All In On Jesus?

Are You All In On Living Your Life For Jesus Christ?

Ross Sawyers
Apr 2, 2023    52m
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So many people want to be near Jesus or His teachings, but are you one of the few that are all in on living your life for Jesus Christ? When we recognize He gave everything, including His life, for us, we can be motivated to give all of ourselves to Him. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

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Ross Sawyers: [00:00:00] If you'll turn your Bibles in this week that we think about, and some call it Holy Week, and we call it Easter week, whatever name you want to give it. We have an aim and a focus that we have towards the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus as we move through these days and kind of reflect back in hopefully a deep way on what Christ did for us.

Ross Sawyers: [00:00:29] And we want to begin this week, thinking about John chapter 12, verses 1 through 11 in the Scriptures, and what God would have to say to us on this week. And this chapter is where people would begin to say this is kind of where this week starts. And we tend to think of Palm Sunday when Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and people have got the Palm branches, and he's coming in on a colt and so forth, we tend to think that's kind of the start of the week. But I think John 12 1 through 11 gives us that start, which is actually in a different spot, and it's six days prior to Passover.

Ross Sawyers: [00:01:16] Before we move into John 12 and our big idea as we think about John 12 today on this week of Easter, we want to have context. And when we jump into the middle of something like this, it's important that we really kind of lock around at what's happening. And Jesus has just spent some time in the wilderness in a place called Ephraim, and he's in that space with his disciples before he enters into this space in John 12. And it makes me wonder, we don't get told exactly what he's doing with his disciples there, but we know that Jesus had a rhythm and a habit of being alone with his Father, he enjoyed time alone with his Father, and he would go to secluded places to be alone with him.

Ross Sawyers: [00:02:06] We also know at the outset of his ministry in Matthew chapter 4, that Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days and he was fasting in those days. At the end of that period of time, he was tempted by Satan, and he responded to each of those temptations with truth from God's word. And so we just know the wilderness is a place, it can be a hard place and it can be a transformative place in time alone with God. So here he was with his disciples, and I would make at least an assumption, I don't know, fair or unfair, that he also had some good space with his Father as he was about to move into what would be an incredibly difficult week for him.

Ross Sawyers: [00:02:51] And so that brings us to John chapter 12, and the idea I'd like us to think about is I want to ask a question and I hope we're game to be challenged this morning at a heart level. And when I ask this question, I don't want you to think about your spouse, I don't want you to think about your friends, I don't want you to think about your kids, I don't want you to think about your life group, I don't want you to know what those you work with, and now that I said all that, that's what you'll think. But what I want you to think about today, and you can think about that, but let's not miss ourselves first. And the question I want to ask in light of the Scripture today is, are you all in on Jesus? Question mark. All in on Jesus, are you all in on him? And we'll find as we move through this passage of scripture, why I would ask that question in light of what's happening here.

Ross Sawyers: [00:02:56] One way that we can know that we're all in on Jesus, just one way to test it is, by the way, of extravagant giving. In verses 1 through 3, I want to anchor ourselves to the Scripture. I'll spend the bulk of our time in verses 1 through 3, and I wanted to hang out on this piece and then we'll look at some other responses as well to Jesus. But in this one, when we talk about all in on him, extravagant giving is what comes to mind when we look at these verses.

Ross Sawyers: [00:04:25] Verse 1, "Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover." And I just want to pause right there. This is six days before the Passover, there is some debate that goes on as to exactly what happened, and what the days are regarding Passover. And we don't have time for that in our time here, but just know that this is six days before the Passover. We're just going to go with the plain reading of it, that it's six days before the Passover. Now we have a number, a wide variety of people here and online, that are present and online, and so I want to make sure we don't just pass over things like the Passover and act like everyone knows what that is.

