Faith Blog

I DON'T WANT TO DIE!

In John 12:20-25, we see the reach and impact of Jesus' ministry.  These Gentile converts and even more so, the world, was ready to see Jesus. They were hearing and seeing and experiencing the impact of His ministry and they wanted more. 

Our world wants and needs to see Jesus, whether they realize it or not.  This is evident by ALL that we see around us.  The addiction, the depression, the pain, the hatred, and on and on...all speaks to the fact that..."we would like to see Jesus."   It's like the person who is hurting, and instead of saying I'm hurting...they hurt other people.  The world is hurting, they need everything that Jesus is, and they express this hurt every night on the 7 p.m. news.

So, where is HE?  Where is Jesus?  He is hiding!  Jesus takes a kernel of wheat and the process that it goes through, to explain how HE would reach the world.  A kernel of wheat is more than just a kernel of wheat.  An apple seed is more than just an apple seed.  Inside ONE apple seed is...an apple tree, apples, more seeds, orchards, apple pies, apple cider vinegar, apple sauce...and etc...  Get the picture?  The seed must be buried in the ground and die in order for the potential that is hidden inside to come out, and this is exactly why Christ died.  He wanted a harvest and He was the seed. 

The world needs what Christ has hidden inside of us.  The problem is that many times we are so afraid of dying, of disappointing people, and of being perceived as religious, that we just play it safe.  We protect and preserve our life, and keep Christ hidden.  We keep our talents hidden, and we keep the things He speaks to our heart to do, hidden.

When the truth is, if we sow our life for the kingdom of God.  The world will be the harvest!

Posted by Marc Stern with

BEAUTY FROM BROKENNESS

I lost my first wife to cancer. She was unexpectedly diagnosed one day in November and the Lord took her in the early morning hours of March 31st.  A few weeks after her death I opened the door to her closet to get something. The smell of her perfume flooded my broken heart with a tidal wave of memories.  The scent of her perfume had transferred from her and into her clothing, it permeated the closet. For just a second it was if I was standing in her presence and expected her to call my name. She was gone, but the beauty of her life which I had come to associate with her fragrance, lingers on even to this day.

 

In our Through the Bible Reading for today we are looking at John 12:1-7. We are only days away from the betrayal, arrest, and death of Jesus. Some of Jesus’s closest friends have given him a special dinner. Crowds have gathered to see the one who had been dead, but now lives. They also wanted to see the one who had raised him. 

 

It would have been late in the day, approaching early evening. As Christ was reclining at the table and eating Mary made her way towards Him, I think most likely from His rear. 

 

I think Mary would have been so moved with emotion that she wouldn’t have been able to speak. Perhaps at first she whimpered, she knelt down on one knee and then the other.  Then the sound of the alabaster container being broken open. As she poured out that sweet smelling substance onto the feet of Christ,  I imagine her to began to weep and her tears falling upon his feet and ankles. Mary then uses her hair to spread the mixture over His feet.

 

In the days following this event I’m sure that the heavily perfumed scent was transferred from Christ feet and onto His garments. The Roman soldiers would have noticed it upon his garment that the cast lots for. 

 

Most often the focus on this passage centers on Judas and his evil heart. We fail to question where did this simple woman get the money to purchase such an expensive item as this pure nard? Well, it was customary for families to purchase and save nard to be used in the burial process of their family members. Perhaps the nard that Mary is lavishly anointing Christ feet with was the nard which had been left over from the burial of her brother Lazarus? 

 

Mary’s tears and the sacrifice of the nard were an acknowledgment that this man Jesus not only can heal the sick, but that He also gives life to the dead.

 

Whatever God uses to “break” you is only intended to allow something precious to flow from you and to transfer to those around you.

 

Posted by Tim Parker with

Previous12345678910 ... 120121