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JimB

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The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« on: March 19, 2016, 04:21:54 PM »
Chap. 62 - The Feast at Simon's House

     Simon of Bethany was accounted a disciple of Jesus. He was one of the few Pharisees who had openly joined Christ's followers. He acknowledged Jesus as a teacher, and hoped that He might be the Messiah, but he had not accepted Him as a Saviour. His character was not transformed; his principles were unchanged. 
     Simon had been healed of the leprosy, and it was this that had drawn him to Jesus. He desired to show his gratitude, and at Christ's last visit to Bethany he made a feast for the Saviour and His disciples. This feast brought together many of the Jews. There was at this time much excitement at Jerusalem. Christ and His mission were attracting greater attention than ever before. Those who had come to the feast closely watched His movements, and some of them with unfriendly eyes. 
     The Saviour had reached Bethany only six days before the Passover, and according to His custom had sought rest at the home of Lazarus. The crowds of travelers who passed on to the city spread the tidings that He was on His way to Jerusalem, and that He would rest over the Sabbath at Bethany. Among the people there was great enthusiasm. Many flocked to Bethany, some out of sympathy with Jesus, and others from curiosity to see one who had been raised from the dead. 
     Many expected to hear from Lazarus a wonderful account of scenes witnessed after death. They were surprised that he told them nothing. He had nothing of this kind to tell. Inspiration declares, "The dead know not anything. . . . Their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished." Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6. But Lazarus did have a wonderful testimony to bear in regard to the work of Christ. He had been raised from the dead for this purpose. With assurance and power he declared that Jesus was the Son of God. 
     The reports carried back to Jerusalem by the visitors to Bethany increased the excitement. The people were eager to see and hear Jesus. There was a general inquiry as to whether Lazarus would accompany Him to Jerusalem, and if the prophet would be crowned king at the Passover. The priests and rulers saw that their hold upon the people was still weakening, and their rage against Jesus grew more bitter. They could hardly wait for the opportunity of removing Him forever from their way. As time passed, they began to fear that after all He might not come to Jerusalem. They remembered how often He had baffled their murderous designs, and they were fearful that He had now read their purposes against Him, and would remain away. They could ill conceal their anxiety, and questioned among themselves, "What think ye, that He will not come to the feast?" 
     A council of the priests and Pharisees was called. Since the raising of Lazarus the sympathies of the people were so fully with Christ that it would be dangerous to seize upon Him openly. So the authorities determined to take Him secretly, and carry on the trial as quietly as possible. They hoped that when His condemnation became known, the fickle tide of public opinion would set in their favor. 
     Thus they proposed to destroy Jesus. But so long as Lazarus lived, the priests and rabbis knew that they were not secure. The very existence of a man who had been four days in the grave, and who had been restored by a word from Jesus, would sooner or later cause a reaction. The people would be avenged on their leaders for taking the life of One who could perform such a miracle. The Sanhedrin therefore decided that Lazarus also must die. To such lengths do envy and prejudice lead their slaves. The hatred and unbelief of the Jewish leaders had increased until they would even take the life of one whom infinite power had rescued from the grave.
     While this plotting was going on at Jerusalem, Jesus and His friends were invited to Simon's feast. At the table the Saviour sat with Simon, whom He had cured of a loathsome disease, on one side, and Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead, on the other. Martha served at the table, but Mary was earnestly listening to every word from the lips of Jesus. In His mercy, Jesus had pardoned her sins, He had called forth her beloved brother from the grave, and Mary's heart was filled with gratitude. She had heard Jesus speak of His approaching death, and in her deep love and sorrow she had longed to show Him honor. At great personal sacrifice she had purchased an alabaster box of "ointment of spikenard, very costly," with which to anoint His body. But now many were declaring that He was about to be crowned king. Her grief was turned to joy, and she was eager to be first in honoring her Lord. Breaking her box of ointment, she poured its contents upon the head and feet of Jesus; then, as she knelt weeping, moistening them with her tears, she wiped His feet with her long, flowing hair. 
     She had sought to avoid observation, and her movements might have passed unnoticed, but the ointment filled the room with its fragrance, and published her act to all present. Judas looked upon this act with great displeasure. Instead of waiting to hear what Christ would say of the matter, he began to whisper his complaints to those near him, throwing reproach upon Christ for suffering such waste. Craftily he made suggestions that would be likely to cause disaffection.   
     Judas was treasurer for the disciples, and from their little store he had secretly drawn for his own use, thus narrowing down their resources to a meager pittance. He was eager to put into the bag all that he could obtain. The treasure in the bag was often drawn upon to relieve the poor; and when something that Judas did not think essential was bought, he would say, Why is this waste? why was not the cost of this put into the bag that I carry for the poor? Now the act of Mary was in such marked contrast to his selfishness that he was put to shame; and according to his custom, he sought to assign a worthy motive for his objection to her gift. Turning to the disciples, he asked, "Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein." Judas had no heart for the poor. Had Mary's ointment been sold, and the proceeds fallen into his possession, the poor would have received no benefit.   
     Judas had a high opinion of his own executive ability. As a financier he thought himself greatly superior to his fellow disciples, and he had led them to regard him in the same light. He had gained their confidence, and had a strong influence over them. His professed sympathy for the poor deceived them, and his artful insinuation caused them to look distrustfully upon Mary's devotion. The murmur passed round the table, "To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor."   
     Mary heard the words of criticism. Her heart trembled within her. She feared that her sister would reproach her for extravagance. The Master, too, might think her improvident. Without apology or excuse she was about to shrink away, when the voice of her Lord was heard, "Let her alone; why trouble ye her?" He saw that she was embarrassed and distressed. He knew that in this act of service she had expressed her gratitude for the forgiveness of her sins, and He brought relief to her mind. Lifting His voice above the murmur of criticism, He said, "She hath wrought a good work on Me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but Me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint My body to the burying." 
     The fragrant gift which Mary had thought to lavish upon the dead body of the Saviour she poured upon His living form. At the burial its sweetness could only have pervaded the tomb; now it gladdened His heart with the assurance of her faith and love. Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus offered not their gift of love to Jesus in His life. With bitter tears they brought their costly spices for His cold, unconscious form. The women who bore spices to the tomb found their errand in vain, for He had risen. But Mary, pouring out her love upon the Saviour while He was conscious of her devotion, was anointing Him for the burial. And as He went down into the darkness of His great trial, He carried with Him the memory of that deed, an earnest of the love that would be His from His redeemed ones forever.   
