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Friday, April 27, 2018

2018.04.27 Hopewell @Home ▫ Mark 14:1-11

Questions for Littles: What day was in two days (v1)? What feast was beginning? How did the chief priests and scribes seek to take Jesus? What did they want to do to Him? But when did they say not to do it (v2)? Why not then? In what city was Jesus in v3? In whose house? What had Simon been? What does that imply Jesus had done for him? With what did a woman come to him in v3? What was in the flask? What did she do with it? How did some of them respond in themselves (v4)? What did they say? For how much could the spikenard have been sold (v5)? What did they do to the woman? What does Jesus tell them to do to her (v6)? What does He ask them? What does He say about her? Whom does Jesus say they should have been more concerned about serving (v7)? For what did Jesus say she had anointed His body (v8)? What does Jesus say will happen wherever the gospel is preached (v9)? To whom does Jesus go then (v10)? To do what? How did they feel, when he came to them (v11)? What did they promise to give him? So, what did Judas seek?
In the Gospel reading this week, we see coming out of people’s hearts what is truly precious to them. There are the chief priests and scribes, whose position and praise are precious to them.

They would be glad to outright murder Jesus, but want to do it in a way that doesn’t cause a ruckus. Not only might a riot get them in trouble with Rome, but we can tell from the fact that they are trying to use trickery that they are trying to get this done without having the people turn on them.

Dear reader, how much do we love the opinions of others and positions of respect? God grant that we would treasure Jesus more!

Then there are the “some” of v4. It’s not just Judas. There were several who just didn’t adore Jesus enough to consider the expensive perfume well-spent on Him. At the very least, they could have used it to get “credit” for helping the poor.  Of course, Judas is the poster boy for caring too much about money and not enough about Jesus.

But let us not think that we could never end up like Judas. A conviction about the usefulness of money can too easily turn into too strong a desire for it. We cannot love both God and money!

Instead, let us learn from Simon to be continually mindful of how Jesus has saved us, and from the woman to give our very best to engaging the Lord Himself, not just serving Him in engaging others.

But let us most of all learn from Jesus. Whenever we have opportunity to come to His feet and adore Him, let’s take it. Other duties we will always have with us.

Did the woman know she was anointing Him for His burial? Probably not. And you and I don’t know what He will do in response to our prayers, or in our own hearts and minds as we worship Him. What we do know is that He has taught us here to place adoring Him at the top of our priority lists!
When do we have opportunity to engage Jesus Himself? What are some (possibly good) things that we allow to get in the way of those opportunities.
Suggested songs: ARP73C “Yet Constantly, I Am with You” or HB303 “Be Thou My Vision”

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