II.Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany.
As Jesus’ time on earth drew to a close, we know that Mary was one of the few who understood, at least in part, what Jesus had been telling them about himself. John’s account reveals what Jesus had been teaching as that dark hour approached.
Only a few days before the crucifixion, when Mary anointed Jesus’ head and washed his feet, note the things she must have understood from listening to Jesus:
Read about the two suppers Jesus shared, one with some followers when Mary showed her worship, and the Last Supper with his disciples: John 12:1-11; John 13:1-30
- Who showed a servant’s heart at each meal?
- What was the meaning of the foot washing that occurred at each meal?
- At each meal Jesus mentioned remembering someone- who were they and what would be remembered?
III. Worthy Worship
The truth is, we must worship. “The need for worship is as natural as the need for protection and love, (but) God does not accept pretend worship” (Benson 49,51). To worship like Mary we need to know what is acceptable to our Lord. As you answer the following questions, allow God to lead you to worthy worship through His Word.
1. Worthy worship can only happen when the worshiper is able to worship.
We are not worthy to worship on our own. Read Hebrews 9:1-14 and fill in the blanks to note how we are able to worship God. (Note that the Greek word latreuo, translated as “serve” in the NIV, also means worship—as a slave worships or serves a master.)
“How much more, then, will the ___________ _____ ____, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve (worship) the living God!” Hebrews 9:14.
How did Jesus make it possible for us to worship?
2. Worthy worship can only happen when the object of worship is worthy.
Meditate on the following passages and consider Whom we worship.
Read 1 Timothy 1:15-17 and note God’s attributes from verse 17.
“Now to the _____________ _________________, immortal, invisible,
the ____________ _____________, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen” I Timothy 1:17.
“Worship ____________!” Revelation 19:10 (See Psalm 46:10-11).
3. Our worship must be based on Truth, Who guides us through His Spirit and His Word.
What Jesus told the apostles that night in the upper room, about the sacrifice of his body and blood, happened in real time and in a real place. Worship is not only in our hearts and minds. Hear the Truth through these passages.
Jesus said, “I am the ____________, the ___________ and the ______________. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:6.
“This is the one who came by water and blood, ______________ _______________.
He did not come by water only, but by water and the blood. And it is the Spirit who
testifies because the _______________ is the ________________” 1 John 5:6.
4. To worship in a worthy manner we reflect the One we worship. Mary had understood the lesson Jesus taught when he raised Lazarus—that he had power over death. She knew that Jesus would sacrifice Himself, so she sacrificed herself in the only way she knew how. Her sacrifice told Jesus that she understood what He would do, and that she would honor Him with her whole life.
Discover how our life of worship reflects Jesus’ life of sacrifice:
John 7:38-39. “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water
will____________ ___________ ______________ __________. By this he meant the Spirit, those
who believed in him were _______________ to _______________. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified”. (See Acts 2:36-39).
Romans 12:1. “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to ________________
your____________ as _________________ _________________, holy and pleasing to God—which
is your________________ _______ ___________________”.
Key Question: What is your holy and pleasing sacrifice to God? Have you made that sacrifice?