     Many there are who bring their precious gifts for the dead. As they stand about the cold, silent form, words of love are freely spoken. Tenderness, appreciation, devotion, all are lavished upon one who sees not nor hears. Had these words been spoken when the weary spirit needed them so much, when the ear could hear and the heart could feel, how precious would have been their fragrance!   
     Mary knew not the full significance of her deed of love. She could not answer her accusers. She could not explain why she had chosen that occasion for anointing Jesus. The Holy Spirit had planned for her, and she had obeyed His promptings. Inspiration stoops to give no reason. An unseen presence, it speaks to mind and soul, and moves the heart to action. It is its own justification.   
     Christ told Mary the meaning of her act, and in this He gave her more than He had received. "In that she hath poured this ointment on My body," He said, "she did it for My burial." As the alabaster box was broken, and filled the whole house with its fragrance, so Christ was to die, His body was to be broken; but He was to rise from the tomb, and the fragrance of His life was to fill the earth. Christ "hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor." Ephesians 5:2.   
     "Verily I say unto you," Christ declared, "Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her." Looking into the future, the Saviour spoke with certainty concerning His gospel. It was to be preached throughout the world. And as far as the gospel extended, Mary's gift would shed its fragrance, and hearts would be blessed through her unstudied act. Kingdoms would rise and fall; the names of monarchs and conquerors would be forgotten; but this woman's deed would be immortalized upon the pages of sacred history. Until time should be no more, that broken alabaster box would tell the story of the abundant love of God for a fallen race. 
     Mary's act was in marked contrast with that which Judas was about to do. What a sharp lesson Christ might have given him who had dropped the seed of criticism and evil thinking into the minds of the disciples! How justly the accuser might have been accused! He who reads the motives of every heart, and understands every action, might have opened before those at the feast dark chapters in the experience of Judas. The hollow pretense on which the traitor based his words might have been laid bare; for, instead of sympathizing with the poor, he was robbing them of the money intended for their relief. Indignation might have been excited against him for his oppression of the widow, the orphan, and the hireling. But had Christ unmasked Judas, this would have been urged as a reason for the betrayal. And though charged with being a thief, Judas would have gained sympathy, even among the disciples. The Saviour reproached him not, and thus avoided giving him an excuse for his treachery. 
     But the look which Jesus cast upon Judas convinced him that the Saviour penetrated his hypocrisy, and read his base, contemptible character. And in commending Mary's action, which had been so severely condemned, Christ had rebuked Judas. Prior to this, the Saviour had never given him a direct rebuke. Now the reproof rankled in his heart. He determined to be revenged. From the supper he went directly to the palace of the high priest, where he found the council assembled, and he offered to betray Jesus into their hands.   
     The priests were greatly rejoiced. These leaders of Israel had been given the privilege of receiving Christ as their Saviour, without money and without price. But they refused the precious gift offered them in the most tender spirit of constraining love. They refused to accept that salvation which is of more value than gold, and bought their Lord for thirty pieces of silver. 
     Judas had indulged avarice until it overpowered every good trait of his character. He grudged the offering made to Jesus. His heart burned with envy that the Saviour should be the recipient of a gift suitable for the monarchs of the earth. For a sum far less than the box of ointment cost, he betrayed his Lord. 
     The disciples were not like Judas. They loved the Saviour. But they did not rightly appreciate His exalted character. Had they realized what He had done for them, they would have felt that nothing bestowed upon Him was wasted. The wise men from the East, who knew so little of Jesus, had shown a truer appreciation of the honor due Him. They brought precious gifts to the Saviour, and bowed in homage before Him when He was but a babe, and cradled in a manger. 
     Christ values acts of heartfelt courtesy. When anyone did Him a favor, with heavenly politeness He blessed the actor. He did not refuse the simplest flower plucked by the hand of a child, and offered to Him in love. He accepted the offerings of children, and blessed the givers, inscribing their names in the book of life. In the Scriptures, Mary's anointing of Jesus is mentioned as distinguishing her from the other Marys. Acts of love and reverence for Jesus are an evidence of faith in Him as the Son of God. And the Holy Spirit mentions, as evidences of woman's loyalty to Christ: "If she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work." 1 Timothy 5:10.   
     Christ delighted in the earnest desire of Mary to do the will of her Lord. He accepted the wealth of pure affection which His disciples did not, would not, understand. The desire that Mary had to do this service for her Lord was of more value to Christ than all the precious ointment in the world, because it expressed her appreciation of the world's Redeemer. It was the love of Christ that constrained her. The matchless excellence of the character of Christ filled her soul. That ointment was a symbol of the heart of the giver. It was the outward demonstration of a love fed by heavenly streams until it overflowed. 
     The work of Mary was just the lesson the disciples needed to show them that the expression of their love for Him would be pleasing to Christ. He had been everything to them, and they did not realize that soon they would be deprived of His presence, that soon they could offer Him no token of their gratitude for His great love. The loneliness of Christ, separated from the heavenly courts, living the life of humanity, was never understood or appreciated by the disciples as it should have been. He was often grieved because His disciples did not give Him that which He should have received from them. He knew that if they were under the influence of the heavenly angels that accompanied Him, they too would think no offering of sufficient value to declare the heart's spiritual affection. 
     Their afterknowledge gave them a true sense of the many things they might have done for Jesus expressive of the love and gratitude of their hearts, while they were near Him. When Jesus was no longer with them, and they felt indeed as sheep without a shepherd, they began to see how they might have shown Him attentions that would have brought gladness to His heart. They no longer cast blame upon Mary, but upon themselves. Oh, if they could have taken back their censuring, their presenting the poor as more worthy of the gift than was Christ! They felt the reproof keenly as they took from the cross the bruised body of their Lord.
     The same want is evident in our world today. But few appreciate all that Christ is to them. If they did, the great love of Mary would be expressed, the anointing would be freely bestowed. The expensive ointment would not be called a waste. Nothing would be thought too costly to give for Christ, no self-denial or self-sacrifice too great to be endured for His sake.   
     The words spoken in indignation, "To what purpose is this waste?" brought vividly before Christ the greatest sacrifice ever made,--the gift of Himself as the propitiation for a lost world. The Lord would be so bountiful to His human family that it could not be said of Him that He could do more. In the gift of Jesus, God gave all heaven. From a human point of view, such a sacrifice was a wanton waste. To human reasoning the whole plan of salvation is a waste of mercies and resources. Self-denial and wholehearted sacrifice meet us everywhere. Well may the heavenly host look with amazement upon the human family who refuse to be uplifted and enriched with the boundless love expressed in Christ. Well may they exclaim, Why this great waste?   
