Ever seen someone do something that you felt was so unbelievable that you started to question it? Ever seen someone do something and you started to judge them? Do you know their heart? Do you know the reason for it? Do you realize the purpose for it? Do you know their heart? There is usually more to the story that what you can see on the surface!
Let’s consider this with our beginning to today’s reading…
Jesus Is Anointed at Bethany
(Matthew 26.6-13; Mark 14.3-9)
1Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, the man he had raised from death. 2They prepared a dinner for him there, which Martha helped serve; Lazarus was one of those who were sitting at the table with Jesus. 3Then Mary took a whole pint of a very expensive perfume made of pure nard, poured it on Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The sweet smell of the perfume filled the whole house. 4One of Jesus’ disciples, Judas Iscariot—the one who was going to betray him—said, 5“Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?” 6He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief. He carried the money bag and would help himself from it.
7But Jesus said, “Leave her alone! Let her keep what she has for the day of my burial. 8You will always have poor people with you, but you will not always have me.”
The Plot against Lazarus
9A large number of people heard that Jesus was in Bethany, so they went there, not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from death. 10So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus too, 11because on his account many Jews were rejecting them and believing in Jesus.
–from John 12
Ever noticed even those closest to us might judge? Ever noticed that they might even question what is going on for their own reasons and purposes? There is more to what is going on and to what is being said than is on the surface and if you really want to understand you need to dig deeper! In today’s reading it was a preparation what was yet to come, it was about the heart of a woman whose life had been changed, it was about the lack of courtesy by the host, it was about money and greed! Today’s reading starts with many angels and it requires great consideration rather than just jumping to conclusions.
We need our first step to be in LOVE! We need our first word to be in LOVE! We need our actions be out of LOVE! We need our first thought to be sourced in LOVE! LOVE needs to be our reason for what we do and why we do it! Why do we love, because God first loved us! Why do we love, because we have received God into our lives! Why do we love, because God is Love! Let’s consider this as we continue into today’s reading!
God Is Love
7Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9And God showed his love for us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him. 10This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven. 11Dear friends, if this is how God loved us, then we should love one another. 12No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in union with us, and his love is made perfect in us. 13We are sure that we live in union with God and that he lives in union with us, because he has given us his Spirit. 14And we have seen and tell others that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15If we declare that Jesus is the Son of God, we live in union with God and God lives in union with us. 16And we ourselves know and believe the love which God has for us. God is love, and those who live in love live in union with God and God lives in union with them. 17Love is made perfect in us in order that we may have courage on the Judgment Day; and we will have it because our life in this world is the same as Christ’s. 18There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment. 19We love because God first loved us. 20If we say we love God, but hate others, we are liars. For we cannot love God, whom we have not seen, if we do not love others, whom we have seen. 21The command that Christ has given us is this: whoever loves God must love others also.
–from 1 John 4
So do you know God or do you just say you do? Do you know God or do you just know about God? It’s about a relationship! That was the biggest and most eye opening thing that has happened in and transformed through my life! When I realized it was more than just routine, rituals, and religion and that it was all about relationship with Jesus, it transformed and shook my world! It is what changed me even though I felt God pulling at me for years, it was the big aha when I realized it was about having a relationship with God! Talking with Him throughout the day, He doesn’t want us to go through it alone! Hearing from Him throughout the day, He gives us wisdom and peace through every trial and every challenge and every situation we fit! Don’t just go through the motions! Don’t just make up excuses why not! Let’s start making reasons to! Let’s start living our lives for! And see not only ourselves but the world around us be transformed by the glory of God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
There are many things that will come our way, but God on our side we can make it through it all! Jesus is who we need to stick to and stick with and He will help us get through it victoriously! He is preparing eternity for us! He has already won the victory so we can live this life as winners! Don’t allow the lies of the devil or the attacks of the devil to draw you away from God! His ways are better than our ways! His plan is greater than our plan! And let’s consider it pure joy when we face trials because they help build perseverance through the testing of our faith and when perseverance has it’s completion, it will allow us to be complete and lacking nothing!
1-2I have heard words like that before; the comfort you give is only torment. 3Are you going to keep on talking forever? Do you always have to have the last word? 4If you were in my place and I in yours, I could say everything you are saying. I could shake my head wisely and drown you with a flood of words. 5I could strengthen you with advice and keep talking to comfort you. 6But nothing I say helps, and being silent does not calm my pain. 7You have worn me out, God; you have let my family be killed. 8You have seized me; you are my enemy. I am skin and bones, and people take that as proof of my guilt. 9In anger God tears me limb from limb; he glares at me with hate. 10People sneer at me; they crowd around me and slap my face. 11God has handed me over to evil people. 12I was living in peace, but God took me by the throat and battered me and crushed me. God uses me for target practice 13and shoots arrows at me from every side—arrows that pierce and wound me; and even then he shows no pity. 14He wounds me again and again; he attacks like a soldier gone mad with hate. 15I mourn and wear clothes made of sackcloth, and I sit here in the dust defeated. 16I have cried until my face is red, and my eyes are swollen and circled with shadows, 17but I am not guilty of any violence, and my prayer to God is sincere. 18O Earth, don’t hide the wrongs done to me! Don’t let my call for justice be silenced! 19There is someone in heaven to stand up for me and take my side. 20My friends scorn me; my eyes pour out tears to God. 21I want someone to plead with God for me, as one pleads for a friend. 22My years are passing now, and I walk the road of no return.
–from Job 16