Ross Sawyers: [00:05:07] So by way of reminder for some, and by way of new for others, when we're talking about the Passover, we go back to Exodus, the second book of the Bible. And at that point in time, we are confronted with the reality that the Israelites had been enslaved to Egypt for 400 years, and now God is bringing them to a place of deliverance and he's going to work through one man, Moses, to deliver the people from being in slavery. He goes to the Pharaoh, Moses does, and as he talks to him, the pharaoh has a continued hardened heart and all the things that God's doing. And then it comes down to the point where there will be the last plague that will happen, and on that day, this is what God told Moses to instruct the people to do. He said each household is to take an unblemished lamb, a one-year-old, slaughter the lamb, and with the blood of that lamb, put the blood on the doorposts of your home and on the lintel is what it's referred to. Just the door frame, just think of the door frame. And the blood of that one-year-old unblemished lamb is to be placed on that door frame. And for every household that has their home with that blood on the door frame, then the death angel will pass over that home, and that home will be spared. What will happen to the homes that do not have that blood on the door frame? The firstborn of every family and the firstborn of every animal would be struck down that night if there was not that covering of blood over the home. After that occurred, God told Moses, he said, this is an ordinance, and it's something that you'll celebrate and remember every year, so this is a permanent ordinance to remember what happened on that Passover night.

Ross Sawyers: [00:07:14] And that's what's about to happen, this will be the third Passover mentioned in the gospel of John that Jesus is a part of. And then there will be a new meaning inserted into it, which we’ll actually celebrate this Thursday night here. So that's Passover, and we know that the Old Testament is always pointing us to the new. So when we read the old, it's a foreshadowing, it's a shadow of the substance that's to come. And the Passover would be a significant foreshadowing and shadow of what will come and what the substance will be in Jesus.

Ross Sawyers: [00:07:54] So, "Six days before the Passover, came to Bethany." And Bethany is about two miles outside of Jerusalem on the eastern slope, it's the Mount of Olives. So when we read in the scripture about the Mount of Olives, you can kind of go up the Mount of Olives and then two miles from it, and that would be the town of Bethany. And here we're introduced to who's going to be at this dinner hanging out with Jesus. And Lazarus, this is who Jesus had raised from the dead. So we find in John 11 that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, Bethany is the town where he's from, and this is where they are.

Ross Sawyers: [00:08:33] Verse two, "So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving. Martha, we find in Luke chapter ten, that she was in that particular moment, we see her, she also serves Jesus. So we can kind of surmise from what we learn about Martha that she has a servant's heart.

Ross Sawyers: [00:08:55] She seems to have a hospitality kind of gift about her in the little that we know of her. And here she is, and they're about to have supper. This would have been late afternoon or early into the evening, and one thing that people in the Middle East do really well is hospitality and hanging out around a dinner table, and we see Jesus often at a table with different people. So here we see, "Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him." Now, Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, here he is, and now they're having dinner together, and Martha is serving them that dinner.

Ross Sawyers: [00:09:41] Now, I think it's kind of cool the way they did this in that day, the way they would gather around a table, it was lower to the ground. And it seems by the number of people that were here, this might be more of a banquet than just a regular dinner; or it could have been a dinner just kind of however, we're not totally sure, but there's a good crowd that has come for the dinner. They're around the table, and the way they would do it, and maybe you've seen paintings or pictures, but they would lean on one elbow on the ground, and then their face would be kind of right there at the table. I think that's kind of cool. I like to eat, I love the idea of my face just being right there at the table, you know, kind of at ground level. And then your feet are kind of laid out this way for obvious reasons, away from the table. And they recline there, and Lazarus is doing that, and they're about to have this time around the table together.

