TEXT: John 12:1-8
1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him,
5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, 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 bag, and bare what was put therein.
7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 175.
Matthew Henry said, “In Judas a foul sin is gilded over with a plausible pretence. We must not think that those do not do acceptable service, who do it not in our way.”
This story of Mary anointing Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume and Judas’ objection to this display of devotion is one of the few that is recorded in all four Gospels. As such, Matthew, Mark, and Luke share several details that provide us a fuller view of this passage.
The first thing we notice is that the house this feast is being held in belongs to a Pharisee named Simon. Luke 7:26 reads, “One of the Pharisees desired Jesus that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.” This Pharisee is referred to as Simon the Leper, and it is likely that he is one of the many people who were healed by Jesus throughout His ministry. He obviously was not in 100% agreement with his peers on who Jesus was. Like Nicodemus, he was probably a secret believer who kept his true feelings about Jesus to himself.
The second detail that we are given is a little background information on Mary. There were at least three women named Mary involved in the life of Jesus and in the early church. This particular Mary, the sister of Martha, was known as “a sinner.” Some scholars say she was a prostitute; others say she was the Mary out of whom Jesus had cast seven devils. Some believe that these two conditions describe the same Mary. Some believe this was another Mary altogether. Whatever the case, her sin was apparently very great and very public as many people seemed to know about it. This reminds us that no one is too sinful or too far gone to approach Jesus Christ. In fact, in Luke 7, just prior to this dinner, Jesus describes Himself as “a friend of publicans and sinners.”
The third detail that we are given is that Judas was not the only one to express disagreement with Mary’s actions. He was the ringleader and was the first and the most vocal. Mark adds, “There were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?… And they murmured against her.” Matthew specifically points out the disciples as having “indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?”
This scene is a contrast between the sinner and the self-righteous. Mary, who has known great sin has also known the great forgiveness of the Savior. Whereas those who were supposed to be righteous (such as the Pharisee Simon, Judas, and the other disciples) apparently did not understand the level of gratitude that Mary felt for the grace and mercy of God because they had not experienced it as deeply as she had. As John Newton, the writer of “Amazing Grace” put it, “I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.”
In his lengthy rebuke of Simon, which is recorded in Luke, Jesus told a story about a lender who had forgiven two debtors of their debts. One owed a very large amount and the other owed a very small amount. Jesus asked Simon, “Tell me therefore, which of them will love the lender the most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.” Then the Bible records that Jesus turned to Mary and said, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven…” Jesus can and will forgive any number of sins no matter how big and bad we think they are.
The fourth thing that we learn from this event is that this rebuke by Jesus was apparently the breaking point for Judas. Both Matthew and Mark record that immediately after this dinner, Judas went to the chief priests and agreed to have Jesus turned over to them. Mark 14:10 reads, “And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them.” Matthew writes, “[He] said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.”
Unlike others of God’s servants in the Bible, Judas did not accept the rebuke that Jesus gave him. He did not repent and receive the forgiveness that Mary had received. He continued on the path of sin darkness, ultimately betraying and rejecting Jesus Christ forever.
Jesus wants to forgive you of your sins. He does not want you to perish in Hell like Judas perished, but to experience the transforming power of new life in Him as Mary did.
If you want to receive Him today, please understand that John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.