Sermon and Bible Study Database
Author: Kent Berghuis
In Sweet Abandon Mark 14:1-11 Intro: Sam Johnson's proposition to the woman illustrates the issue of willingness to sell ourselves. Main idea: If we abandon ourselves for the Lord, we won't abandon the Lord for ourselves. This passage contrasts these types of abandon. I. Abandoning Good for Evil (1-2). --The Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread were approaching. These were symbolic of God's forgiveness and deliverance at the Exodus, as well as the need for purity. --The leaders have been wanting to kill Jesus for some time, and think they have opportunity. But they hypocritically don't want to during the feast--not because of the holiness of the events, but because they fear a public scene. II. Abandoning of Self for the Lord (3-9). A. The woman's extravagant gift (3). --Simon may have been healed by Jesus, and perhaps so was the woman. Bethany was known as a town for housing the sick and lepers outside Jerusalem. --Women were often not allowed at banquets, but Jesus frequently elevated the position of women. --Nard is an expensive oil perfume extracted from a root in India. This was possibly her dowry, her hope for a husband, or part or all of an inheritance. B. The disciples' indignant reaction (4-5). --When people do good work, the critics come out of the woodwork. --They think the perfume could have a better use as sold and given to the poor. --John says Judas said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief and carried the bag. --They rebuke her harshly, a sign of their insensitivity. C. Jesus' prophetic response (6-9). --He rebukes the rebukers. --Her action was a beautiful thing. --We have many opportunities to help the poor, but Christ would soon be gone. --She did "what she could." She took what she had and offered it to the Lord. --This prefigured her burial. Apparently she believed what Jesus had been teaching about his upcoming death, but the disciples were still unbelieving. --Her story would be told everywhere the gospel is preached. III. Abandoning of the Lord for Self (10-11). --Judas apparently had the last straw with this event. He had let corruption enter his heart through greed, and Matthew said the devil entered into him. He knew of the leaders' hatred of Jesus, and he offered his help for money. Matthew says they paid him 30 pieces of silver, the price of a slave. Judas was acting like a slave for the leaders, and turning over Jesus in accord with the prophecy of Zech 11:12. --People can be close to the things of God, yet far away from him in heart. Conclusion: What price would you put on your allegiance to the Lord? 1. What would it take for you to abandon him? No amount of material gain, no amount of social status, and no escape from suffering is great enough. 2. How much are you willing to abandon for him? No amount is too much.