Monday, April 19, 2010

Sermon Summary: Authenitc Worship vs. False Worship

In John 12:1-16, I see one expression of authentic, God-honoring worship and three forms of false worship.

Mary and Costly Worship

The first comes from Mary in verses 1-4. Mary brings a bottle of expensive (about a years wages worth) perfume. She breaks the bottle and then pours it out over Jesus as an act of loving devotion toward Him. Her act of worship is: 1) Physical, 2) Emotional, 3) Humble, 4) Spiritual, and 5) spiritual. All acts of true worship (presenting our lives to the Lord in loving devotion) will have these five marks. Mary’s worship was connected to the cross (v. 7), as will ours be. We worship Christ because he is the crucified, buried, and resurrected Lord and Savior.

Judas Iscariot and Contested Worship

In verses 4-8, we find Judas Iscariot objecting to such an extravagant display of worship. He suggests selling the perfume and giving the proceeds to the poor. He sounds pious, but he is really a thief. Beware of robbing from God.

The Religious Leaders and Corrupted Worship

In verses 8-11, the spiritual leaders of the people plan to kill not only Jesus but also Lazarus because Lazarus’s testimony is turning more people toward Christ. These leaders have a zeal (Romans 10:2), but it is ultimately not for God or for the truth. They are serving their own religious system and not the Lord.

The Crowds and Confused Worship

The crowds gather and celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (vv. 12-16). Although they say the right things (they are quoting from Psalm 118), and have the right outward actions, ultimately they are confused about Christ and in less than a week’s time, they will by crying out for Jesus’ crucifixion.


We are to give ourselves in worship to the Lord. However, we must worship rightly. May our worship be Christ-centered and Gospel-tethered, just like Mary’s was. Otherwise, our worship becomes false and an abomination before God.

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