Friday, April 17, 2015

O—Overt Expressions of Faith

Journey through the Gospel of John with rookie bloggers who are trying to honor their good friend, Tina.

Today we Journey into the twelfth chapter of John. Here  the popularity of Jesus soars in the aftermath of the raising of Lazarus. Jesus is now a celebrated hero in Bethany. As He makes His way to Jerusalem for Passover, He is treated to enormous acclaim from those who have witnessed His power in the life of Lazarus.

Overflowing Devotion

Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.  
Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor.  Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. —John 12:1-3

Mary channels all the relief, joy and amazement of having her brother restored to her into lavish devotion to Jesus. Humbly and lovingly, she gives all that she has and is to serving her Lord. Though she is criticized for her outrageous act, Jesus defends her choice. He alludes to His own death as He affirms her gift as being His burial anointing.  Hers is an act of worship. And the scented oil that she has poured upon her Master's feet lingers in her hair.  Everywhere she goes, the pleasing aroma of worship hovers around her.

Ongoing Profession

The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting:
        "Blessed is he who comes 
         in the name of the Lord!" 
       "Blessed is the King of Israel!"  
Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written: 
        "Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion;
        see, your king is coming, 
        seated on a donkey's colt." 
At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him. Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. —John 12:12-17

Jesus comes with the humility that is foretold by the Prophets. As we consider how celebrities of our day have their heads turned by all the attention they receive, we see a sharp contrast with how Jesus was fixed on God's purposes.  

Before long, Jesus and all who supported Him would be in the cross-hairs of the Pharisees' wrath. For now, let us linger over these images and remember that Jesus gladly received the King's worship from Mary and the King's welcome from the crowds. Jesus understood that His Father's purposes must be fulfilled.

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