     But the atonement for a lost world was to be full, abundant, and complete. Christ's offering was exceedingly abundant to reach every soul that God had created. It could not be restricted so as not to exceed the number who would accept the great Gift. All men are not saved; yet the plan of redemption is not a waste because it does not accomplish all that its liberality has provided for. There must be enough and to spare.
     Simon the host had been influenced by the criticism of Judas upon Mary's gift, and he was surprised at the conduct of Jesus. His Pharisaic pride was offended. He knew that many of his guests were looking upon Christ with distrust and displeasure. Simon said in his heart, "This Man, if He were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth Him: for she is a sinner." 
     By curing Simon of leprosy, Christ had saved him from a living death. But now Simon questioned whether the Saviour were a prophet. Because Christ allowed this woman to approach Him, because He did not indignantly spurn her as one whose sins were too great to be forgiven, because He did not show that He realized she had fallen, Simon was tempted to think that He was not a prophet. Jesus knows nothing of this woman who is so free in her demonstrations, he thought, or He would not allow her to touch Him. 
     But it was Simon's ignorance of God and of Christ that led him to think as he did. He did not realize that God's Son must act in God's way, with compassion, tenderness, and mercy. Simon's way was to take no notice of Mary's penitent service. Her act of kissing Christ's feet and anointing them with ointment was exasperating to his hardheartedness. He thought that if Christ were a prophet, He would recognize sinners and rebuke them. 
     To this unspoken thought the Saviour answered: "Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. . . . There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell Me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And He said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged."   
     As did Nathan with David, Christ concealed His home thrust under the veil of a parable. He threw upon His host the burden of pronouncing sentence upon himself. Simon had led into sin the woman he now despised. She had been deeply wronged by him. By the two debtors of the parable, Simon and the woman were represented. Jesus did not design to teach that different degrees of obligation should be felt by the two persons, for each owed a debt of gratitude that never could be repaid. But Simon felt himself more righteous than Mary, and Jesus desired him to see how great his guilt really was. He would show him that his sin was greater than hers, as much greater as a debt of five hundred pence exceeds a debt of fifty pence. 
     Simon now began to see himself in a new light. He saw how Mary was regarded by One who was more than a prophet. He saw that with keen prophetic eye Christ read her heart of love and devotion. Shame seized upon him, and he realized that he was in the presence of One superior to himself. 
     "I entered into thine house," Christ continued, "thou gavest Me no water for My feet;" but with tears of repentance, prompted by love, Mary hath washed My feet, and wiped them with the hair of her head. "Thou gavest Me no kiss: but this woman," whom you despise, "since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss My feet." Christ recounted the opportunities Simon had had to show his love for his Lord, and his appreciation of what had been done for him. Plainly, yet with delicate politeness, the Saviour assured His disciples that His heart is grieved when His children neglect to show their gratitude to Him by words and deeds of love. 
     The Heart Searcher read the motive that led to Mary's action, and He saw also the spirit that prompted Simon's words. "Seest thou this woman?" He said to him. She is a sinner. "I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little."   
     Simon's coldness and neglect toward the Saviour showed how little he appreciated the mercy he had received. He had thought he honored Jesus by inviting Him to his house. But he now saw himself as he really was. While he thought himself reading his Guest, his Guest had been reading him. He saw how true Christ's judgment of him was. His religion had been a robe of Pharisaism. He had despised the compassion of Jesus. He had not recognized Him as the representative of God. While Mary was a sinner pardoned, he was a sinner unpardoned. The rigid rule of justice he had desired to enforce against her condemned him. 
     Simon was touched by the kindness of Jesus in not openly rebuking him before the guests. He had not been treated as he desired Mary to be treated. He saw that Jesus did not wish to expose his guilt to others, but sought by a true statement of the case to convince his mind, and by pitying kindness to subdue his heart. Stern denunciation would have hardened Simon against repentance, but patient admonition convinced him of his error. He saw the magnitude of the debt which he owed his Lord. His pride was humbled, he repented, and the proud Pharisee became a lowly, self-sacrificing disciple.   
     Mary had been looked upon as a great sinner, but Christ knew the circumstances that had shaped her life. He might have extinguished every spark of hope in her soul, but He did not. It was He who had lifted her from despair and ruin. Seven times she had heard His rebuke of the demons that controlled her heart and mind. She had heard His strong cries to the Father in her behalf. She knew how offensive is sin to His unsullied purity, and in His strength she had overcome. 
     When to human eyes her case appeared hopeless, Christ saw in Mary capabilities for good. He saw the better traits of her character. The plan of redemption has invested humanity with great possibilities, and in Mary these possibilities were to be realized. Through His grace she became a partaker of the divine nature. The one who had fallen, and whose mind had been a habitation of demons, was brought very near to the Saviour in fellowship and ministry. It was Mary who sat at His feet and learned of Him. It was Mary who poured upon His head the precious anointing oil, and bathed His feet with her tears. Mary stood beside the cross, and followed Him to the sepulcher. Mary was first at the tomb after His resurrection. It was Mary who first proclaimed a risen Saviour.
     Jesus knows the circumstances of every soul. You may say, I am sinful, very sinful. You may be; but the worse you are, the more you need Jesus. He turns no weeping, contrite one away. He does not tell to any all that He might reveal, but He bids every trembling soul take courage. Freely will He pardon all who come to Him for forgiveness and restoration. 
     Christ might commission the angels of heaven to pour out the vials of His wrath on our world, to destroy those who are filled with hatred of God. He might wipe this dark spot from His universe. But He does not do this. He is today standing at the altar of incense, presenting before God the prayers of those who desire His help.
     The souls that turn to Him for refuge, Jesus lifts above the accusing and the strife of tongues. No man or evil angel can impeach these souls. Christ unites them to His own divine-human nature. They stand beside the great Sin Bearer, in the light proceeding from the throne of God. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." Romans 8:33, 34. 
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2016, 05:20:33 AM »
Jesus knows the circumstances of every soul. You may say, I am sinful, very sinful. You may be; but the worse you are, the more you need Jesus. He turns no weeping, contrite one away. He does not tell to any all that He might reveal, but He bids every trembling soul take courage. Freely will He pardon all who come to Him for forgiveness and restoration. 
     
