Sermon Prepared by Dr James McCullen
Take this Job and . . Love It.
Mark 14:3-9 (NAS)
3 And while He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining {at the table,} there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; {and} she broke the vial and poured it over His head.     4 But some were indignantly {remarking} to one another, "Why has this perfume been wasted? 5 "For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and {the money} given to the poor." And they were scolding her. 6 But Jesus said, "Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me     7 "For the poor you always have with you, and whenever you wish, you can do them good; but you do not always have Me. 8 "She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. 9 "And truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, that also which this woman has done shall be spoken of in memory of her." (NAS)
 

Introduction
People look at things differently.   Recently I heard a lady say to a little boy " you have a bunch of brothers and sisters don't you."  The boy said  "no!"  The lady said "how many brothers and sisters do you have?"    The boy responded 2 brothers and two sisters".   I am sure his mother thins at times that is a bunch.

Is the work you are doing good work? Do you love your work? I have talked to people who say pastor I love my job. I have also heard people say I hate my job.

Purpose has a lot to do with your attitude concerning your job. In the text the Lord said Mary is doing a good work (or deed).

Do you believe you are doing a good work? Some people like the song "take this job, and shove it". I want to change that title "to take this job, and love it." I want to apply this text to spiritual as well as secular jobs.    Take this Job and . . Love It,

With Respect for the . . Sacrifice of It.

With Respect for the . . Sarcasm of It.

With Respect for the. . Suitability of It.

With Respect for the . . Spirituality of It.

With Respect for the . . Significance of It.
 
 
 

1.    Take this Job and . . Love It,   With Respect for the . . Sacrifice of It. v 3  
3 And while He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining {at the table,} there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; {and} she broke the vial and poured it over His head.

A.    Sacrifice in its Cost.
v 5 "For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii,

        1.    Denarii, equals a days wages, she gave 300 days of labor.
                a.    Jesus was worth the sacrifice to Mary.

B.    Sacrifice In Its' Consumption.

        1    She broke the broke the vial, and poured it all on Jesus.

Illustration 5 brooms
There was a man in a particular church, who opened a broom closet and found five brand new brooms. He hit the ceiling. He went to the one in charge of buying commodities for the church. And he said, "Whoever authorized the buying of five brand new brooms at one time? We're not even meeting our budget!

That's a waste of money!" And he was very angry. The man couldn't satisfy him, and finally, the man was in to the pastor's office to see the pastor. The pastor tried to pacify him. And the pastor said, "Well, I don't know. Maybe we use a lot of brooms! Maybe there was a sale on brooms. But don't fall out of fellowship over it." But the man never was satisfied, and he left the pastor's office in a huff!

After awhile, the pastor was having coffee with the church treasurer, and the pastor told the church treasurer about this. The church treasurer just smiled. And, "Ah," he said, "Pastor, I can understand that." He said, "That's easy for me to understand why he was so upset." Well, the pastor said, Would you please explain it to me?" And the treasurer said to the pastor, "Well, how would you feel if you saw everything you had given to the church in the past year tied up in five brooms?"

Application

2 Cor 8:5 and {this,} not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. (NAS)
 
 
 

2.    Take this Job and . . Love It,  With Respect for the . . Sarcasm of It. v 4-5  
4 But some were indignantly {remarking} to one another, "Why has this perfume been wasted? 5 "For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and {the money} given to the poor." And they were scolding her.

A.    Self-righteous Sarcasm. v 4

        1.    This is their problem not Mary's.

Most people working in the secular or spiritual get sarcasm, and criticism

B.    Scolding Sarcasm. v 5

        1.    She was defended by Jesus.

Note the comment by Judas in John 12:4-6
4 But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, 5 "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii, and given to poor {people} " 6 Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it. (NAS)

In recent weeks a Senator has greatly criticized the president. He called him a scum bag. Now it has come out that he had a sexual affair it reminds me of the following story.

Illustration
I like the story of the young man whose habit of criticizing backfired on him.

One evening, while waiting for a bus, he was standing with a crowd of people looking in the window of a taxidermist shop. In the center of the window was a large owl that attracted the attention of all who passed by.

The self-appointed expert began to criticize the job done on it. "If I couldn't do better than that," he said pompously, "I'd find another business. Just look at it. The head is out of proportion, the pose of the body is unnatural, and the feet are pointed in the wrong direction." Just then the owl turned his head and gave the fellow a broad wink. The crowd laughed as the critic slicked away.

Application

The Presidents actions were wrong, but that Senator, and all of us should be careful in Criticism.

James 3:7-8 7 For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by the human race. 8 But no one can tame the tongue; {it is} a restless evil {and} full of deadly poison. (NAS)
 
 
 

3.    Take this Job and . . Love It,  With Respect for the. .Suitability of It. v 6-8 a  
6 But Jesus said, "Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me    7 "For the poor you always have with you, and whenever you wish, you can do them good; but you do not always have Me. 8 "She has done what she could; . . . " (NAS)

A.    Suitability of Your Work . . Determined by our Saviour.
 

B.    Suitability of Your Work . . Determined by our skill..
 

Illustration (From a sermon by Adrian Rodgers)
Children were bringing to Sunday School class show and tell items. One boy brought some water, and that illustrated, "I'm the Water of Life." The other brought some flowers, and that illustrated, "Jesus was the Rose of Sharon." And somebody else brought some bread, and "Jesus is the Bread of Life." A little boy brought a banty egg. (I know you know what a banty hen is?) He brought one of those little eggs, and the teacher said, "What does that represent?" The little fellow said, "She hath done what she could."
 

