40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 37 – Focus on Jesus

4 Comments

The true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. (John 4:23)

There are so many captivating things to explore about Jesus during Holy Week that it is difficult to pick and choose. We will pick two items for today and continue to view our Lord through the lens of the spiritual disciplines we have studied:

  1. We will see what Jesus did under tremendous pressure
  2. We will see another woman who impressed Jesus

Response to Pressure:
What would you do if you knew you were going to be executed in a few days based on trumped up charges, and for sins you never committed? What if you had to confront the relentless pressure of a powerful religious establishment intent on destroying you? What did Jesus do? According to Matthew, Mark and Luke, during Holy Week Jesus responded by teaching extensively using parables and other forms. For example, there is the parable of the two sons (Matthew 21:28 – 32), the parable of the vineyard (Matthew 21:33-46), the parable of the wedding banquet, (Matthew 22:1-14), the teaching on paying taxes (Matthew 22:15-22) and the rebuke of the Sadducees who deny the resurrection (Mt. 22:23-33). When I read how Jesus responded under tremendous pressure I am reminded of the words He spoke to his parents as a young boy when they thought He had been lost, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49 KJV)

What I see here is the real meaning of worship. Many people associate worship with singing or other acts performed during a church service. However, in our study of the discipline of worship three weeks ago, we learned that true worship is a lifestyle of submission to God. Despite the pressure, despite imminent death, Jesus went about his Father’s business. How about you, do you worship even in the face of pressure? Are you resolutely pursuing a lifestyle of submission? Worship is not the only discipline exhibited here. At a minimum, the disciplines of spiritual warfare and service are also evident. Do you agree?

Another Woman Impresses Jesus:
Let’s briefly consider the second item, which likely occurred on the evening of Holy Wednesday. As you read the passage below ask yourself, “what discipline is Jesus impressed by?”  Please let me know what you think.  The passage is Matthew 26: 6 -13:

While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.  When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”  Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

 

4 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 37 – Focus on Jesus

  1. I see here another example of ‘giving one’s all’. The perfume is said to be of “high value”, much more so for her. Yet I don’t think she spent a moment’s thought on that aspect. She saw an opportunity to express her devotion and adoration for her Lord and Saviour – and seized it singlemindedly. That’s worship.
    Divine providence was also at play as her pure worship became a holy act of service as she anointed The Lord’s body “for burial”. And the fact that we have these words to read and learn from, for the renewing of our minds, is ultimately another act of divine providence. Oh what a God we serve!

  2. What I find even more amazing is that in addition to knowing that He was going to be executed, in His divine omniscience He knew the extent of the gruesome death that He was about to experience — the excruciating pain and torture of death on a cross. Yet He bowed to the will of the Father and took our sins upon himself and endured it all. What a Saviour!!!

  3. Wow … indeed

    A big lesson …

    Thanks for sharing this perspective on ‘response to pressure’ – it helped put my own troubles into perspective. They seem very insignificant now (I’ll hold that thought).

    I see worship and service in what the woman did … if only we could treat each other that way … each putting the other before himself … why is something so desirable … so hard in practice … (hard does not mean impossible).

  4. Worship & service was shown by this woman. She gave all of what must have been her most precious earthly possession, and gladly so. She was not seeking any gain and was happy to give. The purity of her actions must have been clear to Jesus who accepted her gift.
    Is this a model of how we are to worship, to gladly give the best of what we have to serve God.

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