Relationships over rules
Synopsis of 05/10/09 sermon
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
1 It was now two days before the Passover celebration and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The leading priests and the teachers of religious law were still looking for an opportunity to capture Jesus secretly and put him to death. 2 “But not during the Passover,” they agreed, “or there will be a riot.” 3 Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had leprosy. During supper, a woman came in with a beautiful jar of expensive perfume. She broke the seal and poured the perfume over his head. 4 Some of those at the table were indignant. “Why was this expensive perfume wasted?” they asked. 5 “She could have sold it for a small fortune and given the money to the poor!” And they scolded her harshly. 6 But Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. Why berate her for doing such a good thing to me? Mark 14:1-6 (NLT)
Rules govern and prevent chaos from occurring in our life. When you look at the ministry of Jesus, you will see that exceptions were made to promote relationship. If we refer to the woman caught in the act of adultery, we find that according to the rules, she should’ve been stoned. In effort to promote relationship, Jesus told the religious leaders that if any of them was without sin, that person should throw the first stone.
Look at woman with issue of blood. She should have been under quarantine, because of her issue of blood. As she pressed through crowd of people, she was breaking the rules. People were trying to prevent her from doing so, but she continued anyway. She finally makes her way through the crowd and touches the hem of Jesus’ garment. There will come times when we will want exemptions from the rules just so we can get close to Jesus. Rules that are created by religion sometimes prevent us from getting to Jesus. Ex-At most churches we have a rule of order where we try to fill up the floor seating before we allow people to go up to the balcony. If a person came in and wanted to sit in the balcony because they felt that this was where they needed to sit in order to get their breakthrough, would you stop them? Would you allow this rule to be broken in the name of promoting a greater relationship with God? We didn’t come to Jesus with our act already together. We came as we were. God made exceptions to the rules and accepted us as we were. We are glad God gives exemptions to rules otherwise we could not have a relationship with him. There are people in this season that want a personal encounter with Jesus even if it means breaking all the rules.
In our text it talks about a woman with interesting story. We take a look at this story from one of the synoptic gospels. The gospel of Mark was the first gospel written. When the woman sees Jesus, she has some anointing oil in an alabaster box. Right away there is a criticism because the disciples and other critics felt that she was wasting this expensive oil. She was after a breakthrough. Sometimes your relationship with God has to transcend the rules that are in place.
Most people want to give Jesus their best, but there are things that hinder this.
I. Resources are in the box
1. The text says the woman has this oil, and it was prepared to anoint Jesus. There are many people that are anointed, but like the oil that is inside an alabaster box , they never allow the anointing to flow from their lives. This is because it his confined to a box. If you have your anointing boxed in with fear and excuses, you will never allow it to flow to God’s glory. Everything God wants from you is inside the box, and until you realize it, you will not please God.
2. When God gives us an anointment, he gives you an appointment. You are anointed for an assignment. The woman knew her time had come when she saw Jesus in the house. Many have come to realize that it is their time for their breakthrough. Many of us go thru seasons and try to save our anointing or simply sit on it, but you have to move when it is your time to move.
3. We must realize:
a. You can’t save it. You can’t save the anointing God has placed inside of you. Paul told Timothy to stir up the gift God placed in him.
b. Others like to show it. Look how beautiful the alabaster box is. Some people look at the box and don’t worry about the anointing inside. They find value in showing off the beautiful box. Like the box, it is not about what is on the outside. It is about what is inside of you.
c. You got to serve. This moment has come for this alabaster box and its purpose. God is looking for people who are truly anointed and don’t need a position to justify them. They know they have a crown waiting on them in heaven. When you are anointed, you don’t serve with an attitude.
4. God tries to get us out of the box? In verse three of the text, the woman pours the oil on Jesus head and anoints him (Not the gospel of talks about Jesus’ feet). We have to step outside the norm which means we have to step outside the box sometimes in order to serve him.
