Series: Easter: This Changes Everything
Preacher: Dany Hernandez
Reflection: Sam Millen
Live Wonder: Bec Reid
Live Adventure: Jess Lee
Live Beyond: Art Preuss
Live Purpose: Don Pate
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: John 12:1-19 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: The ESV translates John 12:7 the following way: “Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial.’” A footnote gives the alternative: “Leave her alone; she intended to keep it for the day of my burial.” In his commentary, John for Everyone, Part 2, Chapters 11–21 (IVP, 2009), N.T. Wright acknowledges what John says is “difficult to translate.” It’s either “Mary had been keeping this expensive perfume to anoint his body after death” or “Mary should now keep it—anything that’s left of it—for the day of Jesus’ burial; and that this purpose will be more important even than selling it to give to the poor.” I believe she had planned to use the perfume at His burial. The religious leaders were plotting to kill Jesus, and He had been staying in the wilderness to avoid them (see John 11:53-54). She sensed His death was imminent. Why then didn’t Mary wait until Jesus was dead to anoint His body? Mary must have wanted Jesus to know how much she loved Him while He was still alive.
The late commentator, William Barclay makes a keen observation in The New Daily Study Bible, The Gospel of John, Volume 2 (WJK, 2001). Barclay highlights the importance of loving words and actions before it’s too late. Thankfully this has never happened to me, but on numerous occasions I have noted the deep sadness of those who wish they had done or said more. No amount of eulogizing can make up for lost time. It is even worse when a relationship has been strained. Show love while you can.
Some things we can do almost any time, but some things we will never do, unless we grasp the chance when it comes. We are seized with the desire to do something fine and generous and big-hearted. But we put it off—we will do it tomorrow; and the final impulse goes, and the thing is never done. Life is an uncertain thing. We think to utter some word of thanks or praise or love but we put it off; and often the word is never spoken. (Barclay, pp. 130–131)
Recalibrate: Why is it easy to delay doing or saying things that show friends and family how much we love them?
Respond: Who do you need to get in touch with because you haven’t said everything you want them to know?
Research: Read The New Daily Study Bible, The Gospel of John, Volume 2 (WJK, 2001), pp. 125-138.
Remember: “Because of Lazarus many Jews were leaving them and believing in Jesus” (John 12:11, ICB).
Sam Millen is the pastor at Anacortes Adventist Fellowship in Washington State. He his wife Angie is a schoolteacher on Orcas Island and their three children are really awesome!
Ask your little one to find you some precious treasures from around your home. Collect them and place them in an area where you can sit down and go through each treasure with them, asking them why they picked each item. Remind them that they are God’s treasure today, and always, and that’s why He came and died for each one of us.
God sent His Son Jesus so we could live forever because He loves us so much. What can we give to Jesus to show our love for Him? I don’t think He wants a diamond ring, a stuffed animal, a doll, or an autographed baseball. I think He wants us to give Him our very best. He wants us to give Him our life!
As Jesus was rolling up into town, people were shouting from the top of their lungs that the King had arrived. One of the main reasons why Jesus was introduced in that way was because of the miracle that brought Lazarus back to life. This miracle was like the icing on the cake that convinced the people of who Jesus was.
My dad was the principal of an academy and everyone knew me as the principal’s kid, not just because we share the same name, but I also followed him everywhere he went.
Let’s get real—Have you ever done something that stuck in terms of how people identified you?
Over the last few decades I, as a pastor, have led out in foot washing prior to communion in a very strange way. I’ve done this for churches, retreats, schools, and it’s always been a very curious teaching event. Before anyone goes out to wash feet I demonstrate by first washing the feet of four (or more) guys while everyone watches. It’s always very provocative. (I’ve done this with as many as 12 men.) It teaches the “audience” certain things about the famous story that they’ve never thought about before and I can testify to something: You cannot wash the feet of twelve others without your knees hurting and your back hurting. You probably will get leg cramps—I always do. Imagine that, Jesus really scrubbed dirty feet and it probably hurt His back and His knees and He may have gotten leg cramps. And what did He get for the trouble? A bunch of argumentative followers who thought they knew better than He did. What an incredible Servant He was!
Bec Reid is a real estate agent within her family business. She lives in Sydney, Australia, and is a part of the Wahroonga Adventist Church community.
Jess Lee is an education consultant for the New South Wales Adventist education system. She lives in Sydney, Australia, and attends Kellyville Church.
Art Preuss pastors in Massachusetts at the Springfield, Florence, and Warren Adventist churches and serves in the U. S. Air Force Reserve as a chaplain.
Don Pate is “retired” in Tennessee after decades of teaching and pastoring but is still active in speaking and creating for the Kingdom.