Ross Sawyers: [00:10:38] I think that's a good pause for us to just think about the table. And there's something about a meal and being around the table that gives an opportunity for relationship building, for conversation to deepen, to gather around the table with friends, and to do the same with family. Many of our life groups do that, they'll gather for a meal together before you spend your time in the Word, and there are just rich things that go on at the table. And this is a space where relationships can be built. One of the things that Jesus did when we read through the gospels, is he spent time with a wide variety of people at his table. We know in Matthew and Mark, who also recorded this story, which that's the beauty of the four gospels, is oftentimes their stories told in the different gospels, and you get a fuller perspective that way. But we know the house where they're staying is a man named Simon the leper, and lepers were a marginalized people. And we know from watching Jesus again and again in the scriptures that he loved the marginalized person, and he invited them to his table, and he was invited to theirs, there was an ease for them to be at the table together. And then we know he's hanging out with friends, with Mary and Martha and Lazarus in this in this story, and his disciples, and so he spent that time at the table. Jesus was accused of hanging out with gluttons and with drunkards and with tax collectors, which was not a positive, and sinners, and they weren't complimenting him for that. Jesus didn't seem to mind who he hung out with, it didn't seem to bother him that he was getting called certain things or his reputation might be harmed, he just gathered around the table and hung out. I think a lot in our day is being missed by the table time being missed, that we're so busy that there's not time to linger at the table. And what a challenge for our own hearts to, with our families, to have that kind of time. And Jesus set the pace well for us on what it would look like to hang out at a table, whether that's a restaurant table or a home table, but that we're hanging out at the table.

Ross Sawyers: [00:13:18] Well, in verse 3, we're introduced to Mary in this particular part of the scripture, "She then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume." Now, in the gospels, when you read them, you'll read Mary's name multiple times, it's a common name. And we read about Mary Magdalene in the Gospels. We read about Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the Gospels, and we read about Mary, whose sister is Martha and whose brother is Lazarus. So this is not Mary, the mother of Jesus, it's not Mary Magdalene, this is the Mary that is her brother Lazarus had been raised from the dead. And so Mary here, she's in this story and she's around the table, but she brings a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard. Now, I didn't know what Nard is, I've done this before, or read and studied this before and I knew what Nard was a while back and then I forgot until I studied again. But it's a plant that is in northern India, and it would have to be imported from northern India to wherever it would be utilized, which would contribute to the costliness of it. It had a rich rose red color to it, and a sweet kind of scent to it when it was made into a fragrant kind of oil. And Mary had a pound of it, and we'll learn in a bit that a pound of this particular oil was equivalent to one year's wages of an average worker of that day. So just take the average worker today, a year's worth of salary and it goes to this 1 pound of this fragrant oil, it's costly what she has.

Ross Sawyers: [00:15:14] And then she takes it and she anoints the feet of Jesus. The word anoint means to set apart, and so she's doing this to set apart, it's sacred, and she's anointing the feet of Jesus. Now, in Matthew and Mark, they say that she anointed the head of Jesus. In this particular part, in John, she anointed his feet. Most believed there was enough of that fragrant oil to have done both his head and his feet. And when we learn a little bit later the significance of what she did, then we know probably more about why she did the head and the feet. But here we're told that she put it on the feet of Jesus, and then she wiped his feet with her hair.

Ross Sawyers: [00:16:09] Now, in that culture, if a woman had her hair unbound, that was a sign of an immoral woman, that was a cultural thing in that day. And again, we see someone that has such a love for Jesus, she's not concerned about her social reputation by what she's about to do. Now, a number of you have long hair, and I'm just going to guess, but my guess is most of you have never taken your hair and wiped the feet of someone else. And yet, Mary, in this extravagant act of devotion, she's already giving him her best of what she had with the perfume. Now she's down here and she's at his feet, and with her hair, she is sitting there wiping off that oil on Jesus' feet. Now. It was a hospitality move-in that day to wash the feet of guests, but normally it was with a towel and normally it was by the servants who were the most menial in the household, this was one of the most menial tasks someone could do would be to wash the feet of someone. And here's Mary just laying aside all dignity out of a love for Jesus, and she anoints his feet with that oil, wipes them with her hair, and then the house was filled with the fragrance of that perfume.

Ross Sawyers: [00:17:46] Just to backtrack on Mary a little bit. So here she is, she's wiping the feet of Jesus. She's mentioned two other times in the gospels, and the other two times she's mentioned in regard to feet also. So each time we see Mary, we see something about feet. In Luke chapter 10, verses 38 through 42. Luke says this, "As they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.". So this is not his first encounter with Mary and Martha. Martha welcomed him in, she had a sister called Mary who was seated at the Lord's feet listening to his word. So they're traveling, they're coming by, Jesus is, and then come in. Martha is hard at work getting everything done. And then Mary just sits at the feet of Jesus listening to him. John, 12, is not her first encounter at the feet of Jesus, and she's just being with him.