II. Release it by breaking
1. The only way oil can be released from an alabaster box is by breaking it. The woman broke the box, but it had implications as it relates to breaking the rules. The alabaster box is something she could have chosen to show or put on display, yet she chose to break the rules in order to better her relationship with the Lord.
2. The alabaster box is the container that holds that which is expensive. That which is expensive can only come out by breaking the box. We are the alabaster box and the oil inside the box represents the anointing inside us. The anointing is in us and if the anointing is going to flow, God must break us just as the woman did the alabaster box. You can rest assure that anyone that is anointed and being used by God has been broken.
3. After you are broken the oil will flow. When the oil flowed out of the box, John’s account of the gospel says the aroma filled the whole house. 3 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. John 12:2-3 (KJV). When the oil flows, you can smell it throughout the whole house. As a result, the aroma gets on the people in the house. Just like the anointed oil, if there is an anointing of healing in the house, guess who the aroma gets on? You can’t even back slide, because there is so much oil on you. When you try to go where you aren’t supposed to go, the people there can tell you don’t belong, because the aroma of the oil is on you. You are anointed and you will not fit.
4. The oil changes the atmosphere. Now the people in the house are no longer focused on John the leper who is there. The focus has now shifted to Jesus. Anyone who has been broken can assure us of one thing. If they are here, they are here to shift the focus to Jesus. We are not here for others, we are here for God. When you got an anointed worshipper in your area, like the oil, they change the whole atmosphere. You are assigned to change the atmosphere in your area today. If we can get some real worshippers that are broken to say flow to you, God will break every addiction, every stronghold, and ever sin in this place.
5. There is woman with a colorful background in the house. In most cultures she would be rejected. She decides all of a sudden that she is going to give her best to Jesus. After breaking the alabaster box, the people in the house recognized this is some expensive oil. Ex-Bishop explains being on a trip and going to buy some cologne. While on the way to the store, there were some people selling knock offs of the expensive perfume that was usually sold in the store where Bishop was headed. Bishop took a sample of the cologne and testifies it smelt good at first, but by the time he got in store it changed. The knock off cologne had the same name as the expensive cologne but under exteme heat, it did not stand. It lost its good smell under the extreme conditions of heat. The guy in the store smelled it right off and knew that Bishop had got some of the cheap samples. The store owner explained that the knock off cologne was water based and not oil based. The oil base in the expensive cologne is what makes it hold its properties under the heat. We have to get to the real oil or the anointing in order to remain steadfast when we are placed under the heat.
III. God is going to remove the bearers in your life.
1. The officials in the house were not concerned about the poor, because they were crooks. Verses 4-6 explain that the officials were concerned that she wasted the expensive oil. The officials were not concerned about this, because they were crooks themselves. They just wanted to antagonize the woman. You must realize that there will be antagonist in the crowd. Be careful of the motivation of the criticism. When you dare give God your best, you motives will be questioned by carnal people. Carnal people will always try to find something wrong with it what you are doing for God.
2. Wake up call. Ex-Many people complain that $10 a Sunday is too much money for our MISSION POSSIBLE initiative. Carnal people criticize motives for the Pastor asking the congregation to give $10 extra in order to elevate the debt of the Mt Zion Ministry. These same critics will go and see Jenifer Hudson during a recession, when the minimum ticket is $75. Others will pay to go and see comics during a recession and they will laugh while they are being cursed out. The issue is when you have been broken and God has been good to you, no amount is too good to give to God. God will give you a wakeup call in order to get your attention. If you can’t serve him because of the job, he might allow the job to be removed.
3. When you desire to give God your best, you will not hinder a child of God from worshipping him. In verse 6 of the text, Jesus tells the officials not to hinder the woman from doing what she felt was necessary to get close to him. If you go after God, he will tell people to leave you alone. Everything the enemy has tried in order to prevent you from receiving what God has, will fail. God will remove every barrier in your life. The answer to your healing is giving God the glory.