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Shane Willard 2010 (3 of 4)

Shane Willard

Page 4 of 11
The second thing it was customary to do is to provide droplets of perfume. Why? Because you just walked in the heat, you stink, so it will make the entire experience tonight more pleasurable if we have perfume. Now what happens here is something very different. In the Torah it gives many commands about not being wasteful and remember last night we talked about a rabbi's yoke and what they bound and what the loosed. So according to the command not to be wasteful what the rabbis decided was this, that in hospitality circumstances when you are celebrating someone coming to your house it is okay to use perfume, but it is not okay to use pure nard. It is not okay to do that. They saw using pure nard as a waste, so if you were wasting resources then you were violating a command of the Torah. They said when you're celebrating someone coming to your house you can give them perfume because that's customary, but you cannot use pure nard because that's wasteful, so the fact that she uses pure nard in both instances, the fact that that happens, the fact that they protest is actually okay because it would have been according to rabbinical yokes that no, you couldn't use pure nard.

So the fact that the writer's saying she's using pure nard, he's telling you why they're protesting. In one instance Judas is protesting because he's actually greedy; in the other instance there's a group of people protesting because she's actually breaking with tradition. She's actually doing something different. Here was what the rabbis said. You could not use pure nard to celebrate somebody, but you could only use pure nard if celebration was not the motive. You could use pure nard if celebration and rejoicing was not the motive, because that was seen excessive and luxurious. Jesus defends both instances by saying what? They're not rubbing the pure nard on My feet and on My head to celebrate Me; they're rubbing pure nard on My feet and head as an act of mourning for My burial. So He defends them by saying this is not an act of celebration and rejoicing. This is an act of mourning, and since it's an act of mourning it fits in with the law. Okay, you with me? So He says since it's an act of mourning and not rejoicing it fits the law.

Now who knows what the lady was thinking. The lady might have been going huh? But Jesus was saying this to sort of make it clear, so let me make some surface observations about this story. Number one, this story just like all of Jesus' stories, Jesus was called a Master of Haggadah which was a teacher with parables and different stories. All of Jesus' stories revealed truths about kingdom people and so we're going to find ourself in this story. This story exposes the religious tendency in all of us to criticise and judge people who do things differently than us. It exposes something in all of us - and it's in all of us. None of us are done with this - that judges and criticises someone who does things differently, especially if they worship God differently, especially if they lead differently; well if your leadership doesn't match my concept of leadership, then I'm right and you're wrong. It's our tendency to do that. When we engage in this behaviour we tend to disguise it with spirituality.

Do you notice in both instances they pick a very spiritual thing that Jesus majored on, giving to the poor. Does Jesus care about giving to the poor? Yes! A whole, whole lot, and so they used the main tenant of Jesus' ministry as their crux point of their criticism, so they disguised their greed and their critical spirit under the guise of spirituality. We would never do that would we? [Laughter] Would any - no one wanted to ask the question, would anyone else there have been willing to give a year's wages to Jesus. I mean they went and found something worth a year's wages and in one moment gave an offering to Jesus for it. No one seems to bring that up, but no one else there was willing to do that, no one else there. So let me just ask some questions real quick and then we're going to get into some historical truths about it. Is there any place in my life that I do exactly what the critics did; that I look around and I try to find anything wrong I can find with how someone else is worshipping or leading or something?