Breaking The Alabaster Box (Ps Mukumba) 08-Dec-2019

I will give him fragrant worship by breaking the Alabaster Jar

John 11v312-32; Luke 10v38-42 and Mark 14v3-9

Introduction

Ø There are two separate incidents involving two different women when Jesus was anointed with ointment from Alabaster box/Jar. There are certainly many similarities in these incidents that have caused some confusion, one of which is the presence of an alabaster box.

Ø This event occurred in Bethany just days before the crucifixion, which is why Mary came to anoint Jesus for the event to come. "She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial" (Mark 14:8). Mary the sister of Lazarus is never referred to as a sinner in any of the accounts of her. Nor does it say she was weeping.

Ø 1. Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, and John 12:1-8 all speak of the same event involving Mary of Bethany, sister of Martha and Lazarus, at the home of Simon the leper, probably a leper who had been healed by Jesus and had become one of His followers. Mary is never referred to as a sinner in any of the accounts of her. Nor does it say she was weeping. Mary of Bethany also possessed insight as to the upcoming death of Christ. The incident when she anointed Jesus happened in Simon the Leper's house.

Ø 2. On the other hand, Luke 7:36-50 speaks of the house of Simon the Pharisee rather than the house of Simon the leper. This event occurred about a year before the crucifixion in the area around Galilee (not Bethany) (Luke 7:1, 11). The woman here was forgiven of many sins, but her name is not given. The woman of Luke had no such insight; she exhibited just loving worship of the One who forgave her of her sins. This woman was a converted harlot who expressed her love to Jesus Christ

Ø Alabaster Jar/Box Meaning: Alabaster was a stone commonly found in Israel. It was a hard stone resembling white marble and is referred to as one of the precious stones used in the decoration of Solomon’s Temple. So the container the two women used to carry the perfumed oil was made of a white, marble-like substance. Ointment, oils and perfumes used to be put in vessels made of alabaster, which kept them pure and unspoiled. The boxes were often sealed or made fast with wax, to prevent the perfume from escaping. When Mary broke open her alabaster box, “the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume” (John 12:3). Alabaster was a strong enough substance to keep the oil or perfume completely contained until the time of its use. It is a perfume vase made of a fine-grained, translucent form of gypsum, typically white, often carved into ornaments.

Body:

Ø There three times in the Gospel story each time when Mary is found at the feet of Jesus.

Ø Mary had a close relationship with the Lord as she sat at His feet and listened to his word. She is a good model for us all to follow

Ø It is very important to stay at the feet of Jesus Christ no matter the circumstances

Ø In the account that we have just read above, Mark contrast the treachery of Judas with love and loyalty of Mary

Ø The ugliness of Judas and the leader’s sins makes the beauty of Mary's sacrifice more meaningful

Ø Mary expressed her love for Jesus in the house of the leper. No matter where you are i.e. geographically, socially or spiritually always express your love for Jesus Christ without looking at people around you

Ø She expressed her love for Jesus because she understood that he was going to be crucified not because of His sins but because of our sins

Ø He was put on the cross for us. The murderer that was supposed to crucified was released because of him. He is the way the truth and the life.

Ø She prepared his body and anointed his head. What are you doing for Jesus, for what he has done for you. Perhaps she was also thanking him for raising his brother Lazarus from the dead.

Ø Our God have got power to raise anything even from the dead. No weapon forged against you shall prosper because you have got resurrection power in you.

Ø She shows her love for Jesus openly. She was not ashamed to show her love openly. She showed her love for him whilst he still alive.

Ø She gave a very expensive offering to the Lord. Waal!!!!!! Very expensive. Oh what a pleasant way to sacrifice ourselves and worship before his precious throne.

Ø Spikenard was imported from India and whole jar had an equivalent cost common to an annual salary/income

Ø Mary gave lavishly and lovingly. We should all give lovingly and lavishly especially in this Christmas period


There are 3 things or consequences that happened due to her act of worship

1. The House was filled with beautiful fragrance of the ointment

Ø There is always spiritual fragrance in that home/house where Jesus is loved and worshiped.

Ø You can smell the fragrant presence of the Lord. You can feel it. Oh Lord I need. Glory be to Jesus.

Sweet JESUS, Sweet JESUS What a wonder you are You are brighter than the morning star You are fairer, Much fairer Than the lily that grows by the wayside You are precious, more precious than gold.

You are the rose of Sharon The fairest of them all You are everything my heart desire…


2. The disciples and Judas Iscariot criticized Mary for what she did, but she was not discouraged.

Ø People are very critical

Ø Don’t listen to people who discourage you of good habits and acts.

Ø Discern between your good, best and bad friends

Ø It sounded so logic whatever they were discussing. Imagine someone comes and discusses giving of the poor. Every one will jump into that because that’s so sensual.

Ø Many people use these sensual ideas and pretend as if they from God but deep down they have got wrong motives. They are driven by wrong desires of stealing the very things that should be given to the poor and needy people. Who steals from the poor? I believe many sensual and psychological people.


3. Jesus recommended Mary for her act of worship. He knew the heart of Judas and understood why the other disciples followed his example him

Ø No matter what others may say about our worship the most important thing is that we should please the Lord in all that we should and are doing.

Ø Brethren please the Lord in everything that you do

Ø The fact that others misunderstand and criticize us should not keep us from showing our love to Jesus Christ.

Ø Our concern should be HIS approval alone


Conclusion

Ø Mary gave her best at the feet of Jesus. Even in your pray give the best. Give your best in your intercession.

Ø She started a wave of blessing that have been going on ever since

Ø She was a blessing to Jesus as she shared her love

Ø You can be blessing like Mary. All you need to do is to give your best in all you do.

Ø She was a blessing to the home/family as the fragrance spread. Was it not for Mary her village Bethany would have been forgotten?

Ø As you allow the fragrance of your relationship with the Lord or prayer life to spread, you can be a blessing to your home, family, church, community, country and the world

Ø The account of her deed was a blessing to the early church that heard about it, that is why it recorded in the three gospels

Ø Spread the fragrance of Jesus Christ everywhere. Be a blessing to whole church and the world.

Ø Mary gave her best in faith and in love. Judas gave his worst in unbelief and hatred

Ø God is interested with and in a personal relationship with each one of us. Some time we are concerned with what others are doing yet we should be concerned with our relationship with the Lord. It's not about others, it's about you.

Ø Let us focus, and all come to the feet of Jesus Christ with fragrant prayer

Ø Let's remove the wrong focuses that we have and focus on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is worthy of all the praise.

Ø May the Lord start to build that relationship now. It should be now and never latter. We need it now.

Ø Don’t be philosophical about your worship, be spiritual.

Ø I will leave you with a question.

What does the Lord want from you?

Are you going to be controlled with what others should do, want you do???

Who is controlling you? When is he/she going to leave you?

Ø Are you going to be sensual or spiritual? Do you love to be sensual or spiritual? Remember you are a spirit being

Ø I want you to know that Jesus responses to love the same way you or we respond to love

Ø I don’t know what is hidden inside of you, but it is time to break the alabaster jar

Ø We have got a loving, responsive good God.

Ø I also want you to take note that He is also an ever-forgiving Savior. The same way he forgave the harlot in Luke 7v36-50, he can forgive you.

Ø Stay connected to him always break the Alabaster jar.

Ø Stay at his feet

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