Sermon on March 15 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: Mark 14:1-10
In the midst of darkness, betrayal and the cross ahead for Jesus– here is a woman who spares nothing for Him.
If loving Jesus is never a waste:
1. DO YOU LOVE HIM LAVISHLY, OR GLIBLY? (v1-3)
- When she gives, it is what is most costly
Mary ‘smuggles’ in her most treasured possession, the alabaster jar. Unlike the disciples she shows more concern for giving to Jesus, than getting from him.
‘.. our longest reach is only a span of love, and our affection is like a drop in a bucket, compared with what He deserves’
- In her giving is all her security
Mary’s generosity is premeditated: her security is in Jesus, not in the perfume or her ‘nest-egg’.
Can people see by what you do and the choices you make, that Jesus is more than life to you?
2. DO YOU LOVE HIM GLADLY, OR GRUDGINGLY? (v4-5)
- Risk all for Jesus – and you will wind others up
Those who should have cheered Mary on are the first to call her wasteful.
“..If he gives himself up to the service of money, pleasure or politics they find no fault. But if the same man devotes himself and all that he has to Christ, they can scarcely find words to express their sense of his folly. ‘ He is beside himself , out of his mind, a fanatic’.”
- Risk all for Jesus – and you will waste only what you keep
Jesus sees waste as holding back, not pouring out our affection on Him.
‘If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him’
(CT Studd, who gave up fame to go to China)
3. WILL YOU LOVE HIM PRESENTLY, AND FOR ETERNITY? (v6-9)
- Be an investor in what is forever
Jesus is not commending neglect of the poor, He is encouraging seizing the opportunity to show love to Him.
When no one else will think of anointing Jesus, Mary does a beautiful thing for a beautiful Saviour who dies, so we may have a beautiful salvation.
- Be a promoter of the gospel for the future
Today we remember not a President, or the greatest heroic deed in history, but a simple woman who did what she could.
Mary’s story is part of the gospel in that we can say of her, ‘here’s what happens when you are touched by the love of Jesus’
Is it crazy to risk all for Jesus? Not as ‘crazy’ as it was for Jesus to go to the cross to suffer and die, when He could have retracted at any moment.’ To what extent is there anything in your life that testifies to an extravagant self forgetfulness, as it relates to all you want to be, all you want to do and all you want to be known by?
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
1. What was the costliest offering you have ever made to Jesus?
2. Mary did not care about social taboos or personal embarrassment when she worshipped Jesus. How can we apply this in our context and culture?
3. How was her willingness to make a radical, extravagant sacrifice threatening to her critics?
4. In Luke 14: 27 – 28 Jesus says a person should calculate the cost of becoming a disciple. Here we learn that true love never calculates the cost. How do these two lessons fit together?
Photo credit FreeImages.com/Reese Wilson