     The souls that turn to Him for refuge, Jesus lifts above the accusing and the strife of tongues. No man or evil angel can impeach these souls. Christ unites them to His own divine-human nature. They stand beside the great Sin Bearer, in the light proceeding from the throne of God. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." Romans 8:33, 34. 

Such a lovely character our Lord has! To freely pardon anyone who will come to Him for pardon and then lift them up! Amen!
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2016, 06:57:57 AM »
Simon of Bethany was accounted a disciple of Jesus. He was one of the few Pharisees who had openly joined Christ's followers. He acknowledged Jesus as a teacher, and hoped that He might be the Messiah, but he had not accepted Him as a Saviour. His character was not transformed; his principles were unchanged. 
     Simon had been healed of the leprosy, and it was this that had drawn him to Jesus. He desired to show his gratitude, and at Christ's last visit to Bethany he made a feast for the Saviour and His disciples. This feast brought together many of the Jews. There was at this time much excitement at Jerusalem. Christ and His mission were attracting greater attention than ever before. Those who had come to the feast closely watched His movements, and some of them with unfriendly eyes. 
     The Saviour had reached Bethany only six days before the Passover, and according to His custom had sought rest at the home of Lazarus.


With 25 chapters left in the book, we are already six days from the last Passover in which Christ is killed. Much of importance happens in these last two weeks.

Can we know Simon has not been converted. There is a radical change when one accepts Jesus as ruler in the life. Simon has not experienced this transformation from sinner to saint.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2016, 10:18:51 AM »
Yes, Richard!! We CAN know when a soul is truly converted--there are two key interconnected elements to true conversion, and we will get to this profound principle of the foundation of the gospel in Chapter 73, "Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled." It states on page 676, paragraph 4:

"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing."

We see two keys in light of Simon--first, he DID NOT live by faith on the Son of God; his interactions with Jesus had yet to kindle full faith in Christ as Messiah, and evidence of th doubt he cherished is seen in how he watched the way Christ treated Mary--and actually judged Christ in his heart as not being the Messiah, simply because Christ acted mercifully!

Secondly, Simon did not have Christ in His heart, so the fruits of the Spirit WERE NOT in his life without one missing.

But praise the Lord--there was hope for him!! He repented and turned entirely to Jesus--and received a new heart!!

Simon was touched by the kindness of Jesus in not openly rebuking him before the guests. He had not been treated as he desired Mary to be treated. He saw that Jesus did not wish to expose his guilt to others, but sought by a true statement of the case to convince his mind, and by pitying kindness to subdue his heart. Stern denunciation would have hardened Simon against repentance, but patient admonition convinced him of his error. He saw the magnitude of the debt which he owed his Lord. His pride was humbled, he repented, and the proud Pharisee became a lowly, self-sacrificing disciple. {DA 567.5}


Kindness, one of the fruits of the Spirit, was the manifestation of divinity in Christ that reached his heart. See how Romans and Titus connect this for us:

"Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" (Romans 2:4)

"But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:4-7).


