Bible Reading Day 152

by markburlinson

Day 152 – John 12:1-19

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Good morning!
As we move into John chapter 12, the conclusion of Jesus’ life and ministry draws near. It is one week before Passover – six days before the celebration began – and Jesus returns to Bethany to the home of His friends Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. There is a dinner served in honor of Jesus (with many guests) and the family each take a specific role in the evening. Martha serves (a beautiful gift in itself, and well-suited to her personality and gifting!). Lazarus eats with Jesus – hosting and honoring the Son of God in recognition of the miracle He had performed in raising Lazarus from the dead. And Mary worships. Sacrificially. She takes a jar of expensive perfume (her dowry or retirement fund) and anoints Jesus’ feet with it. Each member of this little family plays a significant part in a very special and poignant evening. 
Do you ever compare what you do for God with what others do? I would suggest to you that to do so is a mistake. There is room in God’s plan for each of us to take a unique role. Serving is not more spiritual than hosting, worship is costly, but not more valuable than friendship. Jesus rebukes Judas for complaining about the perfume – his greed shows through and devalues Mary’s worshipful sacrifice, but in Jesus’ eyes it is precious.
John gives us another unique glimpse into the evil in the religious mindset with the observation that the priests decided to kill Lazarus as well as Jesus, because his resurrection had caused many to desert them and follow Jesus. They are determined to retain their power and reputation, and thus anyone who causes them to lose either becomes their enemy. 
Now the news about Jesus “goes viral” as we say today; everyone who is in Jerusalem for the Passover comes out to meet Him and declare Him King of Israel. It was the first century equivalent of Highway 501 on a Saturday – huge numbers of people in one place! The triumphal entry fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah that the Messiah would enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey.
So many people rushed to meet Him, that the Pharisees were completely disheartened – “There’s nothing we can do. Look, everyone has gone after him!”
What is it about Jesus that draws you away from religion and into relationship? How does He attract you to cease striving to become righteous, and turn to celebrating His authority, power, and rule?
Have a great day!

PS. Thank you to each of you who have written encouraging notes and insights to me about these emails. You have encouraged me as I write this email and blog, you have shared your own testimonies, and I am honored to serve you in this way.
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