John 11:55-12:1-8 ~ January 1, 2012

» Posted by on Jan 8, 2012 in Sermon Notes, The Gospel of John | 0 comments

     Last week, we heard the heart of the LORD from John 11:55 through John 12:8.  First we heard about Passover.  This was the first of three major feasts for the people of Israel.  Passover was held in the first month on the 14thday in memory of the first Passover when Israel was delivered from the slavery of Egypt.  The LORD uses this as an illustration of the delivery from the slavery of sin He has given to us in Christ Jesus.  In the first month of the year all of the men of Israel were to come to Jerusalem to rededicate themselves to be the people of God.  To take part in Passover, each one had to purify themselves.  There could be no “Leven”, what we call yeast, in the house.  Yeast is used in the Bible in most places to represent sin with the exception of Matthew 13:33 where it represents the power of the Holy Spirit.  The LORD focused our attention in verse 55 on the word “Purify.”  The LORD used this word to call us on the occasion of the New Year to purify ourselves, to identify all the “Leven” or sin in our lives and to rededicate ourselves to be His servant.

      In verse 56, the people looked for the coming of Jesus.  As they purified themselves there was anticipation, a desire to see Jesus.  This is one thing that seems to be lacking in the Christians of today.  There is danger in being unpurified and carried away with the world where one forgets the great hope of the coming of the LORD Jesus and becomes dull and comfortable in the darkness of the ways of the world.  The Scripture, in Matthew 24:48-51 shows one supposed servant of the LORD who, because the LORD delayed His coming, began to turn against his own Christian fellows and to eat and drink with the lost.   When a person does not continually purify themselves but becomes comfortable in the world they may find themselves like this servant.  He went to hell because he proved he was not really a servant but a pretender. 

      Next the LORD used the person of Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, to illustrate one that is daily purified and dedicated.  Jesus spoke many times of His death and resurrection but the disciples did not hear because that did not fit into what they wanted to happen.  In John 12:1-8, we see Mary bringing a very expensive perfume to anoint Jesus for His burial.  In Matthew 26:7-13, Jesus says because of this act, Mary will be honored as the long as the Gospel is proclaimed.  In John 12:3, the LORD focused on the phrase, “The house was filled with the odor of the ointment.”  The fragrance causes us to think of the flower or essence used to make the perfume.  In this, the LORD spoke to us that Mary’s dedication and purity to Jesus gave a fragrance of the Gospel of His death for our sins.  Let us purify ourselves and be filled with the hope of His coming and declare His Gospel to fill where we are with the fragrance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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