Extraordinary Worship

Extraordinary Worship

J.C. Thompson |

As Jesus prepares for His betrayal and crucifixion, we see two distinct responses to the person of Jesus. One of heartfelt worship and one of rejection and betrayal. This week we'll discuss responding to Christ in EXTRAORDINARY WORSHIP.

Extraordinary Worship – Message 7
J.C. Thompson
Sunday, August 9

Worship is the first indicator of where our heart lies.

Our treasure is another indicator.

A. Introduction (Isaiah 29:13a)

  1. Welcome back to our series entitled extraORDINARY where we are discussing how Jesus is more than just an ordinary person and how the ordinary people that followed him observed and accomplished extraORDINARY things.
  2. Today we will be in John 12 and we will be talking about a couple of women’s extraORDINARY response to worship Jesus.
  3. But not everyone responds in the same way. In fact, one person, who spend a lot of time with Christ is revealed as a hypocrite.
  4. Today’s Theme verse comes from Isaiah 29
  5. Isaiah 29:13a (NIV ) - The Lord says: “These people come near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. …"
  6. With Christ, there are two options of response, one is worship and devotion and the other is rejection and betrayal. You all must choose how you will respond to Christ’s presence and work in this world.

B. Worship of Christ leads to …

1. LOYAL service. (JOHN 12:1-2. C/R: Romans 12:11; Galatians 6:9; Ephesians 3:7)

  1. John 12:1-2 (NLT) - Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man He had raised from the dead. A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with Him.
  2. Bethany, where Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha live, was the place where a party for Jesus took place.
  3. In other translations it says that Lazarus was reclining with them at the table. This specifically spoke to how they sat.
  4. In that culture, tables were low, you would lean on one arm and then extend your feet out behind you.
  5. Lazarus was there. He was just raised from the dead.
  6. Could you imagine Jesus being the guest of honor at a party? I wonder what that would be like
  7. We see in this passage a few positive to responses to Jesus Christ. Martha is serving there.
  8. While she is serving as she did previously in the presence of Jesus, it seems that in this instance, her service is not rebuked, but is instead affirmed.
  9. It seems that Martha would have been more industrious, and it seems that acts of service was her love language.
  10. Martha’s heart must have changed with Jesus’ previous instruction.
  11. Remember, Martha’s issue was not the way in which she served, but that her heart was not at rest in Christ. It seems that she has truly been transformed.
  12. Jesus is pleased when we serve Him. (Romans 12, Galatians 6)
  13. Galatians 6:9 (NLT) - So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
  14. Ill: How are you serving Christ right now?

Worship of Christ leads to …

2. LAVISH generosity. (John 12:3. C/R: Psalm 112:5; Proverbs 22:9; Hebrews 13:16)

  1. John 12:3 (NLT) - Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping His feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.
  2. Here we see Mary’s extravagant gift of anointing she poured on Jesus.
  3. As we discussed, those seated at the table would have been reclining with their feet behind them, making it convenient for an anointing.
  4. In Matthew’s account we see Mary anoint Jesus’ head. It was likely that Jesus was anointed at His head and then possibly all the way to His feet. 12 oz of perfume would have been more than enough for one man’s feet.
  5. Her gift is generous in a number of ways, first, it was a well known perfume from the spikenard plant that is native to India. Its cost was so high because it was imported at such a great distance.
  6. The Greek not only lets us know that it was nard, but also that it was pure, another increase to its value.
  7.  In verse 5, we see that some at least valued this perfume as an entire year’s worth of salary!
  8. Not only that, but we see in the Matthew 26 account that it was in an alabaster container. This would have added to its value as well.
  9. It is possible that Mary’s family was wealthy, it is also possible that this is a family heirloom passed down over generations.
  10. But in addition to the generous gift, Mary wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair.
  11. In that culture, foot washing was seen as one of the most degrading professions. Later in John, we see the disciples refusing to wash another’s feet.
  12. Add in the fact that women were not to let down their hair. This public act would have been at least considered indecent, but you would be safe to assume that others thought it would be immoral.
  13. Mary was unconcerned about what might people think about her using this generous gift or the way in which she applied it.
  14. She was consumed with the thought of giving honor to the one who had given so much to her, through His friendship, His teaching, His miraculous healings, and through the raising of her brother from the dead.
  15. Then John lets us know that not only was Jesus anointed but this generous act filled the house with its fragrance.
  16. This gift would have been a blessing to more than only Jesus, it would have blessed all that would have been in its presence.
  17. Much like your gifts of generosity, they find their place and purpose as an honor to Christ first, but many others benefit from them.
  18. At Brookwood, because of your generosity, people around the world are offered food, sight, education, and most importantly the Gospel.
  19. While our gifts should be focused on Christ alone, answering the question, God, what should I give to You? They also provide blessing and honor to others.
  20. If you are in this room and you give, I just want to say thank you. We are tremendously blessed here and as a result we are able to bless others.
  21. These men and women have been transformed by Christ and are making an intentional effort to honor Him and share gifts of thanksgiving with Him.
  22. Followers of Christ are to be marked with generosity.
  23. Ill: Are you being generous towards God?

