Introduction Albu van Eeden
What wonderful grace to welcome you this morning. There is much evil that enters the world through the internet and social media. How wonderful that this very thing makes it possible to have fellowship with people across the world. Brethren, we need the Lord. We must regularly check and recheck our spiritual books to ensure that things are up to date and orderly. We need God when things are going well so that we do not become proud. We need God when we are wealthy so that we do not trust in money. We need God when we are poor that we do not give up hope. We need God in times of peace and war which is why I am looking forward to this hour when the Lord will speak to us.
Welcome to everyone on the first day of the week which is a special day. In the Old Testament the Sabbath was the 7th day of the week. After the resurrection the early church met on Sunday, the first day of the week.
We thank the Lord that He has brought us together. We are thankful for the time of Easter which is approaching. We have sung about the fountain which is the blood of our Lord Jesus. Once we have drunk from this fountain everything changes. If you have heard God’s word and allowed it to enter, there will be a change in your life. Has the word done its work in your life? If there is no change, then our gospel is dead, but the problem is with you, not the gospel. Can you say that your life is better this week than the week before?
Lately, my prayer has been, ‘Lord, give me eyes to see, give me ears to hear.’ Jesus’ disciples walked with the Lord but at times they left the way, because they did not truly understand what the Lord was saying to them. The crowds who followed the Lord did not grasp that He was the son of God and they should be happy because He was with them. When He entered Jerusalem, the crowds rejoiced but a few days later they shouted for His crucifixion. Today He is the king and saviour, tomorrow He is a criminal. Things change so quickly.
As Jesus faced death, the mother of James and John asked would sit on either side of Jesus when He entered His kingdom. They had no idea what was really going on. There was a battle to be faced but they were concerned about position. It was not in itself a bad request, but they did not understand what the Lord was busy with. May the Lord help us to see and hear what we should.
The Lord had told His disciples a long time before that he would face this time of death, but when it came, they had no idea what was going on. Do we understand the time that is approaching? There should be a difference in our lives. We should understand what it means to be free of sin. We should be cleansed in the blood of our Lord Jesus if there is some impurity and remain pure. The Lord has brought us salvation and victory over sin. Do we know what this means? Have you experienced this? Is the power of the gospel a reality? Do you live a victorious life?
Today’s text is Matthew 26:6-13
6 Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. 8 And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9 For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12 In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.” Matthew 26:6-13
This text speaks directly to Christians who walk in the flesh and in the spirit.
This woman did an amazing deed. This could have been Mary Magdalene or Mary, the sister of Lazarus. She was filled with joy because something had happened in her heart. She could not withhold herself when she saw Jesus. (You may see things happening which mean nothing to you, but others ask questions.)
People were eating a meal when this woman entered and poured perfume on Jesus’ feet. Is that good manners, you might ask? Something had happened in this woman’s life, and she could not express herself sufficiently. The Lord did many things for many people. Jesus ate at the home of Simon, the leper. He was a leper but he had been healed. He was still known as Simon, the leper. Jesus may have been at Simon’s house to celebrate his healing. Mary wanted to express her thankfulness to Jesus by pouring ointment on His head.
Jesus was preparing for the Passover when the woman poured this ointment. Some of the disciples were unhappy about her deed and it created turmoil and questions. It was a difficult time for Jesus and His death was approaching, in fact, it was two days away. He had told His disciples that He would die but those close to Him did not hear instead they asked questions. ‘Why the waste?’ ‘It would have been better to sell the perfume and give the money to the poor.’ May we not oppose the will of God. If God points in one direction, may I not point in another. This good deed caused turmoil in the hearts of the children of God. When Jesus needed support, His disciples were busy with personal issues. ‘It is a waste.’ ‘Such expensive perfume? It could have been sold.’ ‘The money could have been given to the poor.’ The questions were actually good questions.
Christian, you may have questions why this, why that? It is in your heart now but one day it be exposed. Through your ideas and ways of doing things, the devil is moving you in a direction away from God, although it might look good. ‘Why this waste?’ ‘Such expensive perfume for one person only?’ And all the other questions. The Lord asked them what it mattered to them what the woman did? She could do what she wanted with her money. She bought the ointment. She did what she felt in her heart. She did what she felt she should do, yet all these questions arose which were evil. She satisfied the thankfulness in her heart, but people found fault with her way of doing it and this is where the devil enters.
Judas was already negotiating with the high priests about how they could capture the Lord. Amazingly, we attend church looking smart, but the Lord sees everything in our hearts. The Lord sees the sin that you do not want to get rid of. You walk around with a smile, but there is sin which the Lord sees. No one saw what Judas or the disciples were busy with but when this perfume was poured out it revealed everything. This perfume was the most expensive there was with which to give thanks to the Lord. What does this ointment reveal in you?
