Have you ever been in a church setting that made you uncomfortable? I sure have. I’ve been in attendance when people were running through the aisles and also places where the sterility of the environment was stifling. If you’ve experienced anything like that, have you ever found yourself judging the people or system in which the experience took place?
This Sunday we’ll be examining John 12:1-11.
The scene that John describes is one that would have been awkward and uncomfortable in our culture to be sure, but in actuality it would have been weird in Jesus’ day too. Back in Luke 10, Mary upset her sister Martha by defying ancient protocol when she sat out with the men to learn as a disciple while her sister conformed to the domestic expectations of the day. Here again, Mary behaves in a way that for some people viewing it, might have cast her in an unsavory light. Letting down her hair to wipe Jesus’ feet, pouring out an entire box of oil when just a dab would have done…these were actions that were out of sync with the expected norm, and it created a reaction.
How do you think you would have reacted to Mary’s behavior? Who reacted negatively to this action? What seems to be the most important issue for him? What seems to be important to Mary?
All of the different characters and all of their responses. Who do we relate to the most in this section? The Chief Priests react with their one-note response…they want to kill someone. Let’s hope you don’t relate to that. Mary sacrificed a very expensive box of oil to pour out on Jesus. She also sacrificed her dignity and reputation. All because she wanted to demonstrate to Jesus her love for him. How much of Mary do you see in your approach to worship? How much of Judas?
This should prove to be a challenging study this week! Hope to see you there!