Friday, March 11, 2016

Givers And Takers

The ultimate giver overcomes the takers.

John 12:1-11 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.

The question that most of us want to have an answer to is "What's in it for me?" It is the normal mode that a worldly person operates in but a follower of Jesus should be asking "How can I give to somebody else?"

All of us are givers and takers, we walk a fine line in every interaction with the people that we meet, it is a delicate balance to maintain. Sometimes we need to take but we don't want to always be that person, sometimes we give but we can't give for too long or we will be drained.

The extreme form of takers are people that are trying to get as much as possible from everybody and contribute as little as they can in return, they are always looking to achieve their goal and get ahead with as little investment in others as they can get away with.

The strange people that give are the ones that look the most like Jesus. They give anything from personal encouragement and mentoring to finances. They live life with their hands and their hearts open ready to release what they have for the good of others.

Jesus gave life

Jesus is the best giver and His gift of eternal life is made possible because he overcame death. Jesus gives us the same victory over death because we have His life in us. proved that death has no ultimate power over Him, that power to triumph over death is given to His followers. Believers in Jesus will experience resurrection because it is impossible for death to win against the life that Jesus gives. (1 Corinthians 15:53-57, 1 John 5:11-12).

Mary gave sacrificially

A years wages is the estimate of the earthly value of Mary's gift, and what a waste it was from our perspective but Jesus showed us that his perspective the gift that Mary gave was priceless. She had received much love and she was motivated to give back.
Luke 7:47  “I tell you, her sins—and they are any—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”

Judas was a taker

All of the advantages of having intimate knowledge of Jesus didn't do a thing for Judas. He was a taker in every area of life, Jesus knew it and yet he never called Judas out for stealing from the limited funds that the disciples had. Financial gain didn't work out and neither did the desire to overthrow the government and take some of the power for himself.

Religious leaders were takers

They loved to take advantage of their position and power. Now they had the opportunity that they have been looking for, who would have thought that they would have one of Christ followers sell him out?

There are givers and takers in every area of life, some people are always scheming about how to get ahead or how to get things their way. Judas and the religious leaders had their own ideas about how things should be. The takers met up with Jesus, the ultimate giver, and they took His life without knowing that they a part of God's plan to give us all the greatest gift.