Twenty-Third Day of Lent

John 12:1-11

See Jesus sit down at a table for dinner with his friend Lazarus- a man he’s recently raised from the dead. Taste the food Martha has prepared and serves at the table- the same Martha who bitterly confronts Jesus in John 11 in the face of her brother Lazarus’ death. Smell the aroma of the rich burial perfume that Mary applies to Jesus’ feet as it fills the house. Touch the tender intimate act of Mary wiping Jesus’ feet with her hair. Hear the tense response of Judas and Jesus’ reply.

Engage this sensory rich passage.

The stark contrast between the warm hospitality and generosity of Jesus’ friends to the one explicitly called “one of Jesus’ disciples” calls into question the very heart of discipleship. Does my life reflect such a generous, hospitable responses to Jesus or am I more likely to not see Jesus because my self is in the way? Am I acting as a friend or a “disciple”?

In this season of reflection, honesty, and response, what is my response to Jesus? Lazarus offers his presence and friendship. Martha humbly offers her service. Mary, true to herself, extravagantly worships Jesus through a generous act of finance and self-sacrifice. Judas poses a pious call to “serve the poor” that was only a veiled expression of his hunger for selfish gain. What is my response to Jesus today?

Jesus, possibly quoting Deuteronomy 15:11, responds to these responses by saying, “you will always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me”. Acknowledging the reality of his own journey towards losing his life, Jesus encourages and invites such acts of generosity, love and hospitality towards the poor among us as the best response for a true disciple.

What do you see, hear, touch, taste, and smell of the real situations of your life and more importantly, what is your response to Jesus in the midst of them?

Glenn Peterson
Hope Community Church
Strathmore, AB