Who Is Melchizedek in the Bible…Or As I Like to Call Him, ‘Mel’?


If one goes to the Internet to answer this question, there are all sorts of claims made in the name of ‘Melchizedek”.  I’ve come across the name, once again, in bible study in The Letter to the Hebrews 7:1-22, and to save me the time of writing down “Melchizedek,” over and over again, I took the liberty of calling him ‘Mel’.

Many religious groups with ties to Christianity make claims regarding Melchizedek.  Ancient Gnostics go to great explanations of claiming Melchizedek was actually Jesus [For more on the term “Gnostic,” go to GotQuestions.org/”What is the definition of the term Gnostic? ]. Others say he was the archangel, Michael.

Suffice to say, I don’t recommend an Internet search answering these sorts of questions.

In Hebrews 7, the information presented gives the most information about ‘Mel’ in the entire Bible.

Of course, Melchizedek first shows up in our Bible in Genesis … 12 pages into my Bible.

  • Genesis 12 contains God’s call of Abram and God’s promise that would make Abram a great nation and Blessed him (Genesis 12:2).
  • Genesis 13 includes the story of Abram (Abraham) and his nephew Lot agreeing to separate and occupy different territories in the new land.
  • At the beginning of Genesis 14, there’s a report of war among several kings.  Caught up in the plunder of war, Lot was carried off by the victory and apparent victim of circumstance, Lot was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • In the middle of Genesis 14, Abram learns of his nephew’s plight, takes a group of 318 soldiers, routs Lot’s captors and liberates Lot, his possessions, and all the people with him.

It was after Abram’s return from the victory that the story unfolds with Melchizedek.  Even though it is contained in just three chapters in our Bibles, it was a significant encounter for Abram.  Mostly because it’s a moment in which Abram acknowledged God’s Blessing on his life:

  • He chose the Blessing of the priest over the spoils of war offered by the other kings.
  • He credited God for the victory won.
  • He tithed, giving an offering in worship to “God most high”.

AND THIS IS THE END OF THE ACCOUNT.

There are no more details about ‘Mel’ to be found in Genesis.

Most history books I’ve run across don’t deny the existence of Melchizedek, but they don’t have much else to add either.

Aside from our text in Hebrews in this study, the only other place I could find in the Bible was Psalm 110.

Psalm 110 is what Bible scholars call a Messianic psalm, a prophecy that describes the ultimate Savior, the Victor that would deliver God’s people for all eternity.

And this particular Psalm describes the Messiah as “a priest after the manner and order of Melchizedek”  (verse 4).  

Sound familiar?

Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.

He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

This duplication of this specific language presented at the end of Chapter 6 of Hebrews is in the precise language of Psalm 110.

Hebrews 6:20 (AMP)

[20] Where Jesus has entered in for us [in advance], a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek.

This is to remind us that none of this is primarily about ‘Mel’…it’s all about Jesus!

Although, as a Word Detective, it might be really tantalizing to think of all this in terms of unlocking some great mystery about this baffling Melchizedek.  The main point I find here is to tie Jesus to the prophecy found in Psalm 110.  So we will be best served to look at this passage of Scripture not so much for answers to the question “Who is Melchizedek?”  Rather, what we should really be after are the answers to the greater question, “Who is Jesus?”

The author who penned these words under the leading and inspiration of the Holy Spirit has no interest in leading us as readers to Melchizedek.  We are being led to Jesus!

What is found in this passage of Scripture now is Melchizedek being used as an illustration to help us understand more about Christ Jesus.

Melchizedek’s position is worth taking a close look at in Hebrews 7.

The beginning of the chapter explains that he is both king and priest.  Specifically king of Salem (ancient Jerusalem), priest of God Most High.

Jesus too is both King and Priest.

This mention of genealogy seems curious when it comes to studying this in the context of the Bible, especially the Old Testament historical books.  Unlike almost every other figure in the O.T. historical books, ‘Mel’ has no genealogical context.  He isn’t identified as “the son of” anyone, no begat.

Neither his birth nor death is recorded.

In Melchizedek’s case, scripture is silent about all that made him unique.  In this case, what distinguishes Melchizedek isn’t his genealogy, but his righteousness, peace, his association with God Most High!

Verses 4-10 makes us aware of Abraham’s position in respect to Melchizedek.

