As I was reading the account leading up to the last Passover Jesus would spend with HIs disciples I noticed two opposite people in His world. The first was Mary the woman who came and worshiped Him, broke the alabaster of perfume and poured it on Him. She was a part of His inner circle and that would have placed her near Him all the time. Her life had been changed. She was a different person and all her heart could do was worship Him. She gave one of her most precious and expensive gifts to Jesus. Nothing was good enough to give Him. She “got it”.
Contrast that in the following verses with Judas who was conspiring to betray Jesus. Here was a man who was in the inner circle of Jesus also. He saw all of the same and more of the miracles, the healings, and he listened to all of the teachings of Jesus. With all of this advantage over Mary; he did not “get it”. Nothing was more important than the pursuit of money. Greed encompasses more than just money. It affects every area of our life. His character had not changed. No matter how much time he spent doing religious things he never made a decision to truly follow Jesus. The contrast between the two shows up in worship.
Before we pile on Judas we need to stop and evaluate where we are in life as well. Maybe we have made the decision to follow Jesus, but is it evidenced in our worship? We can attend church multiple times a week, sit in a Bible study, listen to a sermon and still not be right in our relationship with Jesus. We can have the Jesus here and now all around us and still miss out. The key is our daily walk with God. When I am not reading my Bible to hear personally from God and spending time praying and talking with God; then I am missing the important part of the relationship. Where does this show up? In my worship.
Remember the first story? Nothing was enough for Mary to show her love for Jesus. She was not focused on anything other than Him. She gave sacrificially our of love for what had happened in her heart. Judas? Just the opposite. He was focused on everything but Jesus. Every Sunday across America ministers hear all of the trappings of unfocused worship. The music was too loud. I could not hear the music. I was too cold. I was too hot. The preacher went overtime. I don’t like that kind of music. The preacher is too evangelistic. The preacher was boring. You get the picture.
Yes, we all have preferences, but that is all they are, just preferences. A heart that is truly focused is not overly concerned about all of those things. What happens during the week comes out in our worship on Sunday morning. We need to make sure that we do not miss Jesus. There is more to worship than just showing up. There are days when we are torn between the two worlds.
What can you do this week to make sure you are ready for worship?