Ross Sawyers: [00:19:02] Before we'll ever be extravagant givers, we want to be extravagant listeners at the feet of Jesus. Before we'll ever give extravagantly, we give ourselves first to him extravagantly, and she is just enjoying being at Jesus's feet. Now Martha wasn't so fired up about this whole plan that her sister had, she was distracted with all her preparations. She came up to him and said, hey, Lord, don't you care that my sisters left me to do all the serving alone? And could you go ahead and tell her to help me? What did Jesus say? He answered, and "He said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” On a given day, the only thing necessary is to sit at the feet of Jesus, that's the one thing, and she sat at his feet. It's what Jesus would say to his disciples one more time to reiterate it on the night before we go to the cross. He said, “I’m the vine and you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him, he bears much fruit for apart from me you can do nothing.” Abide in me, remain in me, find your rest in me, Jesus says. And Mary had that figured out, she just sat at his feet.

Ross Sawyers: [00:20:56] In John 11:3, Lazarus had died, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw him and she fell at his feet saying to him, Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. She sat at his feet and just listened to him, and then when she was in one of her most dire grieving moments, she fell at his feet in humility and worship of him and asking him in her deepest need. And then we find her, in John 12, wiping the feet of Jesus. She had been encountered by the lavishness of Jesus for her, and out of gratitude, the only thing she could do is lavishly give back to him, she loved him. In Second Corinthians 8:9, Paul says it really well. It says, "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich." She had experienced in the presence of Jesus the grace of Jesus. And now the only thing she could do is extravagantly give back to him. See this is a response to who he is. And then it says that the amount of perfume that she used, that it filled up the whole house.

Ross Sawyers: [00:22:32] The other night, Lisa was cooking fajita meat, and she did it in a crock pot. I don't know if people do crock pots anymore or not, I think you do air fryers to make it quicker. But there is something really cool about meat being prepared the night before, slowly cooking overnight. And then when I awakened, our house was filled with the aroma of that meat. And as I was studying, I was smelling, and I was thinking I should be eating that meat, and so I made my way to the kitchen, and I did, and it was for our son, but I thought surely this would be okay. And then I learned later she had made some for us. But that fragrant aroma.

Ross Sawyers: [00:23:18] And it's the same thing that Paul says to the Corinthians again when he said, "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.". You see in the Old Testament when people would make sacrifices to God, that it was a pleasing and sweet aroma to Him. God loves that sweet aroma of sacrifice to him. It rises up to him. It's a sweet aroma.

Ross Sawyers: [00:23:45] And we do this in verse 15, "We are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.". So you and I, for those who know Jesus and are at the feet of Jesus, wherever we go, we're an aroma to someone. Now, you can do a lot with that but just stick with me. We're an aroma to someone of either life if we have Jesus in us, or of death if we don't. So for one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And it makes perfect sense, doesn't it? Because one fragrance might smell awesome to you, and it might smell horrible to you. And you're thinking, I could sit in this all day long, and you're thinking, when are we leaving? That's about to wear me out. And that's what it's like when a Christian enters into a room that has been sitting at the feet of Jesus, we are an aroma, and it creates a response. To someone that is in life with us in Christ, it's a life-giving aroma. To someone that doesn't know Christ, not so much.

Ross Sawyers: [00:24:56] But for Mary, she had extravagantly given her best to Jesus. In Matthew, it says that when the gospel is preached to the whole world, what this woman did will be remembered. She just had a devotion to her Lord and her Savior, and she's been remembered ever since. Can I ask you a personal question that you answer for yourself? We're talking about being all in on Jesus, and Mary, I think is a beautiful example of what that looks like. What is the most extravagant gift that you've ever given Jesus? You can think time, you can think treasures, you can think talents, you can think whatever, but what is the most extravagant gift that you've ever given him? He really does think that you're worth, and that I'm worth, giving his entire life for it. He extravagantly poured his grace out on us. What do we think is worth giving him in all that we have?

