What Jesus Did! 'Pious Sounding Critics' — John 12:4-6

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Judas Iscariot was there. Judas was one of Jesus' followers. (He was the one that would later be against Jesus.) {Judas did not like what Mary did.} Judas said, "That perfume was worth 300 silver coins. It should have been sold, and the money should have been given to the poor people." But Judas did not really care about poor people. Judas said this because he was a thief. Judas was the one that kept the money box {for the group of followers}. And Judas often stole money from the box.
— John 12:4-6
Illustration of John 12:4-6 — "That perfume was worth 300 silver coins. It should have been sold, and the money should have been given to the poor people."

Key Thought

Ever notice how many people at church can criticize much more freely than they can praise, encourage, serve, or sacrifice? Satan has a way of finding greedy and selfish hearts to criticize in pious words those who are willing to sacrifice. Does that mean we give up on the church? Well, did Jesus give up on his disciples because one of them was a greedy traitor, one was always overstating his faith, and the rest were often confused? Of course not! Where else would we want a person wrestling with heart problems to be than among God's people! The real issue is whether those who lead give in to pious sounding critics or gently confront them with the truth as Jesus does Judas. Too many who sacrifice and serve are not affirmed simply because someone else criticizes them with pious sounding words. Jesus shows us this must not be!

Today's Prayer

Holy and loving God, please open my eyes to people who are serving you extravagantly, then use me to affirm them and encourage them in their service and sacrifice to your Kingdom. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Six days before the Passover festival, Jesus went to Bethany. Bethany is the town where Lazarus lived. (Lazarus is the man Jesus raised from death.) In Bethany they had a dinner for Jesus. Martha served the food. Lazarus was one of the people eating with Jesus. Mary brought in a pint of very expensive perfume made from pure nard. Mary poured the perfume on Jesus' feet. Then she wiped his feet with her hair. And the sweet smell from the perfume filled the whole house. Judas Iscariot was there. Judas was one of Jesus' followers. (He was the one that would later be against Jesus.) {Judas did not like what Mary did.} Judas said, "That perfume was worth 300 silver coins. It should have been sold, and the money should have been given to the poor people." But Judas did not really care about poor people. Judas said this because he was a thief. Judas was the one that kept the money box {for the group of followers}. And Judas often stole money from the box. Jesus answered, "Don't stop her. It was right for her to save this perfume for today—the day for me to be prepared for burial. The poor people will always be with you. But you will not always have me." Many of the Jews heard that Jesus was in Bethany. So they went there to see Jesus. They also went there to see Lazarus. Lazarus was the one Jesus raised from death. So the leading priests made plans to kill Lazarus too. Because of Lazarus, many Jews were leaving {their leaders} and believing in Jesus. That is why the Jewish leaders wanted to kill Lazarus too. The next day the people in Jerusalem heard that Jesus was coming there. These were the many people that had come to the Passover festival. The people took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Jesus. The people shouted, "'Praise Him! Welcome! God bless the One that comes in the name of the Lord!' God bless the King of Israel!" Jesus found a donkey and rode on it. This was like the Scripture says: "Do not be afraid, city of Zion ! Look! Your king is coming. He isriding on a young donkey." The followers of Jesus did not understand at that time what was happening. But after Jesus was raised to glory, they understood that these things were written about him. Then the followers remembered that they had done these things for him. There were many people with Jesus when he raised Lazarus from death and told him to come out of the tomb. Now those people were telling other people about what Jesus did. Many people went out to meet Jesus, because they heard that Jesus did this miracle. So the Pharisees said to each other, "Look! Our plan is not working. All the people are following him!"

John 12:1-19

Related Scripture Readings

{Before John was put into prison,} all the people were being baptized by him. Then Jesus came and was baptized too. While Jesus was praying, the sky opened. The Holy Spirit came down on him. The Spirit looked like a real dove. Then a voice came from heaven and said, "You are my Son and I love you. I am very pleased with you."

Luke 3:21-22

We always remember you when we pray and we thank God for all of you. When we pray to God our Father we always thank him for the things you have done because of your faith. And we thank him for the work you have done because of your love. And we thank him that you continue to be strong because of your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace (kindness) that God gave the churches (groups of believers) in Macedonia. Those believers have been tested by great troubles. And they are very poor people. But they gave much because of their great joy. I can tell you that they gave as much as they were able. Those believers gave even more than they could afford. They did this freely. No person told them to do this. But they asked us again and again—they begged us to let them share in this service for God's people. And they gave in a way that we did not expect: They gave themselves to the Lord and to us before {they gave their money}. This is what God wants.

2 Corinthians 8:1-5

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.