Brokenness part 1
Mark 14: 3-9
While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. 4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. 6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Miracles are found in brokenness. Worship is brokenness.
Psalm 51:17 “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, O God, you will not despise.”
David has come through a nightmare of facing up to his sins. He will never be the same again. He is broken. His pride and arrogance have gone. He realises that the worship that God accepts is that of a person who is broken. This is not a brokenness because of sickness or trauma, this is broken because the person realises the cost of their forgiveness and the pain of their sin. This is worship. This for David is a remarkable shift for a man who was so lavish in the use of sacrifices to God. On the return of the ark of the covenant he sacrificed every 6 steps the priests took in carrying it. David in his lifetime literally sacrificed thousands and thousands as worship to God.
Now he realises God only accepts worship is from a broken spirit.
A professional Christian is someone who has lost such brokenness.
A Church can lost its brokenness and keep what looks like worship.
“Awesome music, Awesome preaching in an Awesome house.”
Recently I heard that a Christian band were leading thousands of young people in worship. Then in the altar call they invited young people to make Jesus their best mate and come to the big party in heaven. There was no suggestion that before they made Jesus their best mate they need to apologise to him for being his worst enemy.
This morning I have spent some time reading the story of Evan Roberts and in contrast to the ministry to those young people from the music band, in 1904 God found this young 26 yr old preparing himself for ministry, a humble coal miner in Wales. After hearing an evangelist pray ‘bend us’ the words became etched in his mind.
“I fell on my knees with my arms over the seat in front of me, my face bathed in perspiration and the tears flowing in streams, so that I thought it must be blood gushing forth. For about 2 minutes it was terrible. I cried “Bend me! Bend me! Bend us!”
“It was God commending His love which bent me, while I saw nothing in it to commend.”
“Then the fearful bending of the judgment day came to my mind and I was filled with compassion for those who must bend at the judgment, and I wept.”
In less than 6 months this young man was responsible in the leading of over 100,000 people to Christ.
You can see what is occupying my mind this morning, it is brokenness.
Jesus had entered this home in Bethany, he had been welcomed. But welcoming Jesus is not the same as brokenness. When a woman came into the meal, she broke her very expensive jar of perfume and poured it on Jesus’ head.
This is the home of Simon the Leper, who had presumably been healed of his leprosy by Jesus earlier. Also at the dinner according to John is Lazarus, again someone who had been raised from the dead only 4 days previously. Two men with an amazing testimony.
How many people over the years do you know who have been touched by Jesus and received their healing or some other blessing? Did it truly change them?
Welcoming Jesus and even having a testimony is not brokenness. It is not worship.
We will discover more over the next few days.