And we see another soul who was truly cares netted in this beautiful narrative:

 "Mary knew not the full significance of her deed of love. She could not answer her accusers. She could not explain why she had chosen that occasion for anointing Jesus. The Holy Spirit had planned for her, and she had obeyed His promptings. Inspiration stoops to give no reason. An unseen presence, it speaks to mind and soul, and moves the heart to action. It is its own justification." {DA 560.4}

So those who are truly converted can be used by God in the most powerful ways--by responding the heart work of beholding the loveliness of Christ in contrast to one's own sinfulness and helplessness. Mary responded to the gospel of God's grace, and her life, like a portrait of God's love in her life bearing fruit, is for this reason a memorial. The greatest memorial ever revealed is seen in her life, and is to reproduced in God's people before Jesus returns, for they are to be like Him!!!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2016, 07:41:17 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean!!  What we see in Mary is to be seen in you and me. When we love Jesus with the whole heart, then His character is reproduced in us, all of the fruits of His Spirit are in us, for He, through the Holy Spirit, has possession of the heart!

This is not restricted to Seventh-day Adventists. All who are truly in a converted state are born of His Spirit, so they manifest the fruits of His Spirit, all of them, not one is missing. This is what Jesus longs to see in His church. This is His reward for all of His suffering and death. We deny Him that reward when we sin, whether we mean to or not. When we sin, it is because we are separated from Him, and thus without His Spirit, we have no power to resist the smallest temptation.

Jesus sees in us, when we are separated from Him, what we can become, just as He saw in Mary what she would become when united with Him.   

     When to human eyes her case appeared hopeless, Christ saw in Mary capabilities for good. He saw the better traits of her character. The plan of redemption has invested humanity with great possibilities, and in Mary these possibilities were to be realized. Through His grace she became a partaker of the divine nature. The one who had fallen, and whose mind had been a habitation of demons, was brought very near to the Saviour in fellowship and ministry. It was Mary who sat at His feet and learned of Him. It was Mary who poured upon His head the precious anointing oil, and bathed His feet with her tears. Mary stood beside the cross, and followed Him to the sepulcher. Mary was first at the tomb after His resurrection. It was Mary who first proclaimed a risen Saviour.
     Jesus knows the circumstances of every soul. You may say, I am sinful, very sinful. You may be; but the worse you are, the more you need Jesus. He turns no weeping, contrite one away. He does not tell to any all that He might reveal, but He bids every trembling soul take courage. Freely will He pardon all who come to Him for forgiveness and restoration. 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2016, 05:46:17 AM »
The word "character" does not appear in Scripture, but it is a very good word to help us understand in our language the difference between a saint and an unrepentant sinner. It is most important, for Satan has brought into professing Christian churches a great deception that keeps most from understanding what happens at conversion. Here are a couple of thoughts on character.

    Any one act, either good or evil, does not form the character; but thoughts and feelings indulged prepare the way for acts and deeds of the same kind.
    It is . . . by a repetition of acts that habits are established and character confirmed..... 
    The character is formed, to a great extent, in early years. The habits then established have more influence than any natural endowment, in making men either giants or dwarfs in intellect; for the very best talents may, through wrong habits, become warped and enfeebled. The earlier in life one contracts hurtful habits, the more firmly will they hold their victim in slavery, and the more certainly will they lower his standard of spirituality. On the other hand, if correct and virtuous habits are formed in youth, they will generally mark the course of the possessor through life. In most cases, it will be found that those who in later life reverence God and honor the right learned that lesson before there was time for the world to stamp its images of sin upon the soul. Those of mature age are generally as insensible to new impressions as is the hardened rock, but youth is impressible.  CG 199.


Character if formed by repeated thoughts and feelings which produce habits of acts. We are either moving in one direction or the other. Children form character prior to being converted. They may form a "good" character, but that does not mean they are converted. One may do "good" deeds that are done from a selfish heart. At conversion the heart is purified, then the "good" deeds are done from a right motive. It is certainly easier to be converted if one has formed a character of not lying, cheating, or stealing....or getting easily irritated.

Also notice the occasional evil deed is not talking about salvation, but character. The quote is often misused to allow for salvation when one is disconnected from Christ and sins a known sin.

Today's reading opens with a powerful statement regarding character, the character of one who is not converted.

     Simon of Bethany was accounted a disciple of Jesus. He was one of the few Pharisees who had openly joined Christ's followers. He acknowledged Jesus as a teacher, and hoped that He might be the Messiah, but he had not accepted Him as a Saviour. His character was not transformed; his principles were unchanged. 


How can we know if we are not converted? Has the moral character been transformed? Has the heart been cleansed? While it is more of a battle for the older folks to be converted if they have not formed good characters, Christ can and does bring old folks into His kingdom. Many have formed "good" characters prior to knowing God. He has been working in their lives to reveal Himself. We see in these truths a very important truth. What we do each day is so very important in the character we are forming. Such an important truth. When in Christ, we are preparing for heaven.....and the trials that await us in this world. This is one reason why we can "glory in tribulations."    :)
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2016, 08:01:12 AM »
Amen, Richard! We can be thankful for the blessing of building character, but we need to realize that a sustained conversion is only possible through an entire, continuous surrender to Christ. When Christ abides within the heart, He fills us with all of the fruits of His Spirit so that not one is missing.