Abraham, the father of faith, the one through whom God chose to create a special people for Himself, subservient to Melchizedek.

  1. Abraham tithed to Melchizedek–giving him, in an act of worship, a tenth of what he had.
  2. ‘Mel’ blessed Abraham.

First the blessing and then the tenth. 

The lesser person is blessed by the greater.  Abraham wasn’t BLESSED because he tithed.

He gave because he was already BLESSED!

Jesus, too, is greater than Abraham.

Jesus, through this illustration, is associated in a superior order than all kings and priests, especially all those kings and priests that would come from Abraham.

Verses 11-14 make more of this idea of genealogy and ancestry.

The LAW given by Moses, established the tribe of Levi, the tribe of priests.

But Jesus wasn’t a Levite, as ‘Mel’ wasn’t a Levitical priest; Jesus was from the tribe of Judah.

Under the old covenant, one would be a law-breaker if one claimed to be a PRIEST but not qualified by his genealogy,

If you weren’t a LEVITE, you couldn’t be a PRIEST.

But like Melchizedek, who preceded the Levites, Jesus is a PRIEST superior to the Levitical priesthood not on the basis of RULES or ANCESTRY, but on the basis of the POWER of an indestructible life…a life everlasting! 

So, Jesus makes possible what the imperfections of the old priestly order could never deliver.

Jesus introduces “a better HOPE” as described in verse 19.

In the priestly order, only a select few could dare approach YHWH, but Jesus set aside what “was weak and useless” and made a way “by which we draw near to God.”

The old order of SACRIFICES made in the old order of Levitical priests, in which men continually offered payment for SIN through offerings, was set aside.

There were no chairs in the Temple or Tabernacle, for the work was not done.  But Jesus accomplished for us, once and for all, A NEW HOPE by which we draw near to God.

Finally, these last verses in the passage take our mind and spirit back to the prophecy in Psalm 110.  We have to remember, the point here is that Jesus isn’t merely like a king, like a priest, like a Messiah.  

The POINT here is…Jesus IS that Messiah!

He is sealed with an oath from the Creator (“The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind” Psalm 110:4) and not a priest by association or ancestry, but a PRIEST by declaration.

God said to him:  “The Lord has sworn (made an OATH) and will not change His mind:  ‘You are a priest forever'”

(verse 22 b.) – Because of His OATH. Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.  A whole new order, a new way, a new deal, a better covenant…

“SO WHAT?” you might say.

At one level, the “so what,” is simply the benefit of study.  The illustration found in Hebrews regarding Melchizedek gets a little technical, I’ll admit, but it’s powerful!  There’s a real reward that comes with a clearer understanding of God’s Word.

That understanding draws us closer to God and for this confidence that comes from the Word, we can shout, “AMEN”!

There’s of course, this very practical reminder…to keep our focus on Jesus.

‘Mel’ is one of those figures that has been hijacked and made into something that was never intended by many.

If you were googling Melchizedek, you’d soon find yourself way out in the theological weeds.  You can also go to Amazon.com and find all sorts of books that would want to take you down all sorts of weird roads.

But those “roads” take people away from the plain and simple basics of our faith.

We should take away from this study, a reminder that Scripture points us to Jesus.  We don’t need to search for secrets and mysteries about Melchizedek; the intent of this passage of Scripture is clearly to draw our attention and understanding to Jesus:

He is…

  • King of Righteousness
  • King of Peace
  • Priest Forever.

We’re reminded of the continuity of our faith.  That all ancient history points to the hinge of history, Jesus our Savior.

…that all religious practice, all rules, and law, all sacrifice and worship…ALL of it is trumped (if you will), superseded by a Superior Order, Jesus, the promised priest forever!

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CREDITS

The New International Commentary On The New Testament – The Letter To The Hebrews

PHOTO/IMAGES:  Google Image Search – Settings, advanced.

Bible Translations used:  New International Version (NIV); Amplified Bible (AMP); and other translations used are so noted.

 

 

IN THE UPCOMING NEW YEAR…Put On Your Seat Belts And Hold On!

SCRIPTURE, JOEL 2:21-27:

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Looking at JOEL, chapter 2 in this BLOG-STUDY, we read that an invasion had taken place in Israel; an invasion of “locusts” that stripped God’s people of everything, and I mean everything (Joel 1:4-20).

