Jesus, His Friends, and Lessons at the Dinner Table, Part 1 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 172)


TEXT: John 12:1-3

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.


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 172.

William B. Eerdman said, “The life of Mary is painted for us in three memorable pictures, in each of which she is at the feet of Jesus. First, she sat at His feet and learned. Then, she fell at His feet and surrendered. Finally, she anointed His feet and worshipped.”

As we begin a new chapter in the Gospel of John, we find that Jesus is once again in Bethany with His friends, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus (whom the text reminds us has just been raised from the dead a few days earlier). Among all of the people who have ever lived, Lazarus certainly would have had an interesting perspective on life considering that he, in a sense, got to live it twice.

The text reads that “they made Him, Jesus, a supper,” likely in celebration of Lazarus’ return from the grave — certainly a cause for great rejoicing for Mary, Martha, and their family members. Martha was in charge of serving the feast, as we know, from other passages of Scripture, that this is something she would have taken great care over. Lazarus was seated at the table, likely in the place of honor beside Jesus, along with several others.

The text informs us that this dinner party takes place just six days before the Passover began — the time when Jesus would go up to Jerusalem to be sacrificed. We see that Jesus was not worried, fretful, or concerned. He gladly took some time out to celebrate with His friends and disciples.

The next thing we see is the actions of Mary. Again, Mary appears to be more concerned with the spiritual side of things when compared to her sister. The Bible says, “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.” Notice three things about this act.

1. Mary’s anointing of Jesus’ feet was an act of extreme humility. Normally, only the lowliest of servants would be tasked with washing the feet of someone who had come to visit. But, Mary willingly washed Jesus’ feet. She was not asked to do it, nor was she expected to do it. This service came out of a heart of love for the Lord.

2. Mary’s anointing of Jesus’ feet was an act of extreme costliness. Normally, a traveler’s feet was washed just with water, but Mary brought out her expensive ointment or perfume — a whole pound of it. We will see later that one of the disciples estimated it to be worth 300 denarii, which is an entire year’s wages for a common man living in that time. Mary spared no expense when it came to Jesus.

3. Mary’s anointing of Jesus’ feet was an act of extreme selflessness. No self-respecting person of that time would think of stooping to wash someone else’s feet in public. But Mary did not hesitate to do so. On top of that, she let down her hair to dry Jesus’ feet with it. Jewish women never let down or uncovered their hair before others, as this was considered a sign of being loose. But Mary, as Jesus Himself had done many times, dispensed with manmade traditions in order to render a good pure and clean spiritual service to the Lord.

As the fragrance from Mary’s ointment filled the room, you can imagine the surprise of others at the dinner party. It is likely that no one else there would render unto Jesus such a humble, costly, and selfless act of service and worship. The question that we must consider is not what the other people in the room did, but what you and I are willing to do now.

Are we willing to spend time at the feet of Jesus as Mary did — learning from Him, surrendering to Him, and finally worshipping Him in a humble and selfless manner? Will you become a devoted disciple of Christ as Mary did?

If your answer is yes, you can begin your journey down that path by receiving Christ as your Savior today. Here is how:

First, please understand that you are a sinner and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 reads, “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 phrase “For God so loved the world” means that if you are in this world, God loves you no matter what you have done.

The next phrase, “that He gave His only begotten Son” refers to Jesus Christ. He is God’s son who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for your sins and for mine, and He was buried and rose again.

Our next phrase is “that whosoever believeth in Him”. The word “whosoever” means anybody at anytime. The phrase “believeth in Him” means to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, or to have faith in Him for your salvation.

Our next phrase, “should not perish”, refers to eternal punishment in a place called hell.

And, lastly, the phrase “but have everlasting life” means to live eternally in Heaven with God.

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.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. 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. 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 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 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.


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