I love how in this chapter we see the experience of Mary who was fully converted and revealed such an experience in the outflow of the divine love of Christ flowing through her soul:

  When to human eyes her case appeared hopeless, Christ saw in Mary capabilities for good. He saw the better traits of her character. The plan of redemption has invested humanity with great possibilities, and in Mary these possibilities were to be realized. Through His grace she became a partaker of the divine nature. The one who had fallen, and whose mind had been a habitation of demons, was brought very near to the Saviour in fellowship and ministry. It was Mary who sat at His feet and learned of Him. It was Mary who poured upon His head the precious anointing oil, and bathed His feet with her tears. Mary stood beside the cross, and followed Him to the sepulcher. Mary was first at the tomb after His resurrection. It was Mary who first proclaimed a risen Saviour. {DA 568.2}

We can praise God that the new birth is a divine reality, and that we can experience the grace of God (totally unmerited favor) towards us in such a way that our hearts are transformed, our minds are renewed. Praise God for the gift of His marvelous grace!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2016, 04:28:32 AM »
What a stunning chapter! I love how Jesus is revealed in the life and character of Mary--a pardoned, transformed sinner who has become a saint, a holy partaker of the divine nature!

 The fragrant gift which Mary had thought to lavish upon the dead body of the Saviour she poured upon His living form. At the burial its sweetness could only have pervaded the tomb; now it gladdened His heart with the assurance of her faith and love. Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus offered not their gift of love to Jesus in His life. With bitter tears they brought their costly spices for His cold, unconscious form. The women who bore spices to the tomb found their errand in vain, for He had risen. But Mary, pouring out her love upon the Saviour while He was conscious of her devotion, was anointing Him for the burial. And as He went down into the darkness of His great trial, He carried with Him the memory of that deed, an earnest of the love that would be His from His redeemed ones forever.   

May we today let our day be filled with "Mary Moments" and find ways to bring joy to our Savior's heart by always staying connected to Christ, and doing the "good work" He has for us--a work that can only be good because God, the Holy Spirit, is actuating our every thought, motive, and action! Praise the Lord that this is possible for us in Jesus!!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2016, 05:27:24 AM »
Amen Pastor Sean!  in the past I could never understand how we could "bless" Christ but now I understand that we can bless Him by our love for Him  and doing "good works" not out of a sense of duty or obligation but out of a heart of love. Oh how Jesus loves us!! When we fully understand this we will gladly "repay" Him without any thought of what it costs us.

I was also touched by this part...

Simon was touched by the kindness of Jesus in not openly rebuking him before the guests. He had not been treated as he desired Mary to be treated. He saw that Jesus did not wish to expose his guilt to others, but sought by a true statement of the case to convince his mind, and by pitying kindness to subdue his heart. Stern denunciation would have hardened Simon against repentance, but patient admonition convinced him of his error. He saw the magnitude of the debt which he owed his Lord. His pride was humbled, he repented, and the proud Pharisee became a lowly, self-sacrificing disciple.

When reading the chapter it's easy to see how wrong Simon is but yet Christ treats Simon much the same way that He treated Mary. With love, kindness and mercy. Through patience the Simon's heart was broken. This is a lesson for us in how we treat the seemingly rough and unlikely person to respond. Our God is a God of mercy and long suffering towards us.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2016, 05:56:45 AM »
Amen and amen!!  Jesus longs to receive our gifts of love today! He loves to see us surrender our sin polluted hearts to Him that He might cleanse us whiter than snow, even though our sins be as scarlet. Such grace! Such love! He did not come to condemn us, we are already condemned by our sins. He came to heal us, no matter who teaches otherwise. We see in this chapter the power of grace to transform the life. God loved us while we were yet sinners!!

     Jesus knows the circumstances of every soul. You may say, I am sinful, very sinful. You may be; but the worse you are, the more you need Jesus. He turns no weeping, contrite one away. He does not tell to any all that He might reveal, but He bids every trembling soul take courage. Freely will He pardon all who come to Him for forgiveness and restoration. 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2017, 05:10:58 AM »
Mary had been looked upon as a great sinner, but Christ knew the circumstances that had shaped her life. He might have extinguished every spark of hope in her soul, but He did not. It was He who had lifted her from despair and ruin. Seven times she had heard His rebuke of the demons that controlled her heart and mind. She had heard His strong cries to the Father in her behalf. She knew how offensive is sin to His unsullied purity, and in His strength she had overcome.

What patience our Savior has. I'll be honest and say if I knew someone who was doing wrongs things and always making poor enough choices that they had on multiple occasions become demon possessed I might be tempted to give up working with them by the 3rd time much less 7 times.

However, I'm not totally blind and I know that I've also been on the receiving end of Christ's patience waiting for me to to see and understand my need of Him and how lovely He truly is. We have a great and loving Savior!!
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2017, 05:53:39 AM »
Amen, Jim!! What a lovely Savior we have! Jesus sees the value of each soul, and when we are filled with His love, we also will see the infinite worth of souls and appreciate what Jesus is doing in their lives, even as Christ has pardoned us greatly and has given us a new life in Him! I am so thankful for the connection with Christ that we can enjoy today by making a full-heart surrender to Him! Mary clearly revealed all of the fruits of the Spirit in her life (the evidence that she was living by faith), for her deed was "good"--meaning it had been wrought by the One who alone is good--the Holy Spirit, who is God at work in humanity!! Praise the Lord!!

 Christ delighted in the earnest desire of Mary to do the will of her Lord. He accepted the wealth of pure affection which His disciples did not, would not, understand. The desire that Mary had to do this service for her Lord was of more value to Christ than all the precious ointment in the world, because it expressed her appreciation of the world's Redeemer. It was the love of Christ that constrained her. The matchless excellence of the character of Christ filled her soul. That ointment was a symbol of the heart of the giver. It was the outward demonstration of a love fed by heavenly streams until it overflowed.

