April 4, 2011 Devotion Sharing

John 12 Devotion Sharing by Pastor Ed Kang

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Submitted by Jeannie Lee, Gracepoint Berkeley

John 12:1-8
“Spices and ointments were quite costly because they had to be imported. Frequently they were used as an investment because they occupied a small space, were portable, and were easily negotiable in the open market. Mary’s offering was valued at three hundred denarii (v. 5) approximately a year’s wages for an ordinary workingman. Perhaps it represented her life savings. […] Wiping his feet with her hair was a gesture of utmost devotion and reverence. The penetrative fragrance of the ointment that filled the house told all present of her sacrificial gift.”[1]

What is the fundamental difference between Mary and Judas as revealed by his objection to what she did?
Fundamental difference is one driven by love, the other driven by practicality, functionality, selfishness, greed.

Love trumps over all those.

With whom can I identify more?
I think I’m somewhere in between.  Mary seems like she’d drop everything to be with Jesus, she is concerned with Him, doesn’t think about the impracticality of pouring her life saving’s onto his feet, that it would be considered a “waste” of resources.

I’m not like Judas either, I don’t think.  But I know I’ve got a long way to go in order to be a loving person.
Just when people are sick, or when practically there needs to be something done, I don’t think of those things automatically. I think what might be appropriate.  Love seems to know what’s appropriate…to think beyond what’s practical, love isn’t defeated by things like, “not enough money” or “not enough time” or “how are we gonna accomplish that.”

I think about this past GP Monthly, and the prep that went into it. It’s not practical, certainly. We had how many meetings about just the food, and what we’d eat, and how we’d cook it, and how we’d set up the tables, or if we were going to set up the tables for the service or just for the dinner and we went through how to cook the meat, when to put it out to thaw. It would have been easier to cater, but more expensive maybe. We wanted nice celebratory food.  That’s just the food.

With the videos, the church plants had to get the video together in a few days, and even for the ending of each video, to gather all their team to film it b/c we thought about how the congregation would want to see the team and the kids the most, and wanted that personal touch.

And I had to stay up a couple nights with Kelly waiting for the videos, putting together the slides with pictures, she had to edit some of the testimonies, review the videos. All of that, if viewed through the lens of Judas would have been seen as impractical, too much work, and a waste of time for too many people.

It’s the same for G-Live – why are we pouring in so much time, energy, money, resources, man-hours, meeting times, planning, food logistics to feed 400 hungry mouths each time there is practice.  All this to show off to the world who our God is, how magnificent He is, that we would pour this kind of energy into a one-day 2-hour production.  It’s b/c of love. Not just for God, but for those involved, for the students who can have this experience of being part of something far greater than themselves, for our church to rally around and support our college department, for us to be able to have something we are proud to invite our friends, family and coworkers to.  again, viewed through the lens of Judas, it’s “why this waste,” this money this time could have been used for something else.  Through Mary’s eye’s it’s worth our all.
I pray that I can move towards becoming more like Mary, unhindered by practicality and driven by love and a desire to honor Jesus no matter the cost.

[1] Frank E. Gaebelein, Gen. Ed. Expositer’s Bible Commentary CD, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992) notes for chapter 12.

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