What those nasty swarming locusts did to the people, our persistent ‘nasty’ sins will do to us.  Our only HOPE is to recognize God’s CALL:

“Return to Me with ALL your heart” (Joel 2:12)

To those who turn to the LORD in REPENTANCE, regardless of the sins that envelope them, He promised…

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten–” (v. 25)

The Land That Suffered Under God’s Judgement Would Be BLESSED!

There is a “now, but not yet” taste to this passage of Scripture.

Eventually in the new heavens and the new earth, in the consummation of ALL THINGS, the Church will see the total fulfillment of God’s PROMISES here.

RESTORATION is the work of the LORD alone;  “Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things!”

JOEL maintains a “prophetic” observance forming part of the New Year ritual.

QUESTION:  So how will God RENEW us in 2017?

  • NO FEAR (vs. 21-22):

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FEAR is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.  It prepares us either to run from or fight against the presumed danger [ *See footnote [i] ].

The BIBLE uses words like fear, afraid, terror, dread, anxiety, tremble, shake and quake over 850 times to portray the center core of our emotions.

We are fragile beings, given to fears of every kind.  We have a built-in insecurity that no amount of ‘whistling in the dark’ can lessen the anxiety.

FEAR attacks the most precious parts of our life, keeping us from living the life God meant for us.  So God wants to help us overcome our insecurities; our fears as we learn to “FEAR NOT!”

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control”  (2 Timothy 1:7 – AMP).

With everything that’s going on in the world today, the SPIRIT OF FEAR seems to be working overtime!  BUT…the “spirit of fear” doesn’t come from God, crippling to anyone who holds on to it.  SATAN wants us to be overwhelmed so we cannot accomplish the things we need to do.  Remember, if God is for us, no one (including the devil) can be against us!

The Land Had Suffered…

The prophet Joel has vividly pointed out the impact from the drought connected with the locust devastation on the land; BUT NOW…the call is to JOY and GLADNESS.  Things are now reversed.  Instead of mourning, exaltation; instead of sadness, there’s joy and gladness; instead of ‘the day of the Lord’–the very great and terrible FEAR, there is “FEAR NOT”!

We can conquer our fears!

To admit that we are afraid is to admit that we are human.  But to admit being afraid and then trusting the Lord and going forward will take the FEAR out of FEAR.

FIRST MONTH OF FORMER/LATTER RAIN (vs. 23-24)

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ISRAEL has a Mediterranean climate with long, hot, rainless summers and relatively short, cool, rainy winters.  Rainfall is unevenly distributed, significantly lower in the south of the country [Wikipedia].

Bible history also shows that the patriarchs, like Abraham, dug wells wherever they went with quarrels of water.  Thus, RAIN was directly correlated with the livelihood of the people in Israel; their survival was threatened when it didn’t rain!

THE FORMER RAIN–

The FORMER RAIN should fall enough to yield a good harvest for the upcoming year.  

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Since there is no rain during the dry season, it’s impossible to cultivate farmland unless it rains.  That is why the FARMERS wait with anticipation for the FORMER RAIN while getting ready to farm for the year (James 5:7):

[7] Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn ans spring rains (NIV).

The former and latter rains, which comes at the right time for farming in Israel, is a BLESSING from God.  So most of the RAIN recorded in the Bible figuratively, represents God’s GRACE & BLESSINGS poured out on His people.

Physical farming in ISRAEL, controlled by RAIN, represents the GOSPEL work of God spiritually (Mt. 13:24-30; 36-40).

The two special rains in the farming season–the former and latter rain (Autumn & Spring rains)–represent the Holy Spirit that God gives us in spiritual farming.

THE PROPHECY OF THE LATTER RAIN–

The coming down of the “latter rain” at the HARVEST TIME is to be fulfilled through the work of the Holy Spirit, which in turn, God POURS OUT on us for the Gospel Work of gathering God’s people represented by the WHEAT, from the ends of the earth, in the SPIRITUAL HARVEST TIME.

Now is the age of the Feast of Tabernacles–

It is the spiritual fruiting season–when we should ask our Heavenly Father, who rules and manages ALL THINGS, to pour out on us the Holy Spirit of the latter rain.

As gospel workers, we are to accomplish the amazing work of the Holy Spirit by preaching the “good news”–the Gospel; boldly being clothed with the abundant GRACE of the Holy Spirit our Heavenly Father has poured out.

This is what we need church in our day!

