- We are sinners who need a Savior. (Week 13)
- Jesus is God. (Week 16)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 NIV
God’s Big Story is about working throughout history and His plan us. God created humans to have a relationship. Unfortunately, things got messed up when Adam and Eve chose to not follow God’s plan. God also had a plan to redeem us and restore our relationship. Jesus knew that his purpose for coming to Earth was to bring restoration to us. That will be our focus for the next three weeks.
This week we are going to look at the time between resurrecting Lazarus and when Jesus goes to Jerusalem.
The Plot Against Jesus
45 Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen. 46 But some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the leading priests and Pharisees called the high council together. “What are we going to do?” they asked each other. “This man certainly performs many miraculous signs. 48 If we allow him to go on like this, soon everyone will believe in him. Then the Roman army will come and destroy both our Temple and our nation.”
49 Caiaphas, who was high priest at that time, said, “You don’t know what you’re talking about! 50 You don’t realize that it’s better for you that one man should die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.”
51 He did not say this on his own; as high priest at that time he was led to prophesy that Jesus would die for the entire nation. 52 And not only for that nation, but to bring together and unite all the children of God scattered around the world.
53 So from that time on, the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus’ death. 54 As a result, Jesus stopped his public ministry among the people and left Jerusalem. He went to a place near the wilderness, to the village of Ephraim, and stayed there with his disciples.
55 It was now almost time for the Jewish Passover celebration, and many people from all over the country arrived in Jerusalem several days early so they could go through the purification ceremony before Passover began. 56 They kept looking for Jesus, but as they stood around in the Temple, they said to each other, “What do you think? He won’t come for Passover, will he?”John 11:45-56 NLT
You may remember part of this passage from Day 5 last week. After Jesus raised Lazarus many people who were there that day be believed in him. This upsets the religious leaders. The religious leaders didn’t realize why Jesus came. They didn’t even understand who he was. Why do you think they wanted to get rid of Jesus?
Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”Luke 19:1-10 NLT
Through out his ministry Jesus sought out people who were outsiders, had a lot of issues and often not well liked. He came to bring healing and restoration for some it was healing like Lazarus. His mission was to heal our spiritual sickness.
At that time tax collectors like Zacchaeus made money by collecting more than the required tax. Tax collectors worked for the Roman government. Many Jews didn’t like tax collectors because they worked for the Romans and because they cheated people out of money. The Jews were quick to see Zacchaeus sin but not their own. It is often easier to see things that other people do wrong and not our own faults.
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
1 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.
4 But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5 “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” 6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.
7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
9 When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. 10 Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, 11 for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.John 12:1-11 NLT
Jesus return’s to Martha, Mary and Lazarus house in Bethany. They throw a party in His honor. Martha is busy being a great hostess. She has prepared the prefect food. Lazarus has joined. Mary took a jar of very expensive perfume and poured it on Jesus’s feet. At that time people walked everywhere. They either went barefoot or wore sandals, so their feet got very dirty. Mary showed her devotion and worship of Jesus in a very personal and extravagant way. Mary’s act was also pointing to Jesus’ s death and burial.
Our lesson next week will be a little different. Next week is Passion Week or Holy Week. It is the time from Palm Sunday through Easter.