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Witness, Worship, and Wonder

images-123Rev. Vivian Nixon
John 12:1-19

This passage begins with Jesus sharing a meal with his friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Lazarus sits at the table with Jesus as the embodiment of Christian witness. Lazarus was an irresistible attraction. The opponents of Jesus simply could not overcome His witness because he testified not to what he could do for Jesus, but to what Jesus had done for him.
John goes on to speak of Mary’s sacrificial act of worship and Martha’s service. Mary’s worship was extravagant, deep and unselfish, because unlike the rest of the disciples, Mary got it. She knew that Jesus was about to die and why He was dying. From the vantage point of her place at the feet of the Master, Mary saw in the Saviors’ eyes the anguish of his soul and the burden of the weight He carried. Her worship was not only an act of adoration and gratitude for a merciful Savior, it was an act of kindness toward a man who was about to suffer an unimaginably painful death. We see Martha worship here also, by serving Jesus with a glad heart. Here, she ministers to Jesus without the anxiety that we saw when last we encountered Martha serving.
A large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was in Bethany and came, not only because of Him but also to see Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Imagine the excitement among the crowd. “Have you heard the news? Lazarus died, and was buried in a tomb four days. Bu Jesus called, `Lazarus, come forth’ and Lazarus came forth. They stripped away the grave clothes and he lived again! Surely only the Messiah could do that!” The people were in such awe that when Jesus entered Jerusalem, they waved cut palm branches shouting, “Hosanna!” But there were also sinister faces. The Chief Priests were there, full of jealousy and malevolent plots. Not only did they resolve to kill Jesus, they made plans to kill Lazarus as well, because by his witness, Lazarus had led many to believe in Jesus.
There is not one recorded word in scripture spoken by Lazarus. Yet his witness was so powerful that the Pharisees saw his existence as a threat to their power. They did not seek to kill the worshippers, nor did they plot after those who stood amazed among the crowd. They sought to destroy the witness! There are stages of growth in our relationship with Jesus. Worship and wonder are a natural part of our spiritual development. We worship him, because like Mary, we understand the unprecedented sacrifice that Jesus made to free us from bondage to sin. We stand in awe when we consider God’s mercy in our lives and in the lives of others. Yet, the most powerful threat to evil occurs when we, like Lazarus, die to self and re-emerge as living witnesses. This Lenten season, let us be inspired by the witness of Lazarus. Let our witness not be restricted to outward cries for others to repent. Let our witness be, “I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.”

Rev. Vivian Nixon
New York, NY
www.feedingfaith.com

PRAYCATION LENT 2011 CONFERENCE CALL: Remember tomorrow, Thursday at 6AM Central/ 7 Am Eastern is our weekly conference call with prayer, study and testimony. Just call 1-218-936-2800, access code 812713. Power in prayer!



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  1. Gerry says:

    That’s really thkiinng at a high level

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