  • WE NEED the Lord to open the windows of Heaven to erase the spiritual drought we’ve been living under of late.
  • WE NEED Him to send the heavenly RAINS upon us one more time.
  • WE NEED Him to give back everything the enemy has tried to take away from us.
  • WE NEED revival of His manifest presence among His people.
  • WE NEED power in our services.
  • WE NEED a revival of holiness in the church.

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WE NEED REVIVAL!!!

Oh that God’s people would SEEK His face and ask Him for the move of God we so desperately need in these last days.  This should be at the top of our prayers!

RESTORATION (vs. 25-26 a.):

Whatever the ENEMY has taken away from you, God wants to RESTORE IT!  God wants to make it better than before!!  That’s the kind of Father He is.

Every day we have CHOICES put before us.  We can be tempted to get hurt, wounded, or sometimes, depressed.  And believe me, I’ve been down this beaten path before over my lifetime.

We can complain and remain in the same awful condition, OR…we can PRAISE God and be raised up.

ISRAEL’S CROPS had been destroyed by a LOCUST INVASION

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AND, the impact lasted more than one year.  When locust destroyed the crop, they wiped out the SEED saved the previous year and the HARVEST of the current year and the SEED that would be used the next year.  It was a multi-year impact on the people.

JOEL 2:25 now complements the preceding verse, which says,

And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten–the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust…”

Joel has used the LOCUST INVASION as an illustration of God’s judgment.  In His promise to “restore/replace” the years lost to the locust, God is pledging to RESTORE His repentant people with a place of BLESSING after judgment.

THE TEXT describes other positive things that would take place during this RESTORATION:

  • GREEN PASTURES for livestock in verse 22.
  • TREES & VINES that bear fruit–verse 22.
  • THE SPRING & SUMMER RAINS would come as needed for a good crop in verse 23.

And the RESULT of the RESTORATION would be physical and spiritual:

— THE PHYSICAL:  “You will have plenty to eat, until you are full” – verse 26.

— THE SPIRITUAL:  “You will praise the name of the Lord your God” – verse 26.

God’s ultimate desire is not to punish His children, but to RESTORE them!

He PROMISED to send new wine, grain and oil.

He PROMISED never to make them an object of scorn among the nations.

In addition, He PROMISED to drive the “army.”

NO DISGRACE HERE!  (vs. 26 b.-27).

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The prophet JOEL is talking about the FUTURE PROSPERITY of the church–the ABUNDANCE of spiritual food that the church will not be in shame or sorrow.

BUT…when much is given–much is required from us.  There is an EXPECTATION from God; ALL these plentiful provisions we enjoy are going to testify that there is only ONE God–the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who is also the ‘Great I AM.’  In no way or form will the body of Christ (the CHURCH) be disgraced.

In today’s headlines, we see many nations trying to DISGRACE Israel…but not entirely.  Their negligence of God, by cutting Him off from their lives, has escalated them to this position.

Our nation is walking down the same road that Israel took centuries ago and lost all their blessings.  So it becomes imperative that the church rises up and takes hold of their responsibility in leading the people in a godly way and direction so that they are RENEWED!

The PROMISE of ‘no shame’ to God’s people.

This PROMISE is mentioned twice in this passage of Scripture, solidifying the seriousness of God to bestow this on His people.

If we are going to call ourselves ‘children of God,’ we can’t take this lightly–but should hold tight to this assurance and allow God to RENEW us in the New Year.

Now the ROAD to get there at times may be rough–we may be deceived by the enemy; that we will not be granted with this BLESSING, but when God is with us, we will surely get there!

My desire is to be a ‘BARNABAS’ [*Bible Study Tools, Barnabas meaning] to my readers in the upcoming New Year by encouraging and articulating in the year of 2017, bringing RENEWAL and ABUNDANCE that God offers to all of our lives!

For that FIRST and FOREMOST, we must…

  • Fear not!
  • Enjoy the blessings of the latter and former rain.
  • Accept God’s restoration plan for our life.
  • You shall not be put to shame and know that He alone is God and there is no other!

So get ready, and buckle up, and hold on!!!

 


CREDITS & fOOTNOTE:

Footnote [i]:  Google Dictionary for FEAR.

Photos:  Google IMAGE Search.

Bible Translations:  Amplified bible (AMP), unless noted in the text.

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words.

“RECKLESS GIVING” In the Upcoming New Year

MARK 14:3-9 (King James Bible):

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One my favorite things to do is to activate my imagination while writing a script for a play, using stories in Scripture as the base.  The story in the above verses was no exception.  So let me start by SETTING THE SCENE.

I can only imagine how the TABLE CONVERSATION must have transpired.

LAZARUS speaking to Simon the Leper:

‘I’m thanking you for allowing me to come in your house.  I can’t think of any other place I would rather be–but to be here with you!  And since I’m her Scaly, I want to ask you a question, tell me–how was life before you met Christ?’

SIMON THE LEPER must have said,

‘Let me tell you that nobody would talk to me.  In fact, my life was on a narrow ledge.  I have no relationships or reputation with other people.  I only hang around with other people who were just like me.  And then one day, I heard that this Wonder Worker, JESUS, was coming through town and that He worked the night shift and that He made house calls–and all I know is that He spoke to me and my skin began to transform, like the skin on a newborn baby…You’ve asked about MT encounter Lazarus, what about you?  How did it feel being dead, sleeping in the grave?  How did that feel?’

The SCENE as they exchanged stories together:

  • The DISCIPLES sat there at the u-shaped table…
  • MARTHA was serving as Martha always does.

And Conspicuously Absent…

Martha’s sister, MARY, as usual.  MARY only had TWO cameo appearances prior to this one.

  • One, when Jesus visits the household of MARY and she sits at His feet.
  • And then again in the Gospel of John, chapter 11, when she rushes Jesus and says, ‘Jesus, please come and save my brother.’

And here in this passage in Mark; MARY does something out of the ordinary–

  • Because if you want to get what you’ve never had, you have to do something that you’ve never done.
  • God works at His best when we are bold enough to step outside of the box of human conformity.
  • If you do what you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always gotten.
  • Staying in the box of conformity and a narrow mindset doesn’t impress a God Who already declared that He’s more than enough!

The Extravagance of God’s GLORY is Connected to The Recklessness & Liberality of My Giving”  [Quote by Kraig Pullam, Pastor/Chaplain]

LEARNING HOW TO MODEL THE COST OF MARY’S GIFT –

Mark 14:3:  “a woman came with an alabaster jar of ointment (perfume) of pure nard, very costly and precious; and she broke the jar and poured [the perfume] over His head.”

In my study this week, I found that MARY is mentioned 3 times in Scripture and each time she’s found at Jesus’ feet!

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  1.  LISTENING.  Luke 10:39.
  2.  SORROWING.  John 11:32.
  3.  WORSHIPING.  John 12:3.

And at His feet she found BLESSING; she brought her burdens, her cares, her fears, her anxiety, and she GAVE at His feet her best.

Looking At What Mary Gave (Verse 3):

In Matthew (26:7), it is called “very precious” or “costly” fragrant oil–“alabaster jar” or “flask” is made of marble and very expensive itself; breaking it was a sign that ALL was to be used.  The custom in the East was, if a glass was used by a distinguished guest, it was broken so that it would never again be touched by the hand of any lesser person.

So Mary was giving Christ her BEST and her ALL!

“Ointment (perfume) of pure nard, very costly…”

VERSE 5 teaches the value of the gift was “more than 300 denarii”…almost a year’s salary in the 1st Century.  For example, it was estimated that the 5,000 men, plus women and children, could have been fed with 2/3 of this amount [Mark 6:37; 200 denarii].

Mary with her lavish heart and hand–not cautious in giving, but RECKLESS!

QUESTION:  When was the last time YOUR GIVING could be regarded as “RECKLESS”?

When I say “reckless,” it’s not the value of our gifts which He regards, but the LOVE of the heart which gives them!  LOVE is not concerned to see how little it can decently give.  There seems to be a RECKLESSNESS IN LOVE which refuses to count the cost.

This woman acted on the impulse of LOVE because she knew in her heart of hearts that if she didn’t do it then, she would never do it at all.

Mary in the moment acted with absolutely controlled adoration for her Lord and Savior; she lost all sense of restraint and economy.

THE TRUE WORSHIPER & STEWARD GIVES JESUS WHATEVER HE HAS…knowing it is nothing compared to what has been received from Him.

MARY had lost herself in Jesus and as a result, wasn’t even conscious of others or her surroundings in her giving.

