40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 38 – Passion Week

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While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.  Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.  “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”  (Mark 14:3 – 9)

Theme:  If not You, then Who?

Over the last three days we have considered Jesus’ identity, integrity, and investments in the lives of others.  Today we will examine the heart beat of Jesus’ activities – His love for people. We will see examples of His love through powerful displays of intimacy.  Jesus has a tremendous impact on people because he cares deeply for them.  He is not distant.  He is truly Immanuel – “God is with us”! 

Our passage today captures one example of the kind of deep care Jesus practiced.  There are also other stories worth noting.  Starting with the raising of Lazarus just before the triumphal entry and ending with the Lord’s supper, here are 5 powerful summary examples:  

ReferenceOccasionAct of Intimacy
John 11:17 – 43Jesus raises LazarusWhen Jesus saw the grief of Mary and Martha caused by the death of their brother Lazarus, He felt their pain and wept.
Luke 19:41 – 44Triumphal entry to JerusalemWhen Jesus contemplated the calamity that would befall Jerusalem, He weeps for the people of the city.
Mark 14:3 – 9 (Today’s passage)A woman anoints Jesus with expensive perfumeWhen a woman performing an act of worship is abused, Jesus rises to her defense and tells those who rebuked her to “Leave her alone”.
John 13:1 – 17Jesus washes the disciples’ feetJesus intimately taught powerful kingdom principles with a towel and basin of water.
Mark 14:12 – 26The Lord’s supperJesus hosted a special final dinner with His disciples and brought them into the loop on key events to come. 

We are left with no doubt that Jesus loved deeply and established deep relationships. Please prayerfully read the passage above and answer the question below.

Question

What lessons do we learn from Jesus about developing deep relationships to advance God’s kingdom?

5 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 38 – Passion Week

  1. Jesus reveals that God really sees us and cares for us intensely. I am inspired to go beyond surface relationships more frequently and to demonstrate that I really care for others.

  2. One view that some have of Christians is that they are cold and rigid – perhaps stubborn in upholding their beliefs, or even prejudiced against others who don’t share the same beliefs. Jesus’ example paints a very different picture. He walked the Earth not just for people to see His example at a distance, but that people could interact intimately and know Him. I also like to believe that this is the picture we are to have of scripture. The Word was given to us not for us to just read and absorb, but as a tool for us to have close, personal encounters with God.

  3. One of the lessons I learned from Jesus is that you can not truly advance the kingdom without caring for and truly loving others. In most cases, in order to be able to have any type of credibility to speak into someone’s life, there must be a foundation, a relationship.

    Jesus showed us that the only way to advance God’s kingdom is to follow his example. This means valuing and loving people who are casted out by society, and spending time to invest in people’s lives, among other examples.

    God leaves his creation, us to advance his kingdom. And the only way is through relationship. That starts first with a relationship with him, and then to others. The trinity is a great example of showing how much relationship is valued because the trinity itself is a relationship between three beings.

  4. What lessons do we learn from Jesus about developing deep relationships to advance God’s kingdom?

    All of us Christians who have relationship with Jesus know very well that our God loves us unconditionally. His love is perfect, and only Jesus can love and accept us for who we are.

    It takes a lot of humility to love others the way Jesus loves me. I fail to love the way Jesus expects me to love because my ability to love has limitations I can get overwhelmed by my emotions such as anger, sadness or getting offended, frustrated or disappointed . Also, all these negative feelings can be manipulated or used by the enemy( satan) to deceive us or put us into traps for his schemes to destroy or ruin whatever is beautiful, true and pleasing and replaced it with chaos. Very opposite of what Jesus wants us to have, and that is to enjoy and live with the Everlasting Love God has for his creation.

    The big lesson I learned from my relationship with earthly friends is that, first and foremost, I should not lose sight of the greatest one who always prioritizes me no matter what happens, no matter what I do, or no matter what mistakes I make…and that is my best friend, redeemer, savior Jesus Christ. Always keep the focused on Him and not on earthly friends, who can easily dismissed you or even worse, to fail you or discourage you. I learned that to love like Jesus, you have to have a humble heart, willing to sacrifice for the good of others and not expecting anything in return. Love one another even your enemies or the ones not lovable is the most difficult commandment to obey. Human being is prone to disobey and to rebel at God. But through Christ death on the cross and His redeeming power, we can bounce back , repent and restore our relationship with the true giver of life, the one who truly Loves us, Jesus Christ.

    To love others, trust and honesty are standards I imposed on myself. When relating with others such as having relationship, with friends, loved ones or relatives, I sometimes get upset or disappointed if my expectations are not met especially if they were the ones closest to me. As I get older, I learned that love entails sacrifices. It’s only possible for us to truly love others if we can acknowledge the love God has bestowed on us. We also need renewal of heart. Everyday, we need to commune with God and ask Him to help us love and accept others and situations that are difficult to change. Reflecting and repenting sincerely is the way to reconcile with God and be assured that His love for us is enough because Man can fail us but not God. Our sins, don’t glorify God , and despite our shortcomings, He still loves us , forgives us and we were given many chances. If we can mend first the broken relation with our creator, we can certainly love others. Experiencing God’s love and compassion, renews our heart and the Holy Spirit empowers us to be grateful and love others.

    I learned that if a believer has a deep relationship with Jesus, you can pour out everything on Him, and His grace and mercy would lead you to love deeply, forgive often, and
    when you made a mistake. God can see a contrite spirit when you repent. Jesus is our God who never keeps a record of our sins. He renews our heart and in Him there’s a new beginning. His love is great for he gave his son Jesus Christ to save us. I guess if we truly have a relationship with Jesus, his Holy Spirit will guide us and teach us how to love others, there’s always a room for improvement, change and growth if we allow ourselves to be molded by our creator who loves us unconditionally. Developing deep relations with our creator, knowing the sacrifice God made for us, and having a grateful heart is the key to love others. Without Jesus in the center of your life, it’s hard to love others.

  5. Jesus teaches us to meet people exactly where they are at, regardless of their spiritual, socio-economic, mental or intellectual level. Yet, He does not compromise His standard. He empathizes with people, sometimes reasons with them or at other times leaves them to figure out things for themselves, He encourages, applauds/ commends, approves, disapproves, reaches out in love and understanding, fellowships with them even if some are considered socially or spiritually undesirable by society, including his own disciples at times, People get close to Jesus when they realize who He really is. I have learnt from all of these lessons, especially that compromising is not an option, and being confident about what my Father’s business is and doing it, is key, no matter what others opine.

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