Illustration
I have a pastor friend in St Louis who has three children. One of his son's is retarded. On one occasion he rode his motorcycle to an associational meeting with this son. The boy just would not hardly keep still, and kept muttering something. Finally my friend said "my son learned to tie a shoe string today." This was quite a accomplishment for this son, but not for his other children.

Application

The Child's mind does not think like an adult, but some times they are profound in their concrete types of observations. My daughter Teri called this week, and said guess what question Savanah asked me today?

What abilities has God given you? We do not have the same talents or gifts. We need to do what is suitable for us.

Mark 9:41
41 "For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as {followers} of Christ, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward. (NAS)
 
 
 

4.    Take this Job and . . Love It,  With Respect for the . . Spirituality of It. v 8 b
                        ". . . she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial.. . . "

A.    Informed Spirituality.
Luke 10:39    (NAS)
39 And she had a sister called Mary, who moreover was listening to the Lord's word, seated at His feet.

John 11:32
32 Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died." (NAS)

John 12:2 (NAS)
2 So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining {at the table} with Him.

B.    Inspired Spirituality. Mark 16:1
1 And when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the {mother} of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. (NAS)

Illustration

A real Christian is an odd number, anyway.

They feel supreme love for One whom they have not seen;

They talks familiarly every day to Someone they cannot see;

They expect to go to heaven on the virtue of Another;

Empties themselves in order to be full;

Admits they are wrong so he can be declared right;

Humbles them self in order to be exalted

Strongest when he is weakest;

Richest when he is poorest

Happiest when he feels the worst.

He dies so he can live; forsakes in order to have;

Gives away so he can keep;

Sees the invisible,

Hears the inaudible,

Knows that which passeth knowledge. A. W. Tozer
 
 
 

5.    Take this Job and . . Love It, With Respect for the . . Significance of It. v 9  
9 "And truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, that also which this woman has done shall be spoken of in memory of her." (NAS)

A.    World Wide . . Significance. v 9 a
    ". . . "And truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, . . . "
 

B.    Womanly . . Significance. v 9 b
    ". . . that also which this woman has done shall be spoken of in memory of her."

Illustration
A famous king, depressed by circumstances in his realm and feeling rejected by many of his subjects, called for his three daughters to comfort and reassure him. After they had talked awhile, he asked how much they loved him.

Two of them answered that they cared for him more than all the gold and silver in the world; but Mary, the youngest, said she loved him like salt. The king wasn't pleased with her answer, for he considered salt to be of very little value. The cook, who overheard the conversation, knew that the child's reply had more significance than the father imagined. She dared not speak to the monarch about the matter, but devised a subtle way to emphasize the true meaning of the young girl's words.

The next morning at breakfast she withheld the salt from everything she served, and the meal was so insipid that the king didn't enjoy it at all. Then he realized the full force of his daughter's remark. She loved him so much that nothing was good without him! With a smile he said, "I understand now, Mary. Your love is the greatest of all!"
 

Helps for the background of this sermon

Vincent's Word Studies
[Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this] [afes (grk 863) auteen (grk 846) eis (grk 1519) teen (grk 3588) heemeran (grk 2250) tou (grk 3588) entafiasmou (grk 1780) mou (grk 3450) teteereeken (grk 5083) auto (grk 846)]. This passage presents great difficulty. According to the reading just given, the meaning is that Mary had kept the ointment, perhaps out of the store provided for Lazarus' burial, against the day of Christ's preparation for the tomb. The word [entafiasmou] (grk 1780) is wrongly rendered "burial." It means the "preparation" for burial, the "laying out, or embalmment." It is explained by <John 19:40>, as the binding in linen cloths with spices, "as the manner of the Jews is [entafiazein] (grk 1779) to prepare for burial," not "to bury." It is the Latin pollingere, "to wash and prepare a corpse for the funeral pile." Hence, the name of the servant to whom this duty was committed was "pollinctor." He was a slave of the "libitinarius," or furnishing undertaker. Mary, then, has kept the ointment in order to embalm Jesus with it on this day, as though He were already dead. This is the sense of the Synoptists. Matthew <Matt. 26:12> says, "she did it with reference to my preparation for burial." Mark, "she anticipated to anoint." (from Vincent's Word Studies of the New Testament)
 

ALABASTER
(al'-a-bas-ter) (alabastron <Mt 26:7; Mk 14:3; Lk 7:37>): In modern mineralogy alabaster is crystalline gypsum or sulphate of lime. The Greek word alabastron or alabastos meant a stone casket or vase, and alabastites was used for the stone of which the casket was made. This stone was usually crystalline stalagmitic rock or carbonate of lime, now often called oriental alabaster, to distinguish it from gypsum. The word occurs in the Bible only in the three passages of the Synoptic Gospels cited above. See BOX.

(from International Standard Bible Encylopaedia, Electronic Database Copyright (C) 1996 by Biblesoft)
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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