“Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. 2 A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. 3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.” John 12:1-3.
he Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see something in that passage - “A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honour!”
The bible is silent about how the family relationship between Martha, Mary and Lazarus started.
But I was privileged to go to Israel some years back and I know how far Nazareth is from Bethany. Bethany is very close to Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is the city that houses the temple, it is the place where things were destined to happen for Jesus and where it happened. Historians made us to understand that particularly during the Holy Week, each day Jesus had a function to perform in Jerusalem but he will return to Bethany in the house of this precious family to dwell .
There is no doubt that they valued the personality of Jesus. Maybe they felt privileged that the God of the universe comes bodily into their simple abode, sleeps, there ears there, or because he taught them the word of God, particularly Mary, or the fact that he raised their dead brother Lazarus from death to life was not clear, one thing is clear they enjoyed Jesus’ presence in their home and they celebrated it. Each one wanted to outshine the other to bless and honour him. Martha loves to cook, she is the home’s chief chef, and we are told she prepared Jesus’ delicacy and Served! Mary did the unbelievable, poured a special ointment, according to theologians worth a years wage on Jesus. It was not just the fragrance that was special it was the cost that was a bother for the likes of Judas. We are not going that route this morning, our focus is honouring Jesus . But it will interest you that Jesus still wants to stay in your heart daily!. Rev 3:20 Jesus says “I stand at the door and knock! “
Alas, we are in an age where Jesus has been reduced to an ATM. Our relationship with Jesus is predicated on how much we get from him. Even in appreciating him , we don’t appreciate him for his personality, who he is but for what he has done. “Thank you Jesus for saving me, healing me, providing for me giving me husband wife, children, education, job, house, visa, car”, the list has no end. There is no doubt that is good and acceptable to thank God for what he has done but go higher, learn to honour Him.
What is honour? It is high respect; great esteem. Synonyms include distinction, glory, tribute, renown, merit, credit, importance, illustriousness, notability. Jesus deserves to be honoured , accorded nobility , royalty, credit for whom he his!
Maybe the question on your heart is Pastor Dada be real, how do I honour Jesus? He is no more practically present on earth, I cannot pour perfume on him like Mary or give him Amala, pounded yam like Martha or even Salad, my friend that is why you are reading this this morning,If you are willing to honour Jesus there are ways many, let’s share a few.
- I think the greatest way to honour Jesus after he left His throne in heaven and died for you on earth is to accept him as your saviour and your Lord !” Remember- I stand at door and knock! He wants to come for breakfast,lunch and dinner in your life!
- Learn to wake up and pour encomium on Him. Just sing a song of worship, adoration. Lift up his name and exalt him.“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being”Revelation 4:10-11). His delicacy is praise and worship, not McDonald’s or Burger King!
- Honour God with your time. Just sit in God’s presence, by the beach, on your balcony, and read his word , let him talk to you. The beauty of it is that you will hear God. He will drop something in your spirit. Why do you think he preferred Mary listening to him than Martha cooking for him? Honour God with your time. Many years ago, my flight was canceled and I was forced to travel by road, a trip that was to take an hour landed me in the bush after 16 hours. I said to God “You have my undivided attention now”. In the thick of that forest around 1 am. God spoke to my heart words that changed the trajectory of my life forever! Psalms 144:4, Isaiah 58:13-14, and Colossians 4:5. Honour Him by listening and reading His word.
- Fellowship with him, personally and corporately.Heb 10:25. Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:29.
- Honour God with your talents – These are your God-given gifts and abilities. Last weekend we had Jesus in the city parade in Toronto, Canada. I was thrilled by all kind of costumes, dances, colourful artistic designs, products of talents on display. I have no doubt it honoured God. Matthew25:14-30.
- Honour God with your temple – This means your body. This is a huge one. Many of us don’t think it is a great honour to God when we dress modestly. It is. You dishonour God when your motive is to dress to kill! to impress to be sexy. That is on the outside. What really honours God is your inner purity. Keep yourself pure. As a young person ensure no sex before marriage. No fornication .As a married person ensure no infidelity. No adultery.You do not honour God when you sing beautifully in the choir and you go after service to dishonour your body sexual immorality and misconduct, and perversion. Watching pornography, masturbating,consuming, alcohol, doing drug. No. Honour God with your body, what you watch, listen to eat matters. Corinthians 6:18-20
- Honour God with your treasure – This means your finances. As Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.KJV says -with your first fruit! Mary poured precious ointment on Jesus. The sweat of her brows was used to purchase the perfume. There are things that the body of Christ needs, Jesus says you always have the poor. You honour Jesus when you make money through your sweat and expend your substance on the poor, the unbelievers, the homeless, orphans, children, mission and missionaries. When you give your tithe and offering. Unfortunately unlike Mary we give God tips in the name of offering, One dollar offering, 20 Naira, 1 cede, one pound. Stop giving God tips on the offering plate! Proverbs 3:9 and Malachi 3:10.
- Honour God with your actions at every opportunity. You honour God when you make honest money. You dishonour God when you are involve in fraud, 419, scam and bring such money to church! It is abomination. You honour God when you go to that your job place and give value to your wages! You honour God when you go promptly to church, when you honour your parents biological or spiritual, when you go all out to care for people especially those in need, when you sing that solo in church, when you go to clean that church without all the sound and fury. You honour God when you treat your spouse with dignity. You dishonour God when you abuse your spouse ,emotionally, physically, financially and in any other way. You honour God when you love God, your neighbour as yourself. Even when you carry yourself with dignity, doing what you do with integrity and honesty, guess Word you are honouring God.There are many Bible verses that encourage us to make God number one in our hearts. Isaiah 29:13, Proverbs 3:5, Proverbs 4:23, Proverbs 23:26, and Psalm 51:10.
In Conclusion: In our month of understanding Christianity, let it be crystal clear to you Christianity, is about honouring the personality of Jesus Christ. Therefore, purpose in your heart is to organize a dinner for Jesus today and everyday. Serve him dinner, his best delicacy. Pour expensive oil on Him that will provoke The Judases to Judases to jealous.- that is treat his body well- you are his temple now!The way those three people Martha, Mary, Lazarus honoured God was peculiar and unique and different from one person to the other. Did you notice how many people came to Jesus because he raised up Lazarus from death? Find a creative and unique way to honour God and I guarantee you, honour awaits you!