Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #303 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading John 12 today and our focus is on What Can We Learn From The Women of the Bible? + The Extreme Gentleness of Jesus! We are a daily 10ish minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Antioquia, Columbia, New South Wales, Australia, Tokyo, Japan, Nairobi, Kenya, Hormozgan, Iran, Arad, Romania, Gelderland, Netherlands, Port Arthur, Texas, Monterey, California, Montgomery, Alabama, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Phoenix, Arizona, Providence, Rhode Island, Monroe, Louisiana and Corpus Christi, Texas. Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Mary of Bethany, as I mention whenever I can, is one of my heroes, and one of the great unsung heroes of the Bible. When I say she is unsung, I don’t mean by Jesus or Heaven – both Jesus and Heaven recognize her great value and devotion, but most of the rest of us don’t. Every time we see Mary, she demonstrates to us the power and importance of a Greatest commandment first lifestyle – she loves Jesus as wholeheartedly and wholelifedly as anybody in the Bible. She is always at His feet listening to Him, hanging on His Words and loving Him. In today’s reading, Mary demonstrates her extreme devotion to Jesus again:
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany where Lazarus was, the one Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for him there; Martha was serving them, and Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took a pound of perfume, pure and expensive nard, anointed Jesus’s feet, and wiped his feet with her hair. So the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. John 12:1-3
This was no common jar of perfume, but had a value of 300 denarii, which is basically the equivalent 300 days of work, or about 14 months of work for the average westerner – so in today’s economy, at least in American dollars, that would be tens of thousands of dollars – more than a year’s salary – and Mary basically spent it in a few minutes. What a waste, say some of the disciples – what a blessing, says Jesus – she did it to prepare me for burial, He said, noting that she would be remembered forever for her act of radical devotion. What an investment, I say – nobody in the history of the world has been able to achieve such a level of remembrance with such a small expenditure. What an amazing and remarkable woman.
Catholics – I don’t get when you elevate Mary, mother of Jesus to such a high and unnecessary pedestal – idolizing her and considering her a co-redemptrix with Christ, which is basically blasphemy, but you don’t focus on Mary of Bethany enough -nor do we Protestants. Mary of Bethany is an amazing woman of God who better exemplified Jesus’ call to a Great Commandment lifestyle than any other person in Scripture. We can learn from her how to be wholehearted lovers of Jesus and God – that which Jesus said is the most important commandment there is.
The Lord of the Rings movies are probably my favorite movies of all time. There’s this incredible scene in the second movie, The Two Towers, where Gandalf the wizard tells Aragorn the ranger that he is going to get help, but he’ll be back. He says, “”Look to my coming at first light on the 5th day. At dawn, look to the East.” Well, Gandalf is gone for quite some time, and Aragorn and the other heroes are at this fort called Helm’s Deep that gets surrounded by a massive army of Orcs who are about to attack and overwhelm everybody in the fort. When I say a massive army, I believe that at the time, this was the biggest group of people ever portrayed on screen – the tech they used was incredible, and to watch the movie, it is an overwhelming and terrifying army of orcs. Our heroes are in trouble, and they can only hope that Gandalf keeps his word. Well, at the most desperate time, when it looks like everybody is going to be killed, sure enough, here comes Gandalf, arriving at first light at the head of a massive army of good guys. They plunge down the hill and cut into the orcs and it makes you want to cheer – those mighty warhorses trampling all of those evil orcs under foot. Warhorses, right? Because that’s what majestic heroes ride on. They don’t ride on Mice, or Platypuses, or DONKEYS. They ride on warhorses.
But we see something unexpected on Palm Sunday when Jesus comes into town. Luke 19: 35 Then they brought the Donkey colt to Jesus, and after throwing their clothes on the colt, they helped Jesus get on it. 36 As he was going along, they were spreading their clothes on the road. 37 Now he came near the path down the Mount of Olives, and the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen:
We call it Palm Sunday because John 12:13 tells us they took palm branches and went out to meet him. They kept shouting: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord —the King of Israel!”
Two things to see in this picture.
#1 Jesus did not come in like Gandalf astride an amazing warhorse. He comes on a donkey, exactly like the prophet Zechariah predicted (9:9) Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem! Look, your King is coming to you; he is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey. This shows us the beautiful gentleness and the humility of Jesus He is a VERY different sort of King than what we would expect.
#2 He gets up and rides this unbroken donkey, a young colt through a crowd of shouting and singing people. THIS IS INCREDIBLE.
Donkeys take a long time to ride before you can get on them! Meredith Hodges, one of the foremost donkey training experts in the country, recommends leading training for a full year before attempting to ride him. Once again, this shows us the amazing gentleness of Jesus. (NOTE: He is returning on a warhorse!)
Bible Memory passage for the month of October: 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
Happy by Mike Leite https://soundcloud.com/mikeleite
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