The Alabaster Box

Six days before Passover

Jesus came again to Bethany

Martha served Him dinner

& Lazarus sat at the table with Him

Mary brought out an alabaster box

of costly oil of spikenard

which was imported from India

Mary anointed the feet of Jesus

& wiped His feet with her hair

& the house was filled with the fragrance

The Alabaster Box

Jesus & the People

Jesus no longer walked among the people

Hé & His disciples went to Ephraim

a city near the wilderness

it was 6 days before the Passover

& people were wondering

would Jesus come to Jerusalem

His following was building

He had raised Lazarus

from the dead

& the priests & Pharisees

wanted to kill Lazarus as well as Jesus

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I’m in the middle of a 40 day series on Jesus going from Caesarea Philippi to His ascension.

Jesus & the People

Meanwhile in Jerusalem

Two miles away in Jerusalem

the priests & Pharisees

heard about Lazarus

& wanted council

for surely this man

does many signs

& the people

were believing he is the one

& Rome will take away our authority

& our nation

Caiphais the high priest said—

it is better that one man die

than a whole nation & so it was

prophecy that Jesus would die

& they plotted to kill him

Meanwhile in Jerusalem

Lazarus in the Tomb

Lazarus was dead & lying in a tomb

friend of Jesus

brother of Martha & Mary

who had sent word to Jesus

Come quickly my brother is sick

Days later Martha met Jesus on the road

as He was approaching Bethany

If only you had come sooner

my brother would be alive!

Mary came to Jesus & fell at His feet

If You had been here

my brother would be alive!

& she wept & Jesus wept

& the people wept

as they went to the tomb

Lazarus in the Tomb

Returning to Jerusalem

Jesus had been to the Temple—

as a baby

He was presented to God

as a twelve year

who stayed there questioning

the rabbis for three days

while His parents searched for Him

as a young man growing up

who would go with his family

for three major festivals each year

as a young rabbi

who challenged religious leaders

for three years of His ministry

Nearing Jerusalem this time

He knew it would be different

& had explained on three occasions

to His disciplines how He would

be betrayed and killed and rise again

His disciples still did not understand

Returning to Jerusalem

Parable of the Minas

Jesus told this parable to His disciples on the way to Jerusalem because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. A parable would take a subject that was well known to the listener & compare or demonstrate that which was unknown. A mina was a unit of weight & currency, equal to 60 shekels, & 1/4 of an agricultural workers annual earnings.

Jesus said—

A nobleman went away to a far land to receive a kingdom for himself & to return. He called his servants to him, giving each one mina & said, Do business till I come.

After receiving his kingdom, he called his servants to see what they had gained by trading. The first servant had earned ten minas. The master gave him authority over ten cities in his kingdom because he had been faithful with a little amount. The second had five minas & was given authority over five cities. The third presented him with the original mina which he had put away because he was fearful & knowing the master as an austere man, collecting what was not deposited and reaping what he did not sow.

You knew this about me and did not even put the mina in the bank to draw interest. You wicked servant! Out of your own mouth I will judge you.

So the mina was taken from him & given to the servant with ten. The master said, for I say to you, that everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.

Parable of the Minas

Zacchaeus

Zacchaeus climbed the sycamore fig

branches were heavy
took the weight

a chief tax collector

rich from his work for the Romans

 

Walking further out to see
Jesus who was passing through
the ancient town of Jericho
“Zacchaeus Zacchaeus
come down from that tree!”

 

Zacchaeus came down
amongst the pressing crowd
Jesus had called him down
what a sight to see
this rich man in the sycamore tree

 

“I must stay the night with Zacchaeus”
as the rich man welcomed Jesus joyfully
while the crowd murmured and complained
how can Jesus spend His time
in the house of such a sinner!

 

Zacchaeus came down from that tree
meeting Jesus surrounded by enemies
he stood in his rich garments and said Lord
half of my riches I will give to the poor
and four times any amount of my extortion

 

Salvation has come to this house

Zacchaeus

Bartimaeus

Blind beggar Bartimaeus

could hear the crowd

coming along the road

near Jericho

& he asked who was there

crying out when he heard

it was Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus Son of David!

Have mercy on me!

& many told him to be quiet

which made him yell louder

Jesus! Son of David!

Have mercy on me!

Jesus stood still &

commanded that the man

be called to Him & said

What do you want me to do?

Rabboni!

that I may receive my sight!

& immediately

he received his sight &

followed Jesus on the road

Bartimaeus