Ross Sawyers: [00:26:18] Well, I wanted to hang out on the good piece of the story, but there are some other things to challenge our hearts, and then it wraps itself back around to good. But can we just kind of go there briefly, and look at how we would know? One way we ask is, are we extravagant givers of ourselves for Jesus? And then the second thing we might ask in light of Judas Iscariot, are we selfishly withholding from him? Because if we have hearts that are selfishly withholding from God, that might be an indicator that we're not all in on him. Verse 4. "But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said..." And so here we have at the table someone that was about to betray him. How often have we invited people to our table that we know they're going to betray us? And yet Jesus invited him to his table more than once. And Judas, one of the disciples hanging out with him and knew he was going to betray him. Verse 5, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?”.

Ross Sawyers: [00:27:21] Now, oftentimes people will put that question on us when we're spending on something and say, you know, you could have given that to the poor. And so here's Judas saying, hey, that was expensive what just happened there, we could have used that money. He's the treasurer of the disciples, he handled all the money. And it's kind of like, hey, we could have given that to the poor. Now we can ding Judas here, and we should. But in Matthew and Mark, we also see that the other disciples, when they saw what this woman did, what Mary did, they were indignant that she did this. They said she was wasteful, and they scolded her.

Ross Sawyers: [00:28:09] Our preaching team was meeting the other day, so all the different guys that preach, we meet each week as a norm and kind of talk about what we're going to do. And we were talking about this and said, man, aren't we just so often like Judas and the disciples? We are so quick to criticize someone else and what they do. We're so quick to criticize other brothers and sisters in Christ and the way they're living out their faith, in the way they might give towards God himself. That we can often be so quick to complain, and here are the ones that are closest into Jesus, and then they're just saying what she did is wasteful. Not considering maybe what is wasteful to some is actually beautiful to Jesus.

Ross Sawyers: [00:29:07] In Philippians 2, we're told to "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. 14Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world." When we're complaining and criticizing, our light's not burning very bright in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. Mary's giving her all, and then she's being criticized by those closest to Him.

Ross Sawyers: [00:29:54] In verse 6, though, we see a little bit more about Judas, "Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it." So what we're seeing more into the character of Judas, he was already a thief before he was a betrayer, and he wasn't concerned about the poor, as oftentimes people are not, they just have a question they want to try to stump and burn the Christian with. And so here he is, he actually wants the money for himself, and then he would fully intend to steal it.

Ross Sawyers: [00:30:27] Now, what is apparent here in these first six verses is it always comes back to the motivation of the heart. And we know Mary's heart is being motivated by the grace of Jesus towards her, and now she's expressing that back to him. Judas's heart is a corrupt heart, not motivated by being with Jesus, but rather how can he take advantage of it? In Luke chapter 12, verse 15, the scripture says, and Jesus says, to be careful, to not be greedy, to have a covetous heart, and to beware of that. And I think that's the heart that Judas has, at least at a at a minimum, there's greed in there. In Matthew 6, though, we're told that where your treasure is, that's where your heart is. So a question we can ask is what do we treasure? And whatever we treasure the most, that's an indicator of where our heart is. You can't really hide from that, whatever I treasure and value, that tells me the shape of my heart. And really, it tells me whether I'm in or not in following after Jesus.

Ross Sawyers: [00:31:41] And Ananias and Sapphira, their story in the Book of Acts, things are kind of going wild with the Gospel. People are repenting, coming to Jesus, and as they do that, people are giving stuff away, they're all in. They are selling stuff, and giving the money so the poor can be taken care of. And as they're doing it, Ananias and Sapphira, they act like they're doing that. And then they get confronted, and they said they had sold some land and they gave them money, but they didn't, and they were told one at a time, and then both of them get struck dead. Why? Because they lied to the Holy Spirit. They were actually trying to fake being generous givers to what God was doing.

