LISTEN: “There’s Always a Devil in the Corner at Your Party” — Jesus, His Friends, and Lessons at the Dinner Table, Part 2 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 173)
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 173.
Harry Ironside said, “No one ever lost out by excessive devotion to Christ.”
When any good work of God or for God is carried out, there will always be a devilish person to oppose God’s work and purposes — individuals who will stop at nothing to try and stop God’s work. Sometimes, these devilish individuals will be among those who are considered part of the team, and that is what we see in our passage today.
As Lazarus, Jesus, the disciples, and others are feasting together, Mary begins to anoint and wash Jesus’ feet with expensive ointment and to dry His feet with her hair. Perhaps, this is an act of worship and gratitude in response to Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.
Obviously, such a display would have been unusual and unexpected. People at the dinner would have been surprised, but too stunned to say anything aloud. However, one of Jesus’ disciples has something to say. Judas says, “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” John informs us, “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.”
Judas was the treasurer among the disciples. He handled the finances of Jesus’ ministry. The disciples probably did not know he was taking some of the money for himself at the time, but Jesus, knowing all things, allowed him to stay in that position to the end. Judas, apparently, had a greed problem. He was keen on where the money went, how it was being spent, and did not like to see money going anywhere except for in his bag. He pretended to be concerned about the financial needs of Jesus’ ministry and their ministry to the poor, but he was mostly concerned about how much cash he had access to.
Just as Judas masked his greed behind concern for the poor, people today mask their evil heart behind that which they know people approve of.
Jesus responds by saying, “Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.” Whether Mary knew that Jesus was going to die within the next week or not we do not know. But, she spared nothing in order to show her love and devotion to the Savior. Judas, who did not love Jesus or believe in Him, had a problem with this. He was not devoted to Jesus Christ and could not understand the place where Mary was coming from. Mary’s attitude was, ‘I may not get another chance to show Jesus how much I love him, so I’m going to show Him now.’
Jesus rebuked Judas: ‘For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.’ Essentially, He was saying, ‘Judas, when I’m gone, let’s see how much money you’re willing to give to the poor then.’ It is easy for people to talk a big spiritual game when the Savior is in the house or when there are a bunch of church people around. But, when you go out into the world, where you think no one is watching you, are you still big on giving to the poor? Are you still big on evangelizing? Are you still big on living right?
All of those ‘religious duty’ issues will be taken care of if we have a heart full of love and devotion for Jesus like Mary did. Will you become a devoted disciple of Christ as Mary did?
If your answer is yes, you can begin your journey by receiving Christ as your Savior today. Here is how:
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “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.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “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 today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to 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.