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Jesus and Perfume, Palms & Paradox

Notes: Sunday 24/03/2024


Catch Up: Watch   || Listen


Scene 1 Perfume (12:1-11)


  • Jesus the outlaw gathered with his closest friends, celebrating the return of Lazarus from the dead

  • Mary lets down her hair (a cultural no-no) and pours a costly perfume oil from the Himalayas on Jesus feet, much to the shock of those around the table

  • Judas' heart motivations are revealed

  • Jesus seems to hint at his coming resurrection linking to an ongoing Rabbinic debate of whether it was better to give to the poor or prepare bodies for burial


Worship here looks like an extravagance, to the point of self-embarrassment - in other words, Mary does not care what others think, nor how much her worship costs. her focus is just on Jesus.


What adjustments can you make in your worship of Jesus to be extravagantly embarrassing?


Scene 2 Palms (12:12 - 19)


  • Jesus the outlaw is coming into Jerusalem, on a donkey

  • A donkey was a noble animal in antiquity, which a king would ride when coming in peace

  • Waving palm branches was the way people would welcome a conquering king - it's what they did when Judas Maccabees overthrew the Greeks in 164BC

  • The people sing Ps 118:25-26

  • Hosanna - a Hebrew word that means "Save us now!"

  • This fulfills the prophecy from Zech 9:9, recorded over 500 years before

  • The crowd is building, because of people sharing the story of what they had seen Jesus do (raising Lazarus)

  • In Hebrew culture, rather than saying "thank you" as we might, gratitude was displayed by telling others about what a person had done


Worship here looks like shouting and praising amidst the crowd and telling the story of what Jesus has done for you (or what you have seen him do). This is what draws the crowd! What adjustments do you need to make in your worship of Jesus to


Who can you tell your story to as an act of worship to Jesus, and an invitation for others to meet him?


Scene 3 Paradox (12:20 - 26)


  • The Greeks would like to see Jesus, but instead of giving them an audience, Jesus teaches the paradox of the Gospel - the way that the whole world will "see" him is through his death.

  • To follow Him then, is to follow his example - to die to ourselves.


What do you need to let go of, so that you can fully take hold of what God is calling you to?





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