Judas knew nothing about what the Lord was busy with, and he placed himself in front of the Lord and told Him what he thought should be done. We end up telling those whom we should submit to, what to do. The Bible says the Lord opposes the proud. Judas had already forsaken the Lord, and this was an opportunity to return to Him, but his cup was full, and it was obvious to everyone. The year of salvation is at hand. The time has come where we can be set free and cleansed but what are we doing with our time? We can make restitution with God but why are we still in our sin? The work that was accomplished at Calvary was that our sins can be forgiven and forsaken not that we receive forgiveness of sin and then return to it like a dog to its vomit. The way for forgiveness of sin is open for all eternity and if you have been forgiven, why do you return to it? Quieten your heart and look at yourself. Why does your life not testify to the world that Calvary has entered and changed you? How wonderful if boys and girls, mothers and fathers can testify that the blood of God has changed them? Is it not enough what the Lord did on the cross for us? Why is there sin between men and women - has enough not been done? Was the cross not enough?
We are shocked that Judas, a disciple so close to the Lord, betrayed Him. We may be amazed to find people like Judas among us. Woe to the one who commits the sin of Judas which was the sin of blood. He shed innocent blood. He cried but there was no forgiveness. The Bible says woe to the one through whom it will come…The disciples did not see what Jesus saw because they were occupied with their own things. They were lost. They did not see. They did not hear. The Lord told them that there was one person among them who would betray Him and the one who betrayed Jesus even asked the question, ‘Is it I, Lord?’ It was the year of salvation, forgiveness and reconciliation, and it is still that time now. What are you doing about it?
When Jesus came, He did a complete work so that when we confess our sin, we can part from it. Why do you want to live close to the world? Why do you want to wear pants? If you want to wear pants the way the world does, you are lost and have left the way. Young people, check daily to see what you can do for the Lord. The Lord Jesus did a complete work so that we can experience complete salvation. Is it obvious through the way you walk that you have given your life to the Lord?
Brethren, leave your burdens of sin and live for Christ. Bring your burdens to the Lord. If your heart is clean, you will want to do what is pure and white which is why this woman could do this deed; she had full salvation and joy in her life. Where are the men whose hearts are pure? If you heart is not pure, your mind is dark. You look at things online which are dark and evil because of the darkness within.
Judas was disturbed. ‘Why do this? We could use that money for something else.’ Do not be swayed if someone tries to move you back and forth. Judas betrayed the Lord for 30 silver coins. Do you think the matter was still about the ointment? No, do not give the devil your small finger because he will take your whole hand. That woman did what was on her heart, she annointed Jesus for His burial. No sin was done by this deed. The people complained because of the evil in their hearts. The ointment was not enough for the Lord’s burial. How much can we give that will be enough? Let us give everything to the Lord. Do you remember what the Lord has done for you and where He has taken you out of? Remind yourself. Will you ever think of going back if you remember what the Lord has done for you?
Why do you trouble this woman with what she has done – I have only a few days left on earth.
Conclusion Albu van Eeden
Who would have thought that doing a good deed becomes God’s enemy? I am referring to the money spent on Jesus that could have been spent on the poor. Giving money to the poor is a good thing but, in this case, it would have been in opposition God and His will. This is the difference between humanitarian deeds and doing good because Christ has told you. The biggest enemies of Christianity are humanitarians. They are willing to give money to do good works such as supporting the poor, orphans, drug addicts etc but if it is because of Christ (a religious organisation), they will not donate funds. They will donate to a non-religious cause.
The story about giving money to the poor originated from Judas. The main reason people have attacked this work is because Judas (Satan) has convinced them that not enough money has been used in the right places. For the child of God, the most important thing is to please the Lord which will affect the way I treat my child or parent; the way a brother treats a sister and visa versa.
Judas spoke about love and that is the most important thing in your family, isn’t it? No. The most important thing is to live for Christ and encourage one another to do so with all our hearts. Parents should encourage children to live for Christ and not to just do good.
What is the biggest enemy of the church? Preaching love. Do not get people to turn away from their sin, no. There are Judases in this world who serve the devil and plan to. There are also Christians who want to do good and that is God’s will. (It is very often the right thing to do, I’m not saying we should not do it.) There are Christians who give money to the poor when they should have bought oil to anoint the body of Christ. They are not in the will of God.
This has been a challenge to me. We must live this out tomorrow and let us ask God for the grace to do it.