Let us behold Jesus daily in this blessed "thoughtful hour" that His love at work in us will OVERFLOW to bless everyone! Even though it seems that few accept, let us not become discouraged--Jesus rejoiced to see even one come to such an appreciative expression of faith before He died, and we also can bring joy to Jesus heart by expressing our love to Him today in words and deeds that are fed by heavenly streams of love by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2017, 10:48:15 AM »
Amen!  And, while the love of God was constraining some, the hatred of God by Satan and his followers was working to pervert the truth. The high priest would claim that "it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not." John 11:50.

Such a lie! They were not planning that one should die, but that another must die also.

Thus they proposed to destroy Jesus. But so long as Lazarus lived, the priests and rabbis knew that they were not secure. The very existence of a man who had been four days in the grave, and who had been restored by a word from Jesus, would sooner or later cause a reaction. The people would be avenged on their leaders for taking the life of One who could perform such a miracle. The Sanhedrin therefore decided that Lazarus also must die. To such lengths do envy and prejudice lead their slaves. The hatred and unbelief of the Jewish leaders had increased until they would even take the life of one whom infinite power had rescued from the grave.


So it is with sin, one lie is never enough. Those in bondage to sin, the unconverted, have no power to do any good thing. The whole life is in service of Satan and sin, even if we want to serve God. We cannot serve two masters at the same time.

Praise God that He gave us His Son that we might be transformed in character through a new birth, conversion. We notice in this reading today that Simon was not converted at this time. He character had not been transformed.

     Simon of Bethany was accounted a disciple of Jesus. He was one of the few Pharisees who had openly joined Christ's followers. He acknowledged Jesus as a teacher, and hoped that He might be the Messiah, but he had not accepted Him as a Saviour. His character was not transformed; his principles were unchanged. 


Many today have believed a lie that it is not necessary to have a transformed character to have salvation. They have been taught that the character will be transformed when Jesus comes. Such a deception! Jesus longs to give a new heart today. Then we shall have love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance in our lives! We do not have to wait at all!! We just need to give the whole heart to Jesus!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2017, 05:25:58 AM »
Christ might commission the angels of heaven to pour out the vials of His wrath on our world, to destroy those who are filled with hatred of God. He might wipe this dark spot from His universe. But He does not do this. He is today standing at the altar of incense, presenting before God the prayers of those who desire His help.
     The souls that turn to Him for refuge, Jesus lifts above the accusing and the strife of tongues. No man or evil angel can impeach these souls. Christ unites them to His own divine-human nature. They stand beside the great Sin Bearer, in the light proceeding from the throne of God. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." Romans 8:33, 34.


How sad that the world blames God for much of the disasters that happen calling them "Acts of God". Most of the time it is satan who is trying to make a wreck of this world the lives of those are living in it. Satan is the one who enjoys misery, destruction, and death not our Heavenly Savior. Christ today is willing to save any and to the uttermost who come unto Him and he presents their prayers for help to the Father.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2017, 08:46:15 AM »
Amen, Jim! God is merciful, and He is calling all to repentance if they will be drawn. Satan is studying the laboratories of nature that he may seek how to draw as many into death unprepared and unrepentant. At the same time, while God is merciful, there is a real sense in which calamities fall upon the wicked who have overstepped the limits of divine mercy. Two previous biblical examples are the Flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. While we know God is delighting in mercy and we need to magnify His infinite love, we must also remember that God's justice has not been set aside, and that those who reject the immeasurable gift in Christ will face destruction. But it is our deep prayer that we may reach these souls before it is too late. What a privilege to see the loveliness of Jesus in this chapter as it was manifested in the life and character of Mary who was transformed by the divine nature!

Christ delighted in the earnest desire of Mary to do the will of her Lord. He accepted the wealth of pure affection which His disciples did not, would not, understand. The desire that Mary had to do this service for her Lord was of more value to Christ than all the precious ointment in the world, because it expressed her appreciation of the world's Redeemer. It was the love of Christ that constrained her. The matchless excellence of the character of Christ filled her soul. That ointment was a symbol of the heart of the giver. It was the outward demonstration of a love fed by heavenly streams until it overflowed. 

The plan and ground of salvation is love--and Mary experienced that love so fully that it constrained her to action. May we allow Jesus to so fill us today that we will go on His errands to bless others and reflect His character to a world soon to perish.
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2017, 08:36:42 PM »
Amen and amen!   God is so very merciful!  What is it that transforms the sinner into a saint? It is the grace of God! It is the unmerited favor of God for sinners who loved Him not. That love when allowed into the heart converts the sinner. It is this unmerited love that constrains the beholder  to love God supremely. Mary knew Jesus. "It was the love of Christ that constrained her." Constrain is the perfect word we are to understand. Sadly, this great demonstration of love, the great price paid for the salvation of the whole world is wasted on many. Yet, the price was paid for every single person who has been born on this earth.

     The atonement for a lost world was to be full, abundant, and complete. Christ's offering was exceedingly abundant to reach every soul that God had created. It could not be restricted so as not to exceed the number who would accept the great Gift. All men are not saved; yet the plan of redemption is not a waste because it does not accomplish all that its liberality has provided for. There must be enough and to spare.