C. Rejection of Christ results in …

1. ATTACHMENT to possessions. (JOHN 12: 4-8. C/R: Dueteronomy 15:11; JOHN 6:70

  1. John 12:4-6 (NLT) - But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray Him, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.
  2. Judas desired to appear as if he was concerned about other ways they could offer gifts to the poor.
  3. Does Judas care about the poor? No.
  4. Was Judas a philanthropist? No.
  5. Judas was concerned about himself. Judas is being unmasked here as the hypocrite that he is.
  6. Do you remember an older show where you would see a crime take place and then spend the entire show trying to figure out who did it?
  7. Scooby Doo picture
  8. Normally the person would be experiencing some hurt or had some type of selfish motivation.
  9. Here John is letting us know who Judas really is. He is opposed to Christ.
  10. The Greek has an interesting phrasing of his particular role that helps us understand something a bit more about what Judas is doing here.
  11. Judas helped himself to the offerings in the moneybox, that were cast into it.
  12. Judas is telling Mary how to use her gift, much like he determined the best way to use the other gifts that had been given to Jesus, by taking them and using them for himself.
  13. It is a dangerous thing to begin believing you should tell others how to use their gifts.
  14. His love of money drove him to mistakenly view his role as person in charge of keeping the money safe as the one dictating how all the money should be used.
  15. Judas was attempting to stop a gift for God, to utilize that gift for his own purpose.
  16. Judas later betrays Jesus for a mere 30 pieces of silver. This meager amount of money indicates Judas’ unhealthy attachment to material things.
  17. It is also important to note that Judas was likely voicing what other disciples were thinking. Matthew says as much.
  18. But Jesus, who is truly extraORDINARY, corrects Judas in gentleness.
  19. John 12:7-8 (NLT) - Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for My burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have Me.”
  20. Jesus never said to not be concerned with the poor. In fact, I think it is crucial to understand that Jesus is alluding to an Old Testament Scripture in Deuteronomy.
  21. Deuteronomy 15:11 (NLT) - “ There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need.”
  22. Jesus is speaking to the disciples who were placing their faith in Him who were possibly thinking similar things to Judas.
  23. Jesus’ quotation of this Scripture reinforces that caring for the poor in important and is a characteristic of the family of God.
  24. But He is prioritizing Himself as the rightful king and identifying Himself again as the Son of God in their midst.
  25. It is also important to note that Judas free decision to oppose Jesus was a part of God’s plan. But God was not manipulating Judas into betraying Jesus. Jesus consistently and constantly tried to encourage Judas to choose faith. But Judas did not.
  26. But this act, pushes Judas over the edge, in fact in Matthew’s account this story is directly before Judas makes the decision to betray Jesus.
  27. Worship is an indicator of our relationship with Jesus, but our treasure shows us what we worship.
  28. Is your treasure in Christ or something else?
  29. Ill: Are you concerned with only the gifts that Christ can offer to you or do you treasure Him above everything else?

Rejection of Christ results in …

2. ATTRACTION to power. (JOHN 12:9-11, C/R: 1 John 2:15-16)

  1. John 12:9-11 (NLT) - When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see Him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.
  2. Once again, we see a crowd growing to see Jesus. But they also want to see Lazarus, who was raised from the dead.
  3. This gathering of the crowd would have piqued the interest of the religious leaders.
  4. The priests not only wanted to kill Jesus, but their thirst for power now includes Lazarus’ murder as well.
  5. What an incredible testimony to the power of Jesus’ ability to raise the dead Lazarus would have been.
  6. But these religious leaders wanted that snuffed out.
  7. How quickly is the fall of someone drunk with power.
  8. Not only did they want Jesus off the face of the planet, but they also wanted to get rid of anyone that would have been closely related to Him or would have propagated His message of the kingdom of God.
  9. 1 John 2:15-16 (NLT) - Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
  10. Jesus’ agenda does not conform to ours. He is the rightful king and worthy of all praise, but there is a temptation to be drawn to the power and influence that He offers.
  11. I think it is important for us to consider in a time period where everyone with power is being mistrusted, regardless of their guilt, that the perspective of Scripture has always been that character and integrity are the most important qualifications for leadership, not skills or talent.
  12. But, even those who are given power and influence are continually tempted to gain more power and influence for their own benefit.
  13. We must resist this temptation.
  14. Ill: What temptations of power and influence are you susceptible to?
  1. Today you have an opportunity to respond just as Mary, Martha, Lazarus, Judas, the crowd, and the religious leaders did.
  2. Will you respond in faith and worship or will you respond in rejection or betrayal?
  3. When you are unmasked in Scooby Doo, is a worshipper of Christ revealed or a worshipper of self, treasure, or power underneath?
  4. Let’s pray.

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