Pastor's Sunday School Blog
Sunday School Lesson
“The Savior Is Anointed for Burial”
September 3, 2017
Jesus consistently taught and exemplified sacrificial service, however, in this case, He allowed Mary to minister to Him, rather than utilize the value of the ointment as a ministry for the poor. He explain that what Mary did was symbolic of a much greater act of benevolence than just feeding the poor.
When determining the value of a ministry we must look beyond the immediate importance to the larger ministry context; how what I am doing will impact the future.
Also everything we do should seek to honor the Lord Jesus Christ. If it honors Him, it will result in real ministry.
If what you give to and for the Lord is not a sacrifice, is it a sacrifice worthy of the Lord? If something costs you nothing is it a sacrifice?
The debate over the justification of Mary’s sacrifice seems to have been the consensus among the disciples; however, it seems to have been instigated by Judas (John 12:4-6). “It only takes a spark to start a forest fire.”
The real problem … what Mary did was done. They were arguing over something they could not change (Sound familiar?). We learn from the past while we live in the present if we expect to have a prosperous future.
Rare in Scripture are earthly accolades extended …. For most believers, rewards are reserved for the future.
Note: failing to get what he wanted Judas got mad and left (He might have fit in with many church members who failing to get what they wanted, were offended, and left the church. And like Judas they were not satisfied with just leaving, they sought opportunities to malign the church the left).
A final thought – Before we condemn Judas for selling out the Lord for thirty pieces of silver, we might out to consider our own price of betrayal … probably far less than thirty pieces of silver.
Mary motivated by love performed a selfless act. Judas, motivated by self, performed an act of selfishness.
YOU DO WHAT YOU ARE!
Mary prepares Jesus for His coming death and burial (Matthew 26:6-7).
This story reveals the reach of Christ’s compassion and His disdain for social and religious barriers. Mary’s presence and participation shows the Lord’s willingness to ignore cultural taboos. Christ’s presence in the house of “the leper” (most likely had been healed but was still viewed by the spiritual leaders as unclean), reveals His willingness to disregard religious prejudice and his willingness to reach out to the overlooked and disdained of society.
The Scripture provides no answer for why Mary anointed the Lord. While there was Divine intent, it is best to see what Mary did as an act of humility and honor.
The estimated cost of the ointment … (Mark 14:3, 5; John 12:3, 5) Three hundred pence (denarii). One denarii was roughly 1 day’s wages … total value; one’s annual salary. By today’s standards the ointment would have been valued at $50,000.
Mary may have been motivated by the Lord’s gracious intervention in her brother’s (Lazarus) death. May are giving be in response to Who He is and What He has done for us.
Jesus praises Mary’s extravagant gift of love (Matthew 26:8-13).
You can understand the disciple’s aggravation with Mary because much of the teachings they had received from the Lord concerned ministries of benevolence.
How should they have responded? Instead of jumping to conclusions seek an answer; don’t attach blame before attempting to understand what motivated the person.
“Why are you bothering this woman?” – They were badgering Mary.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume Mary’s actions were wrong (they weren’t), how should the disciples have responded to an action that could not have been undone?
While most of the disciples were responding from a position of conviction, at least one, Judas, was responding from greed.
Jesus acknowledged Mary’s ministry to Him. While we shouldn’t do what we do for the acknowledgement of others, it is good to acknowledge the generous/good acts of others. A “pat on the back” or “that a boy” every once in a while can be an encouragement to someone.
REMEMBER – good deeds that are missed on earth by others are seen by God in heaven and will be rewarded.
Judas plans the betrayal of Jesus for 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-16).
Judas didn’t get his way, he got mad and sought to get even.
Discuss – What is at the center of church conflict? (Selfishness). Why do some church members get mad, leave the church, and seek to malign the church?
Read and discuss 1 Timothy 6:10.
Did Jesus know Judas was a fraud? Yes. How does this story relate to the parable of the “wheat and tares?”
READ (Luke 22:3-6), and discuss Satan’s role in the betrayal of Jesus.
God was using human agents to accomplish His Divine plan of redemption.
30 pieces of silver = A.T. Robertson values 30 pieces of silver (sanctuary shekels) equal to 120 denarii, less than the value of Mary’s ointment; the price of a slave.
Theological Theme: Attitudes are revealed by actions (Mary’s giving … Judas’ greed).
Christological/Christ Connection: Selfless sacrifice is an act of worship. Worship of Christ cannot be separated from giving (See Romans 12:1)
Missional Application: Through acts of worship believers reveal the value of Christ, and their relationship with Him.