Abrasive or Anointed Relationship? Pastor Phil Sessa

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John 12:1-7, “Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. 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 odor of the ointment. Then said one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? 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. Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying has she kept this. For the poor always you have with you; but me you have not always”

Jesus was getting closer toward the end when he would go to the cross. The relationships he made during his time would now begin to show their true colors, and some would be as precious oil, while others would be as abrasive sandpaper.

In this passage fiver names, which represent four relationships are mentioned which are Lazarus, Martha, Mary and Judas. How did each relationship form, and where is the relationship at this point leading up to His final days, as oil or sandpaper?

Fist, Lazarus we know was the man that Jesus loved and raised from the dead. Lazarus had been in a tomb. All his dreams, goals, aspirations, and relationship were dead with him. He was wrapped up like a Christmas present, but he didn’t look pretty. He was in this tomb four days which was significant because after three days all hope of resuscitation from a coma would be abandoned; and in the hot Palestinian climate, decay would have begun. Jesus said to a worrying Martha that was helpless with her abilities in this situation, “Your brother will rise again.” Misunderstanding Him, she thought on the Pharisaic belief in an ultimate resurrection for the just (Acts 23:7). However Jesus walked up to the tomb, called for the stone to be removed and cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” The words of Jesus cut through the icy grip of death like a white-hot blade through soft powdered snow. Death’s stinger is removed, and its grip relinquished as Lazarus walked out of tomb, alive again. Now here he is sitting with Jesus the one that gave him back his life, restored his dreams, and his relationships. He was closely following the one that saved his life. I believe that he is being like oil to Jesus by being with him. How closely are you following the Lord that called you from death unto life?

Secondly, Martha was serving doing what she is known for. In times past when Jesus had been to Martha’s home, she ran around doing for Jesus stuff, but never stopped to just spend time with Jesus. When Mary sat with Jesus he said that Mary had chosen the better. It seems at this time that not much had changed. She was still a busybody for Jesus, and even though I’m sure Jesus appreciated her efforts on one hand, He had wanted her to sit and be with Him. I believe she acted as a little oil to Christ, as she was still serving him, but she could have been more like soothing oil if she would slow down and just be with him. Are you so busy for Jesus that you never slow down just to be with Jesus? If the Devil can’t tempt us to sin, he can just keep us busy instead. Where is your level of busyness at verses your level of intimacy with Christ?

Application: Are you more like Lazarus being with Christ or more like Martha busy for Christ? Make the change today that needs to be made. Blessings Pastor Phil


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