John 12:4 Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, who would betray Him, said, 5 "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. 7 But Jesus said, "Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. 8 "For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always." 9 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also.
In This message we will see Mary and Jesus rebuked by Judas and the disciples for her anointing the feet of Jesus for His burial. Judas speaks for the first time in the Scriptures and shows his true nature. He pretends to care for the poor, but God through the pen of John tells us this he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. Here we see Jesus tells them you need to get your priorities in order because I always come first in everything. Mark 12:30 'And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. Have you given Jesus first place in your life today? If not, why not?
John 12:1 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. 2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. 3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
We are looking at a passage today that is very familiar to us, but as always we need to make sure we don’t think that we know it all, none of us do. Jesus is down to the last week of His life and He is having supper with Lazarus and the sisters Mary and Martha. Martha is serving as usual and Lazarus is being honored by being at the table after having been raised from the dead. The keystone of this passage is Mary takes a very costly perfume, breaks the bottle and pours it all out on Jesus and wipes His feet with her hair. First of all, she gave her best and greatest gift when she poured out her costly perfume, probably worth $20,000 - $25,000 at our rate of exchange today. Also, this was her whole wealth and all her savings she had in this world. Then, she also used her hair which speaks of a woman’s glory. She humbled herself and anointed Jesus for His burial with her perfume and her hair. How about you, are you giving Jesus your best and your all?
John 11:45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him. 46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, "What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 "If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation." 49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all, 50 "nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish." 51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad. 53 Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death. 54 Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples. 55 And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. 56 Then they sought Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, "What do you think--that He will not come to the feast?" 57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him. (NKJV)
In this section of Scripture we see the result of the Pharisee’s hatred for Jesus. He has raised Lazarus from the dead and instead of them being happy for Lazarus and excited about what Jesus had done, they decide that this is the last straw and they want to kill him for all His miracles. It is amazing how people will react when their authority, prestige and power are threatened. These Pharisees cannot let Jesus take these away from them. They have to be the great and mighty Pharisees. We see some believe, but they are like those in Chapter 6 who after being fed with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread go looking for Jesus again the next day and Jesus says to them you are not looking for me for the right reason, you just want more food. They like Jesus as long as He heals them, or feeds them, or satisfies some need they have, just like most of us today. We like that Jesus, but we don’t like the Jesus of the Bible, Him you can keep. We like His miracles; we just don’t like His message. Just like they decide to kill Him, many today want to wipe out all remnants of Jesus in our society. They don’t want to hear that name or even the name of God which is who Jesus is.
John 11:36 Then the Jews said, "See how He loved him!" 37 And some of them said, "Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?" 38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days." 40 Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?" 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 "And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me." 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!" 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go."
Today we will see Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead. Even though he has been dead four days, it is not too late. Did you know that it is never too late for Jesus to do His work, when we give up and give in we have missed God’s best, because He wants us to trust Him in Faith. Jesus tells them they will see God’s Glory, that was the message all along, but they missed it and many times so do we. We are looking for a way out and God wants to show us His Glory. Jesus allows them to participate by removing the stone and removing Lazarus’s grave clothes. God wants us to serve Him and gives us the privilege of helping Him if we will only be obedient. Jesus prays and calls forth Lazarus to come forth. Lazarus is a picture of us who are dead in our trespasses and sins and unless God calls us out of that life, we will continue to be spiritually dead forever. Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. That is what Jesus did for Lazarus and is what He will do for us if we will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. Have you done that? If not, why not do it today?