Mary believed Jesus was more precious than anything imaginable. She had no possession more valuable than God’s Christ. She was willing to pour out her alabaster jar of perfume, humiliate herself in front of anyone for Jesus. The indignation of others mattered not to Mary. God’s Christ was worth everything to Mary. When we come to a place where Jesus is worth everything, we don’t care what people think. We will kneel on the floor and worship.
By Pastor Delbert Young
How Much is God’s Christ Worth to Me? – Palm Sunday sermon
HOW MUCH IS GODS’S CHRIST WORTH TO ME?
Scriptures: John 12:1, John 12:12-13, Matthew 21:12, 19, Matthew 24:2, Matthew 25:1, Matthew 26:6, 7, Matthew 26:17, Matthew 27:35, Ephesians 4:9, Matthew 28:6, Matthew 26:6-16
Many Protestant churches such as the Eastern Orthodox observe the time around Easter with a special passion. Some observe the forty days of lent which begins on Ash Wednesday and extends through the Saturday before Easter. Lent is a time of fasting and prayer. The purpose is to build into people faith and expectancy and thanks concerning crucifixion and the resurrection. The week of Easter has special significance and is called the Holy Week. Each day of the week the believers meet for a short teaching about the events of Christ which took place on that day during his last week prior to his crucifixion.
For our reading today, I have selected verses from each day of the Holy Week.
Saturday – John 12:1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
Sunday – John 12:12 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
John 12:13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Matthew 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
Monday – Matthew 21:19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
Matthew 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
Tuesday – Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
Wednesday – Matthew 26:6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,
Matthew 26:7 There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.
Thursday – Matthew 26:17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?
Friday – Matthew 27:35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
Saturday – Ephesians 4:9 Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
Sunday – Matthew 28:6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
As I studied this, I wished we would take this very special week and emphasize the events in a short daily meeting with prayer and communion. Perhaps one day we will.
How Much is God’s Christ Worth to Me?
The thought I wish to communicate today comes in the form of a question. How Much is God’s Christ Worth to Me? I find the thought in Matthew 26:6-16. Jesus and his disciples had gone to Simon the leper’s house for a party. According to Matthew’s gospel, it would have been Wednesday. Simon had been a leper Jesus healed. The house was in Bethany which was only a few miles from Jerusalem.
The scene is simple. Jesus, his disciples, Simon and his guests were enjoying a meal. It was Christ’s last time of gathering with the special friends he cared about before the Passover supper the next night. He would then be arrested and crucified. This culture did not sit at a table with chairs as we do today. It was more of a relaxed atmosphere often in a reclining position. As we will read, this was the position our Lord was in. Let’s read the passage.
Matthew 26:6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper,
Matthew 26:7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
Matthew 26:8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked.
Matthew 26:9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”
Matthew 26:10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.
Matthew 26:11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.
Matthew 26:12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.
Matthew 26:13 I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Matthew 26:14 Then one of the Twelve – the one called Judas Iscariot – went to the chief priests
Matthew 26:15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty silver coins.
Matthew 26:16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
Second Time Perfumed (anointed) – Repentance vs. Worth
This was actually the second time a woman had taken an alabaster jar of perfume and anointed Jesus. The first time was at a Pharisee’s house whose name was Simon (Luk 7:36-40). These two women and events are obviously different. Luke records an event taking place early in Christ’s ministry, actually before John the Baptist was killed. Matthew’s account is during the last week before the crucifixion. Luke’s account is at a Pharisee’s house. Matthew’s account is at Simon the leper’s house. The woman in Luke’s account anointed the feet of Jesus. The woman in Matthew’s account anointed his head and body. Luke’s account is about “a woman in the city, which was a sinner.” Matthew’s account aligns with John’s account. John said the woman was Mary. The woman in Luke’s account did not break her alabaster jar. The woman in Matthew’s account broke it and poured out all the ointment. The complaint in Luke is a woman sinner touched Jesus. The complaint in Matthew is the waste of money.
Jesus emphasized the forgiveness of sin in Luke. Jesus taught people forgiven much love the Lord the much. In Matthew’s account Jesus emphasized his worth. The sinful woman in Luke was repenting as she washed Jesus’ feet with her tears. Mary was not repenting. Mary was expressing the tremendous worth God’s Christ was to her. She did not anoint his feet with a little of the perfume in her jar. She broke the jar and poured out the entire contents upon Jesus. She kept nothing back.
There is a difference between my repentance to Christ and the value of Christ to me. Both are vital. I remember in May of 1978 when I repented to Christ. I did not like myself. I did not like who and what I had become. I didn’t like the way I thought or the things I did. I didn’t like me. My life was heading down a dead end road and I wanted to change. I repented. I came to Jesus. I was forgiven much. My life changed.
