphas and the Pharisees see the following that Jesus has and see that he is healing the sick and raised Lazarus from the dead-they thought it would be best to kill Jesus, one person, instead of many. Why couldn’t they accept that Jesus was the Messiah?
So Jesus knows he will be dying soon; that he would be the lamb sacrificed for all our sins. He is still a man and wants to see his family in friends.
Martha was doing her thing, she was serving and not complaining this time. She prepared a meal for Jesus, Lazarus, and the disciples. The gift of service is wonderful to the body of Christ.
Lazarus was sitting next to Jesus, being the witness. Can’t you picture that-Lazarus who was raised from the dead sitting next to Jesus and talking with all their friends. People were probably poking Lazarus asking “Hey, what was heaven like?” “What happened?” “How are you feeling-you were dead and now your alive!” He is then guiding people over and say hey you gotta talk to Jesus.
And then Mary, Martha’s sister, was a worshiper. She always worshiped Jesus at his feet and sat at his feet to listen.
Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.;
The perfume is worth the salary of one year. People have thought that she had this money from her dowry (contract/arrangement for her to be married-remember this is a long time ago.) Jewish girls were usually married by the time they were 16 years old-so Mary and Martha both are probably between 15-17 years old, 20 years old is pushing it. Or this oil was reserved for her own burial or for a loved one.
The washing of feet was usually done by servants. She wiped his feet with her hair. In Jewish culture, women had their hair up at all times, the hair was only brought down for their husbands. She pours out all the oil for Jesus-she pours it on his head and his feet. She’s diving in and fully committed. She uses all the oil and doesn’t reserve any, she gave it all to him. She breaks the jar, ensuring that every last drop is used on Jesus.
Thinking about this reminds me and my kids. Do I want my girls to see our life as a Martha-We gotta go over here? We gotta get over there? And time to do this. Like a big to do list. What about time to sit down and enjoy the time in Christ-the Bible, prayer, worship–yes outside of church. I grew up hearing this story, but never fully got the point of it until this morning in church. Hearing the sniffles and seeing the tears of not only the minister, but myself and congregation. I want my girls to have a relationship with Christ like what Mary had. She probably gave up a husband for Jesus or she gave up the expensive oil that could’ve been for herself or loved one for Jesus. This act demonstrates love, humility, service, and discipleship.
But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.”Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself. Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial.You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.
It also foreshadows Jesus’ death being prepared for burial.2