While the gift was offered to all, notice not all were saved. The Gift must be accepted in order to be justified in having eternal life. All are given temporal life, a period of probation to accept the Gift. But, none are justified until they are born again of the Spirit of God. This we may have today, and every day.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2017, 05:47:02 AM »
     But Mary, pouring out her love upon the Saviour while He was conscious of her devotion, was anointing Him for the burial. And as He went down into the darkness of His great trial, He carried with Him the memory of that deed, an earnest of the love that would be His from His redeemed ones forever.   
     Many there are who bring their precious gifts for the dead. As they stand about the cold, silent form, words of love are freely spoken. Tenderness, appreciation, devotion, all are lavished upon one who sees not nor hears. Had these words been spoken when the weary spirit needed them so much, when the ear could hear and the heart could feel, how precious would have been their fragrance!   


We too, may bless Jesus by receiving His love and then returning it to Him today.

     The desire that Mary had to do this service for her Lord was of more value to Christ than all the precious ointment in the world, because it expressed her appreciation of the world's Redeemer. It was the love of Christ that constrained her. The matchless excellence of the character of Christ filled her soul. That ointment was a symbol of the heart of the giver. It was the outward demonstration of a love fed by heavenly streams until it overflowed. 


Before we can love Jesus as did Mary, we must know of His love for us, for it is the love of Jesus that "constrains" us to return that love. By beholding His glory we shall be changed into His image (character) each day as we study His life. It was by beholding Jesus that Mary was transformed in character. Christ saw in Mary capabilities for good. He saw the better traits of her character. The plan of redemption has invested humanity with great possibilities, and in Mary these possibilities were to be realized. Through His grace she became a partaker of the divine nature.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2017, 08:31:17 AM »
Amen, Richard! Truly, the gospel reveals the power of how by beholding the loveliness of Jesus we will be changed into His glory!!

I love how Christ looked into the future and could speak with such certainty about the triumph of the gospel. Do we speak with certainty? Do we know for sure that the false gospels that assure people they have eternal life while committing known sin will not triumph? Do we know that the false gospels that blow like many winds will not be able to sway those who are studying FOR THEMSELVES the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy? YES!!! We need to speak with courage and faith that such a character as was manifest in Mary--true repentance revealed in all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing because she had saving faith in the Son of God (full heart surrender whereby Christ gave her a new heart), and how she made room for the Holy Spirit to prompt her to action--will be again manifest in God's remnant church in greater degree as the times call for a deeper repentance and a more decided stand for the right. Praise God--let us pray and know that we may have an abiding experience so Christ can perform that greatest of all miracles in us--a continual communion, a continual conversion, whereby He is working in and through us as we cooperate with Him!

"'Verily I say unto you,' Christ declared, 'Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.' Looking into the future, the Saviour spoke with certainty concerning His gospel. It was to be preached throughout the world. And as far as the gospel extended, Mary's gift would shed its fragrance, and hearts would be blessed through her unstudied act. Kingdoms would rise and fall; the names of monarchs and conquerors would be forgotten; but this woman's deed would be immortalized upon the pages of sacred history. Until time should be no more, that broken alabaster box would tell the story of the abundant love of God for a fallen race.'  {The Desire of Ages, page 563, paragraph 1}
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2017, 09:04:31 AM »
"Simon's coldness and neglect toward the Saviour showed how little he appreciated the mercy he had received. He had thought he honored Jesus by inviting Him to his house. But he now saw himself as he really was. While he thought himself reading his Guest, his Guest had been reading him. He saw how true Christ's judgment of him was. His religion had been a robe of Pharisaism. He had despised the compassion of Jesus. He had not recognized Him as the representative of God. While Mary was a sinner pardoned, he was a sinner unpardoned. The rigid rule of justice he had desired to enforce against her condemned him."

But the story doesn't end there and this is the part I love.....

"Simon was touched by the kindness of Jesus in not openly rebuking him before the guests. He had not been treated as he desired Mary to be treated. He saw that Jesus did not wish to expose his guilt to others, but sought by a true statement of the case to convince his mind, and by pitying kindness to subdue his heart. Stern denunciation would have hardened Simon against repentance, but patient admonition convinced him of his error. He saw the magnitude of the debt which he owed his Lord. His pride was humbled, he repented, and the proud Pharisee became a lowly, self-sacrificing disciple."

God's love is truly powerful. And if we are daily abiding in Him He will show that same love through us in our interactions with others in the home, workplace, community, church, etc.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--62--The Feast at Simon's House
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2017, 04:47:56 AM »
Today many will reflect with Thanksgiving for all they have. We have infinitely more reason to thank God for all He has given us because He gave us Jesus!!

Jesus loves us and He gave all heaven to save us. He came and lived a life in humanity to redeem us. Never will we be called to make a REAL sacrifice in light of what He has already done for us. All that He calls upon us to do is out of His selfless love for us and others--that our highest good may be realized by coming into sweet sympathy with Jesus.

"The same want is evident in our world today. But few appreciate all that Christ is to them. If they did, the great love of Mary would be expressed, the anointing would be freely bestowed. The expensive ointment would not be called a waste. Nothing would be thought too costly to give for Christ, no self-denial or self-sacrifice too great to be endured for His sake." {The Desire of Ages, page 565, paragraph 3}

I love how chapter 62 in The Desire of Ages synchronizes the accounts from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John about what happened at Simon's feast as Mary anointed Jesus. I love what Jesus has done to pardon, and how her heart was filled with gratitude. May all we say and do be an outflow of His love working through us as we behold His loveliness of character. All the fruits of the Spirit, without one missing, will be wrought in our experience as long as we abide in Jesus by faith. Let His love constrain you today! Have some "Mary Magdalene moments" in finding ways that the Holy Spirit prompts you to extend Christ's healing love to others and to show Him how much you appreciate He has done for you!   
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}