John Day 22: Mary and Judas

Mary Anoints the Feet of Jesus by Frank Wesley

Gospel of John Reading Plan
Day 22 Reading:
John 12:1-19

Bringing the Word to Life
Find your most prized or expensive possession. Offer it up to Jesus for his use and glory. Be ready to make a real response.

Pastor Lisa’s Journal
Scripture
Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) – John 12:3-6 (NRSV)

Observation
Jesus makes a stop in Bethany to visit his friends on his way to Jerusalem for Passover (and his death). Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anoints Jesus with expensive perfume. Judas questions the action publically, but privately sees an opportunity to line his pockets lost. The next day a great crowd welcomes Jesus into Jerusalem in the same way they welcomed King Solomon centuries before.

Application
I was struck by the motivational differences between Mary and Judas. Mary is humble, genuine, sacrificial and intimate in expressing her love and thanks to Jesus. Judas is the polar opposite- scheming, hypocritical, and self-serving. Mary is whole-hearted while Judas is two-faced. Do Judas’ actions sour the moment for Jesus? Steal the joy of the blessing? It is so hard when those who claim to love Jesus show otherwise with their words or actions.

There is a time for risky love. There is a time for extravagant gestures. There is a time to pour out your affections on one you love. And when the time comes – seize it, don’t miss it. -Max Lucado

Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.- attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ 

If human love does not carry a man beyond himself, it is not love. If love is always discreet, always wise, always sensible and calculating, never carried beyond itself, it is not love at all. It may be affection, it may be warmth of feeling, but it has not the true nature of love in it. Have I ever been carried away to do something for God not because it was my duty, nor because it was useful, nor because there was anything in it at all beyond the fact that I love Him?-Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Extended quote from Jesus Manifesto by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola:
May God have a people on this earth who are of Christ, through Christ, and for Christ.

  • A people of the cross.
  • A people consumed with an unvarnished vision of God’s eternal passion: to make Christ preeminent, supreme, and the head over all things visible and invisible.
  • A people who have discovered the touch of the Almighty in the face of His glorious Son, Jesus.
  • A people who wish to know only Christ and Him crucified, and to let everything else fall by the wayside.
  • A people who are searching His immeasurable depths, exploring His unfathomable heights, discovering His unsearchable riches, encountering His abundant life, receiving His infinite love, and making Him known to others.

In a world that sings, “Oh, who is this Jesus?” and a church that sings, “Oh, let’s all be like Jesus,” may we be a people who will sing with lungs of leather, “Oh, how we love Jesus!”

Prayer
Blessed Jesus, we see the beauty of you alive in Mary. Her gift inspires us to love you sacrificially and extravagantly. Her actions motivate us to thank you deeply and publically. Her heart moves us to nurture an intimate and authentic relationship with you. Reveal any falsehood at work in us, that we may leave it behind, so more and more of your beauty is brought forth. Amen.

For a poem based on a similar passage, Mark 14:1-11, click here

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For more information on the Gospel of John Reading Plan, click here

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One thought on “John Day 22: Mary and Judas

  1. Pingback: Pour Forth | Turning the Word

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