Our GIVING should always reflect the gratitude–our LOVE–toward the object of our affection.

After 52 years of marriage to the same woman, each year my GIVING daily is the reflection of my love towards her.  It is never about the dollar value of the gift.  It’s doing the unexpected!  It’s even EXTRAVAGANT at times!!

Extravagant Giving is what you should desire to give toward God because your desire for God is to be extravagant with YOU!

Look at Sis. Mary and her commitment–EXPENSIVE OINTMENT/PURE NARD.

– she didn’t just sprinkle a little bit of ointment on Jesus,

– she didn’t just take a small portion of the perfume out and place that on Jesus,

– she didn’t just measure it out so carefully, no, she POURED it out on Jesus.

IN OUR SERVING THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, WE DON’T MEASURE IT OUT.

If you are going to SERVE, don’t just see how little you can do for Him, or how little you can GIVE to Him and get by.

If you’re going to SERVE THE LORD JESUS, then POUR IT OUT upon Him-

  • Give Him ALL you got!
  • Give it ALL you can give it, because that’s the kind of SERVICE that Jesus demands!

For some, our GIVING has become conformed to our level of COMFORT–COMFORT GIVING.

  • We tip God (the better our week went, the bigger the tip!).
  •  We tease God (make God think we’re about to give Him part of us–and then, change our mind).
  • We trick God (we give to Him because He has something we want–and we at least have enough sense to know, He’s in the BLESSING business–so we’ll give to Him because we want a house, we want a car, we want a man, we want a woman…you get the idea).

You see, when you TREASURE Him–He becomes the FIRST thing that crosses your mind beginning every day!

When JESUS is your TREASURE–

Your GIVING is not limited or relegated to what is convenient for you; but by what God has not only required of you–but you want to give Him even more because He means just that much to you.

When you TREASURE Him–

Then your LIFE connects to the law of mutual dependency–where He gives me “treasure” so that I can break whatever it is that can release the “treasure” He gave me–so that I can give it back to Him–and the MIRACLE in MY LIFE is realized as He POURS His purpose in me through ABUNDANCE–because I was willing to POUR MY HEART into Him through my obedience.  I hope all this makes sense to you.

See, when we are POURING, then you recognize that YOUR CONDITION ISN’T YOUR CONCLUSION!

–Whatever you SOW, you shall also REAP!

  • IF you sowed during affliction, you shall reap!
  • IF you’ve sown during pain, you shall reap joy!
  • IF you sow in tears, you shall reap in laughter!
  • IF you sow when you didn’t have anything, you shall reap and have it all!
  • IF you sow when you were last, you shall reap when God makes you first!
  • IF you sow during your times of darkness, you shall reap during the light!

SO, WHAT WAS MARY DOING?

Mary, in a real sense, was in WORSHIP.  To her, it was worth it to POUR OUT ALL of what she had upon the Most High God.

“WORSHIP” as you might know, and our word “WORTH” are closely connected.  In fact, the Old English spelling of worship is “worthship”  [More Than Worship, It’s Worthship, Craig T. Owens June 24, 2010].

WORSHIP is realizing the “worth-ship” of a thing or a person.

The QUESTION becomes, “How much is JESUS worth to us?”  I can tell you what He’s WORTH to me–but “How much is He WORTH to you?”

  • It’s not a WASTE to pour your life out on Jesus.  HE’S WORTH IT!
  • It’s not a WASTE to wake up in the morning and enter holy conversation with a loving God.  HE’S WORTH IT!
  • It’s not a WASTE to come to the Lord’s house and drive 5 minutes or even 5 hours–to come into this house to gather in His name and WORSHIP Him.

What makes GOD worthy is because He is WORTH IT!

— You kiss up yo your boss, but is he or she worth it?

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— You work so that you can make more to impress everybody around you, but are they worth it?

— You sacrifice your time because you want to get bigger and finer things accomplished–but are those bigger and finer things worth it?

My ANSWER is… NO!

— Your boss didn’t die for you.

— Your paycheck isn’t what makes your heart tremble or make the sun from light you see every morning shine.

— The bigger and finer things won’t answer you when you PRAY about your sickness or your fractured marriage, broken relationships or that prodigal child who strayed from home.

You better LEARN like Mary did; how to build your hope on things eternal while holding on to God’s unchanging hands.  All because His hand is the ONLY hand big enough to give you an 100 fold return on time, talent and resources that you have already given by Him.

