“There’s Always a Devil in the Corner at Your Party” — Jesus, His Friends, and Lessons at the Dinner Table, Part 3 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 174)
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 174.
David Brainerd said, “We should always look upon ourselves as God’s servants, placed in God’s world, to do his work; and accordingly labour faithfully for him; not with a design to grow rich and great, but to glorify God, and do all the good we possibly can.”
As Mary is washing Jesus’ feet and drying them with her hair, Judas Iscariot expresses his wicked heart that this use of expensive ointment is a waste. He tries to couch his disapproval in spiritual terms by stating that the perfume Mary is using on Jesus’ feet could have been sold and the money could have been given to the poor. But, John informs us that he only says this because he managed the money for Jesus and the disciples and he frequently stole some of the money and kept it for himself.
Please notice with me what Dr. Warren Wiersbe says about this pivotal passage in the Word of God, “It was Judas who started the criticism of Mary, and, sad to say, the other disciples took it up. They did not know that Judas was a devil, and they admired him for his concern for the poor. After all, he was the treasurer; and especially at Passover season, he would want to share with those who were less fortunate. This passage records Judas’ first words found anywhere in the four Gospels. His last words are found in Matthew 27:4, ‘Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.’ No doubt Judas had already decided to abandon Jesus, and he wanted to get what he could out of what he considered a bad situation. Perhaps he had hoped that Jesus would defeat Rome and set up the kingdom; in which case, Judas would have been treasurer of the kingdom! What Mary did was a blessing to Jesus and a blessing to her own life. She was also a blessing to the home, filling it with fragrance; and today, she is a blessing to the church around the world. Her one act of devotion in the little village of Bethany still sends ‘ripples of blessing.’ But not so Judas! We call our daughters ‘Mary,’ but no parent would name his son ‘Judas.’ His very name is listed in the dictionary as a synonym for treachery. Mary and Judas are seen in contrast in Proverbs 10:7, ‘The memory of the just is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot.'”
Jesus rebuked Judas, telling him to leave Mary alone, “against the day of my burying hath she kept this.” It was wrong for Judas to try and put a price on Mary’s love and devotion to the Lord. He thought no one knew the kind of person he really was, but his words in this passage reveal the evil in his heart.
Too many Christians, like Judas, are eager to criticize the ministry or service of another believer when all the while they are not engaged in any ministry or service themselves. In fact, they are trying to tear down the ministry that others are building up.
Jesus’ rebuke of Judas tells us that we ought not to judge how others serve Him. Mary was worshiping Jesus in the greatest way that she knew how (just as Martha was equally worshipping Jesus through her service in the kitchen). No other person in that room or outside of that room would have thought of doing what Mary did. We must remember that God does not look on the outward appearance; He looks on the heart. When a widow brought just two pennies — all she had — to the Temple offering Jesus declared that she had given more than all the wealthy religious leaders who gave out of their abundance. In the church, more of us ought to take Paul’s advice and not “judge another man’s servant”.
But Jesus is not finished rebuking Judas. He continues: ‘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 email@example.com 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.