Today I continue to repent (think differently), but my relationship with God’s Christ is not built upon my needing to come to Jesus to repent. I come to Jesus now because of his tremendous worth in my life. My relationship is built upon how precious God’s Christ is to me. I look at my life and I am such a blessed man. I literally break my jar every time I think about how blessed I am. I can’t contain it. All I have and all I am I desire to pour out upon him to make his purpose of the kingdom happen.
I want to compare the disciples, Judas, and the high priests to Mary as we ponder the thought of “What is God’s Christ Worth to Me.”
Mary – didn’t care
Mary believed Jesus was more precious than anything imaginable. She had no possession more valuable than God’s Christ. She was willing to humiliate herself in front of anyone for Jesus. The indignation of others mattered not to Mary when it came to Jesus. God’s Christ was worth everything to Mary.
When we come to a place where Jesus is worth everything, we don’t care what people think. We will kneel on the floor and worship. We will dance and lift our hands and shout. We will even talk in tongues. It just doesn’t matter if people are indignant toward us when it comes to Jesus.
I am certain your alabaster box is not perfume, but it is something. What is the most precious possession or thing in my life? Am I willing to break it and pour it out upon God’s Christ?
Disciples – unaware
The disciples who were watching Mary became indignant. John tells us they were provoked by Judas (Joh 12:4-5). They said, “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” Jesus rebuked them and said the woman had done a beautiful thing to him. He said, “When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.”
The disciples had been with Jesus for three years. They had heard all his teachings. They had asked him any question to which they needed an answer. They had heard his prophecies over and over concerning his death. Yet they seemed so out of touch with what was happening. The next night Jesus would be arrested. He would be arrested, crucified, dead, and buried all within forty-eight hours. Mary was more aware of what was happening than the disciples.
The disciples thought the cost of the ointment was too much to give. The money could have been better used elsewhere. Jesus is valuable, but come on. Why such waste? Many believers are this way. We will give our offering and Sunday morning, but will we give the most precious of our possessions? The possession would vary from believer to believer. To Mary, it was her ointment. What is my most precious possession? What is your most precious possession? What is my alabaster box? To some it is money. To others it is time. Would I break myself for Jesus? How much is God’s Christ worth to us?
Judas – reprimanded
It was immediately after the alabaster jar event the Bible tells us how Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests. Immediately after the rebuke by Jesus, Judas turned his back on Jesus. There he received “thirty silver coins” to hand Jesus over to them. What can cause us to turn out back on God’s Christ and his purpose? Do we get offended when the Lord rebukes us through his word? Can a preacher cause us to turn our backs on God’s Christ?
Are we sold out to God’s Christ or just sold out? Judas was just sold out. Mary was sold out to God’s Christ. God’s Christ was worth thirty silver coins to Judas. How much would it take to get me to turn my back on Jesus? Do I have a price? Perhaps we say we don’t have a price. However, we watch people sell out every day. Family, a job, debts, disappointments, etc. all stand between us being as Mary or something else for Jesus. How much is God’s Christ worth to us?
High Priests – out of their hair
Finally, there are the high priests. How do they compare to Mary? The high priests were those against God’s Christ. They want to get rid of Jesus. They wanted him “out of their hair.” They were tired of hearing about Jesus.
A lot of people are this way. They don’t want to hear about Jesus. Every place they go they hear about Jesus. There are probably people like this here today. The truth of the matter is Jesus isn’t going anyplace. You can get rid of him today, but in three days he will be back again. You can try to kill him so you won’t hear from him again, but he will be back. He loves you and he will never stop trying to bring you into his kingdom. He will keep popping up until you take your last breath.
My question to you is, “What is God’s Christ worth to you?” How many more times will you attempt to get rid of him?
Every person here will fit into one of these four positions. Hopefully we are like Mary and willing to pour out anything capable of anointing the purposes of God’s Christ. Hopefully nothing is more precious than God’s Christ.
Perhaps some of us relate more to the disciples. Jesus is worth this much, but not worth the alabaster box. The wonderful thing is he loves us the same no matter what we can give. However the goal is to become like Mary and willing to break our lives and pour them out for God’s Christ.
Some may be like Judas. Some of us may have turned out backs on God’s Christ. We were offended and we sold out. It doesn’t need to stay this way. Don’t hang yourself. Just come back. Jesus loves you.
Some today are like the high priests. There have been times when you were tired of hearing about Jesus. Everyplace you went, it was Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. This is because he loves you. You can’t get away from him. He will never leave you alone. He cannot be killed or silenced. He is calling you today to come into his kingdom.
Perhaps you don’t like yourself. A wonderful part of coming to Christ is we learn to love people and love ourselves. Perhaps you don’t like the life you have or what you have become. There is an answer. Things will never change until you come to Jesus and kneel at his feet and repent. Repent means to think differently. Things will never change in your life until you come and give some of yourself to him and begin to think about him.
Today there are many who have not yet broken their alabaster jar. They have poured out a little, but have not broken the jar. How much is God’s Christ worth to you?
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