Ross Sawyers: [00:32:25] Now, I think this is a little bit of a challenge here. Hypocrisy is something that we're often accused of in the church, we're told we're judgmental, we're told we're hypocrites. There are a number of other things that we're told, but those are two for our purposes in this passage. Years ago, I would just agree with that when people said it. If they said the church is a bunch of hypocrites, and I just kind of said, yeah, you're right, and I'm sorry about that. But then one day I stopped and actually thought about what I was saying. I thought if I say that, then I'm saying all my friends are hypocrites, and I don't believe that. If I say that, I'm saying that [inaudible] hypocrite, I'm saying Jack's a hypocrite, I am saying Bret's a hypocrite. I could just go around the room, I'm just saying you're a hypocrite when I say that. There's a difference, though, in a hypocrite. A hypocrite is someone that is on purpose faking trying to be something that they're not. That's different than I battle, I struggle, I fall, I get knocked down, I admit it, I know I do. That's different than I'm curious, I don't really get this whole thing, I show up at the church. I'm not all in, I'm honest about it, I'm just trying to figure it out. That's not a hypocrite, that's honest, we love it when people are just honest. We want people here that are curious. It is the guy that says, you know what, I don't really like the church, I'm not really for the Jesus thing, but I really like this girl who goes to the church, and it looks like that's important to her. So at least own it, tell her that's why you're going, and say, you know what? I'm interested in you, I'm not really interested in the church, but I can't tell you how many people that came interested in the girl, and have left being followers of Jesus. So God works in all kinds of ways, that's just honest. The 9:15 clapped at that idea, so I don't know what y'all are thinking, but you see the difference.

Ross Sawyers: [00:34:52] Now there are people, so we served in a church in the 90s that was on TV. And it was before all the things we have access to now. And there would be people that would join the church, make sure they sat where they were in view of the camera because that's good for business. Now, I don't know if it's so good anymore to be a part of the church, if that really helps your business or not, but back then it did because that was just being part of the community. That's fake, there's a difference, and only you can answer that question.

Ross Sawyers: [00:35:31] The other day we were at several of our staff, five of us, actually. I don't know if that's several or not, it feels like several. So five of us were at a thing called Movement DFW, and they did a survey of young adults and teenagers, and part of the day was just learning the results of that. But it was a survey in Dallas Fort Worth, this wasn't some outside-of-here survey, it was in Dallas Fort Worth. And probably the most startling stat of the day was when they said that what young adults and teenagers said is that their parents are irrelevant in their spiritual growth. That's DFW, right here, young 20s and teenagers. They didn't say why, I don't know that I know why, but here's a little speculation. We've talked about a biblical worldview and said that one out of ten Christian households actually are living out a biblical worldview. If that's the case, then I understand why teenagers and young 20s would say their parents were not the spiritually relevant ones for them. I think we have a lot of exceptions in the room, but gosh, it's sure worth checking our heart, isn't it, to say what's going on in my home? Am I just showing up at church and I never talk about Jesus again for the next six days? Am I doing anything to actually nurture the growth and development of my kids spiritually? Or am I expecting other people to do that for me? Because what they reported is that different ones have heroes, mentors, and other adults in their lives, and we absolutely need that, and we ought to be the people that are jumping in to be that for other people. But wow, it's a kick in the gut to think that parents are thought of as irrelevant in the spiritual growth of their kids. Good heart checks for us when we think about that.

Ross Sawyers: [00:37:56] Well, just to kind of move through rapidly, in verses 7 and 8, there's a clear focus here that comes into play, "Jesus said, “Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial. 8“For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.” I love what Jesus does, we've seen Him do this again and again, he defends people and he's defending her. She's spent this extravagant kind of love towards him, they're kind of scolding her, they're all on her about it. And then he's saying, no, no, no, you leave her alone. And he says something that is a thought, this may or may not be right, but it's a possibility, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. The idea there is that she has kept this fragrant oil, and this is actually what this is signifying is his death is coming and she's preparing his body as they would in a death. She's preparing him now for his death. The cost of it was such that in that day a woman would have a dowry that would be given to the husband in order for the marriage to happen. And some think that this would have been her dowry for her future marriage, and yet her attachment, attachment, and all-in-ness on Jesus was such that she was willing to give up that dowry and a potential future husband for Jesus. At any rate, she for sure was anointing and preparing his body for death. See, sometimes God asks us to do something extravagant, and we don't understand the why, we just do it. Sometimes we're asked to do crazy things, by God, and we may not know this is the why behind it, but out of love for him we do it. Now, people do things that are crazy that are not of God, that's why it's good to be in a community that is in there with us, with the Holy Spirit, praying, and then we step into the things God's leading us into. But Jesus brings it into focus, this is the why.

