[Daily Devotion] March 21st, 2016

[Daily Devotion] March 21st, 2016

The King is coming – John 12:1-19

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

The Plot to Kill Lazarus

When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.10 So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.

Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

12 The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting,

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord—
    the King of Israel!”

14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written:

15 “Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion.
Look, your king is coming,
    sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him. 17 So the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to testify. 18 It was also because they heard that he had performed this sign that the crowd went to meet him. 19 The Pharisees then said to one another, “You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!”

What does the passage say?

V. 1-10 Jesus entered Bethany, where he was invited to dine with Lazarus and his family. We remember Lazarus recently rose from the dead (John 11:38-44). Martha was in the kitchen preparing the meal, and Mary came and broke an alabaster jar and anointed Jesus’ feet. All four gospels write about women anointing Jesus with expensive perfume, but there are still many debates among the scholars (For more information read). Mary was preparing Jesus’ funeral. Mary saw the kingdom coming.

When the people heard Jesus entered Bethany, and a crowd of Jews gathered to see him, they started to get aggravated and plotted to kill him.

V. 12-19 As the Passover was approaching, Jesus entered Jerusalem on a young donkey. This was the fulfill the prophecy, which says, ““Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

All the people who eyewitnessed the signs and miracles Jesus performed were talking about Jesus and the people gathered to see how he might be the Messiah they were waiting. The Messiah to come and overturn the Roman oppression. However, the Pharisees wasn’t happy about losing control.

What does this passage mean to me/us?

We see two groups of people in this account. Mary who sees how Jesus will have to fulfill his purpose for the Kingdom. She understood that this would require sacrifice and wanted to do something for him. Even though her tears were more from the gratitude, it should have been mixed with feelings not being able to see her master anymore. 

On the other hand, there is a group who sees Jesus as a king who will fulfill their idealism of their kingdom. A kingdom that they remember from the reign of David. They did not see the bigger picture of God and remained in their own understanding. 

When we see the bigger picture, we can honor God and follow God’s purpose. By following God’s purpose, we are invited to participate in God’s mission. The Mission to bless the world.

Lord, I ask that we will be able to see the purpose of your kingdom, and continue to live our lives for your kingdom. Instead of pouring out our efforts in building our own kingdom.

What are your thoughts?

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