A Critique of the Crowd’s Stupidity –

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There will always be people who identify themselves as followers of Christ Jesus–who say that they are friends of the kingdom, but in reality, they are enemies.

There will always be people who tell you, ‘Now it doesn’t take all of that!’

There will always be people when it comes to the giving of your time, talent and treasure–‘God understands’ (Well if God understood, then He wouldn’t have told me to do it!).

Let me just say here, that GOD’S WORD IS FLAWLESS and it is the FINAL AUTHORITY, period!

The WORD is the WORD and there will always be people who will try to best God’s Word.

— Either you BELIEVE that God was playing when He said you sow what you reap or you don’t.

— Either you BELIEVE that God was serious when He said present your body as a living sacrifice or you don’t.

— Either you BELIEVE that God owns it all or you don’t.

— And when it comes to STEWARDSHIP, you are either choosing true or false; multiple choice isn’t an option.

Watch the TEXT:  VERSE 4

“To what purpose was the ointment thus wasted?”

Now I thought it was interesting here, to know who was asking the question.

gospel-of-john-21-reaction-to-lazarus-resurrection-5-638

JUDAS’ criticism here sounds ‘spiritual’ and even though Judas spoke out, the DISCIPLES were “indignant”–“they answered and reproved her.”

JUDAS is a reminder to ALL of us every time there’s criticism of Christian generosity, that somewhere behind the CRITICISM there may be a JUDAS.

I don’t know about what your thinking while reading this account, but I think Mary must have been hurt, confused with emotions running wild.  I know I would have been.

The text doesn’t say it–but Mary must have thought in her mind, ‘Why are they criticizing ME?  They are the ones who are supposed to be His disciples!’

Adopting the Commendation of Jesus’ Word.

The DISCIPLES became “indignant”  (vs. 4).  In the Greek, it’s the sound of snorting horses.

And Jesus responds to the “snorting” with COMPASSION in His word.  The word COMPASSION means to step into someone else’s skin.

Jesus steps into her skin in a moment to empathize with her pain at the insult of their response.  And Christ responds in VERSE 6 by saying,

“Let her alone; why are you troubling her?”

We know that He is addressing ALL of the disciples, but more specifically, He’s addressing JUDAS.  It was Mary’s LOVE that motivated her to give her best; but JUDAS couldn’t take it.

MARY’S REWARD for her sacrificial gift was a moment of COMMENDATION.  

She couldn’t be a Pastor, or a Disciple, and she couldn’t write a book of the New Testament.  All she could do was this:  “She has done a good and beautiful thing to Me [praiseworthy and noble].”

And that’s all the LORD expects of us.  Jesus praised the LOVING NATURE of her GIFT.  She had done what she could and He knew it was done from LOVE!

Our GIFTS should be a SURRENDERED GIFT –

When we GIVE of our talents, our time, our resources–it shouldn’t be a GIFT that’s pulled out of you.  It should be a GIFT that you WILLINGLY surrender (Romans 12:1) and that “surrender” should be because you love Him.

ILL –my daddy got me a pinata.  I kept swinging.  He said, ‘Son…the name of the game is you have to break it; but you have to break it in the right place!’

MARY had been broken in the right place.  That’s why she could give what she had!

Some of you who are reading this–God is breaking you!  But He wants to get you in the right place!!!

  • ATTITUDE needs to be changed.
  • GRATITUDE needs to be altered.
  • CONDUCT needs to be modified.
  • CHARACTER needs to be sharpened.
  • STINGINESS needs to be destroyed.

GOD is breaking me as I write these words and He’s breaking you in the right place as you read this blog.  

AND JACOB WRESTLED!

Do you remember the bible story when JACOB wrestled with the “angel of the broken-vesselsLord’?  That angel said, ‘Let me go…for the day is breaking.’  But JACOB said…’I won’t let you go until you BLESS me.’  And all we know is the morning came and JACOB was on the ground.  But now he had a different walk.  Because when he takes a step forward, he discovers that he’s been changed.

“You can’t be BLESSED until you’ve been broken!”

 


CREDITS:

Bible Dictionary:  VINE’S COMPLETE EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY

PHOTOS:  Google Image Search.

Bible Translations:  King James Version (KJV); New International Version (NIV); Amplified bible (AMP).