Ross Sawyers: [00:40:29] And then outside of this, outside of the home where the dinner is going on, there's a large crowd gathering, and there are some different responses there. "They came not for Jesus' sake only..." in verse nine, "...but that they might also see Lazarus, whom he raised from the dead." So oftentimes there are people who were curious about Jesus, they know Lazarus was raised from the dead. I mean, that would stir my curiosity, wouldn't it yours? And so they were in range, so they'd come, so there's the curious.

Ross Sawyers: [00:40:55] Verse 10, "The chief priest planned to put Lazarus to death also." Now, here's poor Lazarus, he was dead, God raised him from the dead. He's associated with Jesus, the chief priest, they've seen all this evidence that Jesus is who he says he is. And that's how it often is today, people can see the evidence, but they still just want to get rid of it. That really shows us the power of sin and of Satan to block and to keep us from seeing the good news of Jesus. The Sadducees, who were part of the chief priests, also would have been embarrassed because they did not believe in a resurrection of the dead, and standing right in front of them is Lazarus raised from the dead? So there are people that have the evidence that will not respond to Christ.

Ross Sawyers: [00:41:42] However, in verse 11, "On account of him, many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus." There was a lens switch happening, they were following one thing and now they were believing Jesus. And that's what God's inviting us into, is to believe what Jesus did on the cross in bearing our sin, becoming the unblemished lamb, the substance that came to take away the sins of the world. And for every person who believes, they we're now called son and daughter. And as recipients of that extravagant grace now, we can extravagantly give back to him.

Ross Sawyers: [00:42:34] Sometimes God gives us earthly examples to show what all in on him looks like. On Monday morning, about 7 a.m., Lisa looked at a text and we realized we're not really great parents because we receive that text at 4 a.m. in the morning and our son was telling us, we're headed to the birthing center and looks like we'll be having a baby today. We scrambled to get all our stuff. Yeah, thanks. So we scrambled to get our stuff together, we asked them what they needed, and we started getting ready. And then Beth, my daughter-in-law, her parents, they're doing the same. And we're just really grateful for her parents, they know Jesus, and we just love it for our grandchild that he's got grandparents that love the Lord and parents that love the Lord. And so everybody's kind of getting there and scrambling and getting there. We go to this house in Dallas that is a birthing center, this is a whole new deal for us, we did the hospital thing years ago. So I know many of you have done the birthing center and so forth, so we do that, we get there. It was there under construction a little bit, like they were kind of getting a little tight whether they were going to be done or not by the time she had the baby, and the baby came a little bit early. And so we get there and like there's a plumber there, you know, still working on stuff. It's a house with two birthing suites, and then a waiting area outside those rooms. And I kid you not, she's back there, and then the plumber comes walking out with his tool belt on, and you're thinking he's fixing the tub that she would be in after a while. You're thinking, Jeremy, Beth's dad said, you can't make this stuff up. I mean, we're just watching this, and then they needed to move some tiles out of the bathroom because they had not finished it yet. So we're helping move tiles out of the bathroom, and so it was quite the day. And then there are two midwives, a doula, a student, two sets of grandparents, a best friend of hers, and then Barrett, our son, and we're all out there. And then these days, you bring people in to take a picture, so pictures. So her best friend was in there for three hours taking pictures, which is actually pretty cool because we've seen pictures of multiple things. We get near the end, it's 15 hours of hard, all-natural labor, so an incredible effort on their part. And they were just trained so well, I mean, the way Andrew interacted with her, and then what she did, and the things they did, the training they received was fantastic. But certainly 15 hours, that's a long, long haul. The doula comes out and says, I think it was a doula, and said, I think it will be about 5 to 10 minutes. Well, I'm a competitor, and so I looked at Barrett and I said, let's guess the time. I know it's a small window, but let's give it a shot. And so I said 5:41, and he said 5:45. I said, perfect. Well, the way these things work, we're like one wall away from her. And so you're kind of hearing quite a bit of what's going on, and so we're all standing there anticipating and I'm looking at my phone at 5:41, and this is a good use of a phone. And I'm looking at it and I'm thinking man, she is silent in there, this is not good, and then I hear what goes on with a contraction. And I'm thinking, I just kind of mouthed it, I said, come on, Beth, push harder, you can do it. And I mean, as soon as I said it, that baby cried. And yes, 5:41, nailed it. And then it turned 5:42 and I said, it better be on that birth certificate at 5:41 because I watched it happen right here. And it was, so they must have had their phone in there also. But it's the coolest thing, they had all these different things with the baby, and it was just a real mapped-out thing. But in the birthing center, then you just go home. That's not what we did, you hand the baby off, and you get a little break. They get the baby, and they head on home. And this is when I learned grandparenting is such a good deal, we got in the car and went home too. You just kind of go home and go to bed, this was a great day with it.

