Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Sweet Aroma
Steve McConnell
Growing up I was never taught to sacrifice. But, in many ways I experienced it. We were a very poor family after my mother and father divorced. We (my mother and brothers and I) made many sacrifices, I can recall many times our house being in the early stages of foreclosure, and my mom working three jobs to make ends meet. I believe these sacrifices in part contributed to the person I am today. Have you given much thought why you are the person you have become? Maybe you had a person come into your life and change everything in an instant, which gave you a new perspective on life. Today we will see what Mary sacrificed to honor Jesus and the impact it had.

John 12:1-8

1) Who was Mary?
• Mary was Lazarus’ and Martha’s sister
• Jesus, in the previous chapter, raised Lazarus from the dead
• She is thought to have possibly been a large financial contributor of Jesus’ ministry

2) Why did Mary pour the nard over Jesus’ feet?
Mary was going against all of the religious and cultural norms by just sitting at Jesus feet alone. Not only was Mary going against the norm but Jesus was as well, by just allowing her to sit at his feet. Sitting at Jesus’ feet indicated that she was a disciple; this was not acceptable in the Judean culture. Then, she took it one step further by anointing His feet and taking her head covering off and wiping the nard with her hair. Jesus, by this time, had already informed the disciples of His imminent death at least three times. For some reason Mary must have understood what this meant and somehow must have known that the time of His arrest and death was closer than anyone knew.
• She recognized Him as the Anointed One (Messiah)
• Act of worship
• Humble love
• Symbolism of preparing Him for burial

3) Why did she do it (heart condition)?
• It was her freewill heart response to Him
• She was compelled to give Him her very best
• She released her resources: love, time, money, and her will
• Worship from a grateful heart

4) Who did this act affect?
• Mary’s act exposed Judas’ heart
• This possibly was the straw that broke the camel’s back that prompted Judas to betray Jesus
• She was an example of intense devotion and consuming passion
• Mary’s love freed her from fear—public opinion
• Her act was an extraordinary and extravagant love for Jesus that had a sweet aroma
• The Apostles
• Us: We have been changed by this act of devotion

Have we sacrificed what we are willing to give to Jesus or are we willing to sacrifice all for Jesus.
• Worship always involves sacrifice: money, time, pride, or all three
• Our love for Jesus must provoke us to give Him what is most costly—all of us!
• Am I: too reserved? too worried about what others think? too concerned about self?
• A by-product of our sacrifice to Jesus is an amazing fragrance that will intoxicate the world around us.


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