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Jesus in the Room

You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me. John 12:8 NRSV


John gives an account of an interesting dinner party following Lazarus' resurrection. The hosts were Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. As guests, Jesus, Judas, and we assume the other disciples were in attendance. Amid the regular fellowship activity, an extraordinary thing happens, Mary humbly and worshipfully pours expensive perfume on Jesus' feet and uses her hair as a towel.


Judas, apparently as bad as a dinner guest as he later turns out to be a friend, criticizes Mary. "That perfume could have been sold, and the money used to line my pockets." (I paraphrase what he meant because he regularly helped himself to the collective purse.) His wicked thoughts are an omen to Judas' selling of Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.


Jesus' reply to Judas is today's verse. Christ's message was not that he didn't care for the poor; he often preached it was necessary to care for them, but that there was something much more significant going on here that Judas failed to grasp. With Jesus' certain death a few days away, Judas was only concerned about how he could make a financial gain when he should have been concerned for his soul. As a result, he failed to see Jesus in the room.


The question for us today is, what are the things that may keep us from seeing Jesus in the room? What is it we worship? For Judas, it was greed, but there are many other things, ambition, power, pride, or something else.


Merciful Father, we confess at times, we may fail to recognize Jesus in the room. We focus on those things we care about without seeing the bigger picture. Forgive us those times. Help us set aside those things and prioritize you; you are our God and your people. When all other things pass away, our covenant relationship with you remains. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.


Blessings,

Pastor Tim


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