Ross Sawyers: [00:46:35] But I want to give you a picture, here he is. This is Miles Andrew in his mother's lap. And then here's a fuller shot of him, that's a few hours after his birth, life is good. I finally saw his eyes this weekend. I was getting concerned, but now I know there are eyes in there, so I'm excited about that. And then I love this picture of Lisa and Andrew, and I just love the generational shot. You have a little boy and his dad, and then GiGi is Lisa. And then these things cause you to reflect, right? So Lisa was remembering how the doctor told her when she was in labor, if you don't hurry up and push a little harder, this child is going to turn 18 in your womb. So we need to send that picture to him and say, hey, he got out, so we're in good shape. And then this last picture is his feet. And I wanted to show you that because, with this little boy in just six days, he's got two sets of grandparents and one set of parents, and they're all in on him, every minute.

Ross Sawyers: [00:48:07] And I just love the picture of his feet and want to think about what we just read today. And my prayer for him is that he'll be like Mary and that he will love sitting at the feet of Jesus. That when things are hard, he'll be like Mary, and he'll bow at the feet of Jesus and know that Jesus is the one that can help. And that he also experiences the grace and love of Jesus that whatever the most menial task is, he'll walk in humility and serve him. And that he'll be the feet, as those feet get bigger, that in Isaiah is how beautiful are the feet of those on the mountains who bring good news announcing salvation and peace. And that his feet will carry him from the feet of Jesus to carry the good news of Jesus to others, and that he'll be a flaming arrow in a dark world. May we all have an all-in on Jesus' attachment and devotion and love and service, and only then can we love others the way God intends them to be loved.

Ross Sawyers: [00:49:54] Father, thank you for the morning. I'm grateful for your word, and\ pictures of people like Mary, that just extravagantly give. And Jesus, thank you for doing that on our behalf. Thank you that in your feet, you took the nail to bear our sin so we could be set free to not walk in shame or guilt or condemnation or with any impending and looming penalty of judgment and death away from you. But instead, to be set free, to walk in a grace and a mercy and a devotion and a love that will bring the deepest satisfaction in our own hearts, and to the hearts of others, that we might be an aroma of life to people in the way we serve, the way we live, the way we share, whatever it is. But I pray we'd have such a devotion to you, God, that we would know out of that intimacy the ways you want us to give extravagantly back to you and to others. Thank you for being patient, taking us where we are, and changing our hearts. So we just want to say thank you today and pray in Jesus' name.

Ross Sawyers: [00:51:49] If we could if we could just be still for a moment in whatever God's doing, in your own heart, I hope you'll receive it, and then walk in it and seek whatever help you need from any of us in any help that you need. It's just like a little baby needs a whole slew of people around them, so we too, need a whole slew of people around us to help us walk in that all-in way with Jesus.



Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
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121 Community Church
2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051
817.488.1213