Mar6SunMarch 6, 2016
“…she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying…And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray Him unto them…And they all forsook Him, and fled.” Mk 14:8, 10, 50
In the events preceding the crucifixion of our Christ, we see how fixed and focused our Savior was. The anointing with the costly oil ($300 denari/one year’s salary) was actual preparation for Jesus’ death. It was an honor and tribute to Jesus. It was true worship, an act of faith, an expression of love and devotion on her part. This Mary was more than likely one of those who followed and supported Jesus in His earthly ministry (see Luke 8:1-3). She was there at the turning point in Caesarea Philippi and understood what Jesus meant, “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.” Jesus was coming to the conclusion of His earthly ministry and Mary took this opportunity to anoint Him with the spikenard for His burial, while He was still alive. She seized the moment and was commended for it by Jesus.
Judas was so offended by this act of worship and the fact that Jesus defended her worship that he went and made a deal with the chief priests to betray Jesus. If we are not careful, and this is just another reason it is important to really take heed to the Sermon on the Mount, we can become so offended by others that we turn our backs on/against the very one(s) God has sent to bless us. Jesus had to tell John the Baptist’s disciples to tell John, “And blessed is he, whosoever shall NOT be offended in Me (Mt 11:6).” Judas’ mishandling of being offended leads to his betrayal of Jesus. How did Jesus handle it? “That thou doest, do quickly (Jn 13:27).” “…Friend, wherefore art thou come (Mt 26:50)?” “Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss (Lk 22:48)?” Can you handle betrayal and still go forward? Jesus did.
To be forsaken and stay on course is true faith. I still believe. “Though none go with me, still I will follow…No turning back, no turning back.” These are lyrics to the song “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.” While looking up the song, I discovered this nugget of truth from wikipedia, “The lyrics are based on the last words of a man in Assam, north-east India, who along with his family was converted to Christianity in the middle of the 19th century through the efforts of a Welsh missionary. Called to renounce his faith by the village chief, the convert declared, "I have decided to follow Jesus." In response to threats to his family, he continued, "Though no one joins me, still I will follow." His wife was killed, and he was executed while singing, "The cross before me, the world behind me." This display of faith is reported to have led to the conversion of the chief and others in the village.” All of the disciples took off and left Jesus alone with His captors. Be willing to be forsaken, but run your race and finish your course.
“At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.” II Tim 4:16-17