Faithlife
Faithlife

A Balanced Christian Life

The Gospel of John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 3 views
Notes & Transcripts

Text

John 12:1–11 KJV 1900
Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always. Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
John 12:2–18 KJV 1900
There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always. Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus. On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt. These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him. The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record. For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle.

Introduction

As John gives us the details of the Lords visit to Bethany we witness a scene that revolves around 3 key characters. You have Martha the worker, Mary the worshiper and Lazarus the witness.
What does it mean to have balance in the Christian life?
A Balanced meal - containsprotein, starch, vegetable, fruit, grains and water
A Balanced life - contains .... work, family time, recreation and rest
Balance means that all parts are equally working together. For a church to have balance there needs to be a variety of people working together to accomplish a common objective. For a church to have balance there needs to be a emphasis placed on a number of equally important areas. To say that everything in Christian life is of equal significance or importance would not be accurate. Certain aspects are lifted to a higher plane of significance and if we are going to remain balanced we will need to be successful in these areas.
I believe as we look at the record in and specifically the text before us we can see a picture of balance. If we look carefully we can see 3 areas of the Christian life that need to exist in our lives if we are to have balance. There are other areas we could highlight, but for the moment I want us to focus on just 3.

Transition

As John gives us the details of the Lords visit to Bethany we witness a scene that revolves around 3 key characters (4 if we include Christ and He is certainly the focus as he should be): Martha, Mary & Lazarus. In Martha you have the worker, in Mary the worshiper and in Lazarus the witness. All three of these elements are important if we are to maintain balance in the Christian life.
As we look at each character we can take a closer look at these 3 elements of the Christian life .
1. The Work we discharge for God
2. The Worship we direct to God
3. The Witness we display for God

I. The Work we discharge for God - Martha

John 12:2 KJV 1900
There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
“...Martha served”
What does it mean to serve?
This was not some glamorous task
It was a seemingly insignificant thing
Luke 10:38–42 KJV 1900
Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Lk 10:38

A. The Action of Serving

It is necessary - how will the work of God get done if we dont do the work
Proverbs 14:23 KJV 1900
In all labour there is profit: But the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
James 1:22–25 KJV 1900
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
What can we do to serve? Many times it is the little things...
What can we do to serve? Many times it is the little things...
Illustration: Bro Pack asking if he could help do set-up on Saturday night - there is no glamour in it but it needs to be done
David was a shepherd before he was a king - he ran errands for his father before he was a warrior - he was a servant
Moses - We think of him as a great leader but he was a servant
Hebrews 11:24–25 KJV 1900
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Psalm 105:26 KJV 1900
He sent Moses his servant; And Aaron whom he had chosen.
Little things make us a servant:
Mark 9:41 KJV 1900
For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

B. The Attitude in Serving

Martha’s original problem was one of a poor attitude “bid her therefore that she help me”
I have often found myself in a mindset like Martha
Wondering what others are doing or should be doing for the Lord
Lk 10:38
Luke 10:38–42 KJV 1900
Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
“Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things”
Her problem was not the serving - it was the attitude behind the serving
Her problem was not the serving - it was the attitude behind the serving
A balanced Christian life certainly includes Work that we discharge for God …but also

II. The Worship we direct to God - Mary

John 12:3–8 KJV 1900
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
What is worship?
What so you think of when you hear the word worship?
Jn 12:
Worship must start with knowing God - Mary knew the Master

A. Her worship was expressed

John 12:3 KJV 1900
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
Quote: “To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.” - William Temple
The Price of her worship- very costly - about the equivalent of a years wages to purchase
The Purity of her worship- Spikenard - refers to the fact that it was pure - the best that money could buy
The Pouring out of her worship- poured Out - her gesture was lavish and generous and spontaneous
The Point of her worship- anointed the feet of Jesus - her worship was directed at the Son of God - He alone is worthy
The Perfume of her worship- It left behind a fragrance that filled the room - our worship should do the same
How would our worship be described?

B. Her worship was examined

John 12:4–6 KJV 1900
Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
Judas was in the ministry for the money he could syphen - not because he cared about the poor
Don’t be surprised if everyone around you does not understand your worship
Don’t be surprised when the world places a value on your worship and calculates it as a waste
Jesus came to Mary’s rescue with his words to Judas
John 12:7–8 KJV 1900
Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
So we have Work that we do for God and Worship that we direct to God....finally we have

III. The Witness we display for God - Lazarus

John 12:9–11 KJV 1900
Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
Why did they make the trek to Bethany to see Lazarus? He was living a resurrection life!!
Illustration: Suppose we were to have asked him: "Lazarus, how do you do it? What is the secret of this dynamic new life of yours?" He might have said something like this: "I wasn’t always this way. For some years I was a nominal believer in Jesus. I loved him; I wanted to please him. He was the most important person in my life. I loved my sisters; I loved his people. I did all the right things, said all the right things. And I was perfectly sincere. Then one day I died. I died to everybody, died to everything. I even died to my own testimony for Jesus. The old Lazarus was very dead indeed. And everybody knew it. You don’t expect anything of a dead man, do you? I died. And I was buried. I came to an utter end of myself. Then Jesus came and he gave me a new life - his life, resurrection life. I found myself on resurrection ground. So you see I am not the old Lazarus you used to know..."
There is something special and attractive in one who is actually living a life changed by the Lord Jesus!! A Resurrection life!!

A. The reality of his witness -

“but that they might see Lazarus”
Lazarus was real and his testimony was real
Matthew 5:16 KJV 1900
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
1 Peter 2:12 KJV 1900
Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
The reality of our witness matters!!!!

B. The result of his witness -

“many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.”
John 12:10–11 KJV 1900
But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
When we are real - we will bring others to the Savior
John 15:8 KJV 1900
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

Conclusion

If we are going to live a balanced Christian life, one that is full and complete, it must include the elements we have discussed today.
The work that we do for God
The worship that we direct to God
The witness that we display for God
RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →