Simon, Mary & Judas

8 April 2018 AM – Mark 14:1-11 – Mr17 – Scott Childs

Introduction: Many people knew Jesus during His earthly ministry. Some followed Him for the entertainment. Others thought He was a prophet. Many believed He was the promised Messiah. Some rejected Him and others hated Him.

Transition: Today we are going to meet three of Jesus’ close followers from whom we can learn valuable lessons about hospitality, generosity and hypocrisy.

1.        Simon was a Hospitable Follower
a.         Simon was probably healed by Jesus
1)         He is called Simon the leper, not because he still had leprosy, but because he had been healed of that disease.
2)         We know nothing of his healing or his conversion, but both are evident from the text. He was no longer a leper because he mingled with people. He was a follower of Christ because he hosted this dinner for Jesus.
3)         Being a converted follower of Jesus is much more than being religious. You see, religion is trying to DO something to earn merit with God to get into heaven. Religion is trying to change yourself from the outside in; Bible Christianity will change you from the inside out. Jesus must cleanse your heart because Jeremiah wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9).
b.         Simon hosted a meal for Jesus
1)         He opened up his home to the Lord and Christian friends.
2)         This was a very busy time of year. It was just two days before the Passover (v.1-2). Jerusalem was quickly filling up with Jewish guests from far and near. Simon may have had guests staying with him as well.
3)         Though it may have been an inconvenience, Simon was a hospitable follower of Jesus.
4)         Hospitality is a virtue that God praises. (Romans 12:13) “Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” (1 Peter 4:9) “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.”
5)         Being hospitable to Christians, even if you don’t know them well, pleases God.  We read in (Hebrews 13:2) “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
6)         The apostle John wrote that if we are hospitable to preachers of the Gospel, we become fellowhelpers to the truth. (3 John 1:5-8) “Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: Because that for his name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.”
O  Like Simon, we ought to be hospitable followers of Christ.

2.        Mary was a Generous Worshipper
While Mark does not give us this woman’s name, John’s parallel Gospel identifies her as Mary (Jn 12:3). It is obviously Mary of Bethany because they were in Bethany and because her siblings Martha and Lazarus are mentioned in the previous verse (Jn 12:2).

a.         Mary gave to Jesus sincerely
1)         Whenever Jesus was in Bethany, Mary loved to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear Him teach (Luke 10:39).
a)         Mary loved Jesus, not in a physical sense but in a spiritual sense. She had a heart for Jesus.
b)         Once while her sister Martha busied herself making a nice meal for Jesus, Mary sat quietly at Jesus’ feet drinking in all that He taught. This irritated Martha.
c)         Martha was like Simon. She was a follower of Jesus who was hospitable. She sought to do things for Jesus, but she lacked the heart for Jesus that her sister Mary had. For that reason, on that day in her dining room Jesus said, (Luke 10:41-42) “… Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
2)         Mary loved Jesus because He had raised her brother Lazarus from the dead (Jn 11:43)
3)         Now, once again, in Simon’s house Martha is serving Jesus and Mary is worshipping Jesus by giving.
4)         Mary gave sincerely because she truly loved Jesus.
b.         Mary gave to Jesus sacrificially
1)         Mary gave her very best to Jesus. She anointed Him with pure spikenard.
a)         It was in an alabaster box or vase. Alabaster is a hard stone resembling white marble commonly found in Israel. It was often carved out to hold ointment because it kept the ointment pure.
b)         Within the alabaster vase was pure spikenard. Spikenard is oil derived from the root of an Indian plant that grows in the Himalaya Mountains.
2)         The Lord wants our service, but more than that He wants our hearts. We remember that on another occasion Jesus said, (Matthew 6:21) “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” We give our hearts to that which we love most in life. What have you given your heart to: your children, your job, your money, your house, your hobby, or to God?
3)         Jesus commended Mary’s generous worship (v.6-9).
4)         What are you giving to the Lord? Does he truly have your heart? Are you willing to go anywhere to serve Him if He should call you? Do you pray that God will call your children into His service? Do you give Him a tithe of your income? What have you sacrificed for Him?
3.        Judas was a Greedy Hypocrite
a.         Judas called Mary’s anointing a waste (v.4-5)
1)         John identified the ringleader of the opposition as Judas (Jn 12:4). Judas claimed that this ointment could have been sold for 300 pence (about 300 day’s wages) and given to the poor.
2)         John tells us why Judas had this bad attitude. (John 12:6) “This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.”
3)         His grumbling stirred the other disciples to murmur as well (v.5). When we sin we influence others to sin.
b.         Judas plotted to betray Jesus (v.10-11)
1)         Evidently, Jesus’ rebuke for his ridicule of Mary’s costly gift was the last straw for Judas. He went and made a deal with the chief priests to betray Jesus.
2)         How could he do that? He had spent three years with Jesus. He heard Jesus’ amazing preaching. He watched Jesus do countless miracles. He even went out with the other disciples preaching.
3)         Judas was a hypocrite. In his heart he was not a genuine believer. He was unsaved (Act 1:25).
4)         Is Judas the only such hypocrite? No! Many claim to be Christians yet in their hearts they have never truly repented and trusted Christ to save their soul from hell. I believe this is the reason we read in (2 Corinthians 13:5) “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
5)         Ask yourself these questions. “Have I truly repented of my wicked sins and trusted Christ to save me? Has the Lord changed me from the inside out? Does the Holy Spirit live in me and convict me when I do wrong?” If you are in doubt, humble yourself and sincerely ask Christ to save you today.
Conclusion: What lessons have we learned from these three followers of Jesus? 1) Simon was a hospitable follower. He knew Christ and he opened his home to Jesus and other Christians. How hospitable are you toward other Christians? 2) Mary went a step further and generously worshipped Jesus. She gave sincerely and sacrificially because she loved Jesus. How sacrificial is your giving to the Lord? 3) Judas was a greedy hypocrite. Though he followed Jesus, he never knew Jesus as his Saviour. That is tragic! Be wise and examine your own heart for evidence that Christ lives in you. If in doubt, please speak to me. I would be delighted to open the Bible and help you.

Song: Give of Your Best – 369