What did I learn about Jesus?
- Jesus was not put off by extravagant expression of love toward him.
- What does it look like for me to express my love for God in an extravagant way?
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- Disciple-makers need to evaluate their motives in ministry so they are seeking God’s praise rather than the praise of men.
- When we lift up the name of Jesus people are drawn to him.
Extended thoughts and observations from Pastor Mark:
Good morning disciple-makers:
John 12 opens with one of the most amazing parties ever thrown! The guest of honor was Jesus…and the host was Lazarus, the guy who had been dead for four days until Jesus raised him to life. How surreal was that? Many of the very people who wrapped and buried Lazarus were now listening as he made jokes and greeted his guests!
We keep getting a clearer view of the person Judas really is. When Mary worships Jesus by pouring expensive perfume on his feet and wiping them with her hair, Judas feigns disgust on behalf of the poor because of the wastefulness of it. John makes it clear, however, Judas was a thief and this money devoted to the worship of Jesus meant less money that he could pilfer. Have you ever done anything extravagantly generous for the Lord that others might view as “foolish” or “exuberant” or “wasteful?”
The party ends with the chief priests plotting to kill Jesus AND Lazarus on whose account even more people were following Jesus. Poor Lazarus! He was just dead, came back to life…and now they want to make him dead again.
Couple other things I notice:
-Someone approached the Apostle Philip with this wonderful request from a group of visiting Greeks (Gentiles): “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” What did Philip do? He went to Andrew who in turn went to Jesus. The three times we meet Andrew, he is pointing people to Jesus. He brings his brother Peter to the Lord (ch 1.) He brings the little boy with the fish and loaves to Jesus in chapter 6. And here, he brings these foreigners to meet the Lord. Andrew didn’t end up being the famous preacher or leader that his brother was. He simply, quietly pointed people to Jesus. The fact is, people continue to be interested in Jesus; they just aren’t very interested in a lot of the “stuff” that goes along with the Christian faith. When was the last time you were Andrew to someone?
-Notice in 27, Jesus refuses to pray, “Father, save me.” Rather he prays, “Father, glorify your name.” How often do you pray to be delivered quickly from the very trial that God might want to use to bring glory to him? And are you willing to suffer for that sake?
-“When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself.” Jesus was talking about his crucifixion, but isn’t it a timeless declaration? When we lift up Jesus…in our life, in our church, in our family…when we lift him up, he will draw people to himself. Lift up Christ!
-One last haunting phrase, verse 43 describes those who WANTED to believe in Jesus…but would not confess him because they were afraid of what it would cost them: “…for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.” Have you ever avoided honoring Christ because you were afraid to lose the praise of men and women around you?