Breaking the jar

Welcome to the Renew blog, a Six Step Bible Study.

We are a united group of Ladies from the UK, who believe in the transforming power of the Word of God for our lives. We meet every Wednesday at Create church, (part of Rising Brook) in Huntington and would love to welcome you to our group, if you live local.

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We are on week 14 of our study in the book of John and we’re continuing with Chapter 12 verses 1-7.

John Chapter 12:1-2 (TPT) Six days before the Passover began, Jesus went back to Bethany, the town where he raised Lazarus from the dead. They had prepared a supper for Jesus. Martha served, and Lazarus and Mary were among those at the table. 

We read in the previous chapter of  John 11 about how Jesus had raised Lazarus up from the dead and now here we find Jesus and his friends sharing a supper together. 

Can we imagine for a moment what their conversations would be like? 

We can assume that they wouldn’t be having your usual chit-chat but would be discussing the amazing events that they had just seen and witnessed. The people that had the privilege of sitting at that dinner table had first-hand experience of the power of God at work in Jesus. 

So far they had seen Jesus turn water into wine, feed the five thousand and walk on water; heal a royal official’s son, a paralytic, a blind man and now he’d brought Mary’s brother, Lazarus back to life! Mary had a lot to thank Jesus for.

How has Jesus impacted your life for the better? What are you thanking Jesus for today?

Verse Mary picked up an alabaster jar filled with nearly a litre of extremely rare and costly perfume—the purest extract of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet. Then she wiped them dry with her long hair. And the fragrance of the costly oil filled the house. 

Here is a wonderful example of generosity in worship. The perfume that Mary used to anoint Jesus was worth a whole year’s wages! In Mark 14:3 it tells us the same story but describes Mary as ‘breaking the jar’ in a generous demonstration of pure devotion.

Mary was seen by all those around her as wasteful and foolish. After all, she had used up a year’s worth of wages in this one act of generous abandon. 

The term ‘Waste not, want not’, is a well-known proverb, said to advise someone not to waste anything, because they might need it in the future. (Cambridge dictionary) 

Mary recognised that she would never need this perfume for anything greater in her future. Jesus was her future.

Jesus meant everything to her and nothing could ever come close to His worth and value.

How then could she choose to give only in part? 

Mary had only one option and that was to give of herself, completely and fully.

He was worthy of all of it.

Just as the aroma of the costly oil filled the house, so too does our worship. When we worship in Spirit and in Truth, the aroma of incense permeates the atmosphere and has the power to break chains and bring life and healing to those around us. 

Is there anything that is holding you back from pouring out your worship to Jesus with everything you have? How does your devotion and worship to Jesus alter the atmosphere around you? 

But Judas the locksmith, Simon’s son, the betrayer, spoke up and said, “What a waste! We could have sold this perfume for a fortune and given the money to the poor!” (In fact, Judas had no heart for the poor. He only said this because he was a thief and in charge of the money case. He would steal money whenever he wanted from the funds given to support Jesus’ ministry.)

When we pour our lives out in worship we will come across resistance from the enemy and when we fill the atmosphere with the fragrance of worship it is always met with those who are aggravated by it. 

The devil hates it when we worship because our focus changes from the problem and on to the promise. 

Satan is described in Revelation 12:10 as the accuser of the brethren. He will use people to speak against the body of Christ, to point the finger and cause us to question our motives and even our faith. The enemy will attempt to fill your mind with doubt and say, “Did God really say that?” (Genesis 3:1). Did God really say that you are forgiven, are chosen, are redeemed, are set free, are the head and not the tail…..

Judas threw accusations at Mary but had absolutely no idea of the cost of what it took to do what she did. He didn’t know what she’d been through, he had no idea of how Jesus had touched her heart and set her free. 

People will look at us and wonder why on earth we spend our time worshipping, praying, studying the word and going to church. They will scratch their heads in wonder and laugh at us. But they have no idea of the cost…… How Jesus set us free and spoke life and love into our lives, changed us completely from the inside out. How Jesus told us we belonged to Him and how He’d never leave us or forsake us. 

Mary had deciphered that ‘One thing’ of great importance (see Luke 38-42) and no one was ever going to take that away from her.

Jesus said to Judas, “Leave her alone! She has saved it for the time of my burial. 8 You’ll always have the poor with you; but you won’t always have me.”

I love it how Jesus tells Judas to leave Mary alone. He wasn’t going to allow her to be spoken badly about or be mistreated in any way. Just as Jesus defended Mary, Jesus is also our defender too and  we have no need vindicate or explain ourselves when we are pouring out our lives in worship to Him. 

Mary knew the time was right and the time was now. She’d saved the oil for Jesus’ burial but instead of waiting until the time of His death she broke out in an act of spontaneous and unrehearsed worship to demonstrate just how much she loved Jesus and was so thankful to Him. Mary was not going to wait any longer. The time to worship was now!

What are you waiting for in order to give your whole heart in worship to Jesus?

This week’s Study Scripture

Hebrews 12:28 (TPT) Since we are receiving our rights to an unshakeable kingdom we should be extremely thankful and offer God the purest worship that delights his heart as we lay down our lives in absolute surrender, filled with awe.

6 R'S

For more information on the 6 R’s Bible Study CLICK HERE to watch the how to video.

We believe that the word of God is powerful and life changing. When the word of God is applied to your life, you will be renewed!

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