Sunday, March 25, 2018

King Jesus and King Jehu

I am fascinated by clear links between the Old and New Testaments. One such link is Jesus' quotation of the opening line of Psalm 22 while He is on the cross. If you read all of Psalm 22, you'll see that the entire psalm relates to his crucifixion experience. It's amazing. 

I see such a link between King Jesus (Luke 19) and King Jehu (2 Kings 9). We're going to start with the narrative of Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, a passage that is traditionally read on Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. 
[The disciples] brought [a colt] to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19:35-38 NIV)
This familiar scene is remarkably reminiscent of a particular episode in the history of Israel when Ahab was the king. He was not a good king. In fact, Scripture says that Ahab "did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him" (1 Kings 16:30 NIV). Ahab was married to Jezebel, a woman whose name is still synonymous with evil. Jezebel was a worshipper of the false god Baal, and she convinced her husband to lead the people of God to worship Baal. Together, they endeavored to kill all of the Lord's prophets. At last, God instructed Elisha to anoint Jehu as the new king of Israel. Through Elisha, the Lord instructed Jehu to “destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the Lord’s servants shed by Jezebel” (2 Kings 9:7 NIV).

Do you know how the people responded to the anointing of Jehu as their new king? “They quickly took their cloaks and spread them under him on the bare steps. Then they blew the trumpet and shouted, ‘Jehu is king!’” (2 Kings 9:13). Doesn't this response sound extremely familiar? Jehu received nearly the exact same response as Jesus did when He rode into Jerusalem that day.

During the days of King Ahab, God's people were ruled by an evil, murderous leader. God sent them a new king, King Jehu, who was eventually responsible for the deaths of Jezebel and all the prophets of Baal. He even turned their temple into a public toilet area (2 Kings 10:27). 

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, God's people were oppressed by evil, murderous leaders. They had been awaiting the promised deliverer who was foretold by the prophets. They firmly believed that God would send a Messiah rise up against the Romans, defeating them and ushering in a time peace, restoring Israel to their former glory days under King David.  

The crowds that praised Jesus on the way to Jerusalem had witnessed Jesus healing the sick, freeing the possessed, and raising the dead. These miraculous displays of power must have raised their hopes that perhaps Jesus was the one who would deliver them from the Roman occupation. When they saw Him riding into Jerusalem on the donkey colt, they may have recalled Zechariah’s prophecy, “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zech. 9:9 NIV). 

Everything must have appeared so clear to the people in the crowd that day. Jesus must be the deliverer who would depose Rome, set up an earthly kingdom, and rescue them from their oppressors. They may have even hope that Jesus would turn the Roman temples into toilet areas in the same manner as Jehu. They began to praise Him and hail Him as king that day. Unfortunately, they misunderstood the Scriptures and the prophecies. 

They thought they knew God’s plan and how it would unfold, but they were mistaken. They are not the only ones to make this mistake. Over the centuries, many have tried to analyze current events in an effort to predict the end of the world or determine when Jesus will return. All these dates have come and gone without incident. They were all wrong. 

On a more personal level, sometimes we are so sure of God’s plan for our lives, but then events don’t unfold how we believed they would or when we thought they would. Sometimes we believe we have the only correct interpretation of Scripture, and no one can tell us any different, but our interpretation is wrong –just like the crowds who believed Jesus was riding into Jerusalem in order to overthrow Rome and set up an earthly kingdom.

The crowds were praising Jesus, and He is most deserving of praise. He is the King of all creation, and He is worthy “to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Rev. 5:12). The crowds on the way to Jerusalem were honoring Him as King, and He is the King. Just not the way they had in mind. Did Jesus stop them and correct their theology? Did He stop them and say, “No, no, no. You’ve got it all wrong. It’s not going to happen like this. Let me set you straight”? No. He accepted their words of praise even though their theology was amiss.  

Jesus knew the people in the crowd had ill-conceived expectations. He knew their interpretation of Scripture was inaccurate, but He still accepted the praise and honor they bestowed upon Him. 

None of us has a perfect understanding of God or of His Word. We cannot put God in a box. Neither can we put ourselves in a box, believing that anyone outside of our little box has it wrong and cannot possibly authentically praise God until they come to believe the same as we do. We all have it wrong to some extent, but we can still praise God for who He is and what He has done for us, even if we may differ on the finer points of some doctrinal positions.

This week, as we prepare for Easter Sunday. let's avoid trivial arguments about our differences and join together to praise Jesus as King and to remember the great sacrifice He made for us.

This blogpost is excerpted and adapted from chapter six of Follow Jesus, Share the Journey. 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Dearly Beloved?

If you grew up attending Sunday School, or even the occasional summer Vacation Bible School program, you learned “Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so” (wr. by Anna B. Warner). The Bible tells us that Jesus loves us, but do we act like we truly believe this? Do we follow the apostle John’s instructions to “Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us—He calls us children of God! It’s true; we are His beloved children” (1 John 3:1 VOI). 

Do we rest in this love He lavishes on us, or do we continue struggling to try and earn His love? What may be even more difficult for us, is do we truly believe that He loves others in the world who are not yet followers of Jesus? The apostle John also wrote, in probably the most often quoted verse in the Bible, “God so loved the world.” This says He loved ---not just the chosen few, or those that love Him back --- but everyone in the world. Is this true? Does God really love all of us?

Henri Nouwen had a Jewish friend who asked him to write a book addressing spirituality to those who were not believers in Jesus. Nouwen considered this request, and wrote Life of the Beloved, in which he sought ”to respond to the great spiritual hunger and thirst that exist in countless people who walk the streets of big speak a word of hope to people who no longer came to churches or synagogues and for whom priests and rabbis were no longer the obvious counselors” (21). These people that Nouwen describes are the very people we need to reach with the gospel, but how can we reach those who are already turned off to all things related to Jesus and his church? How can we respond to them in a positive manner in their current spiritual state ?

Nouwen chose to do this by encouraging his readers to embrace the name “Beloved,” because they are indeed loved by God. Nouwen wrote, “We are the Beloved. We are intimately loved long before our parents, teachers, spouses, children, and friends loved or wounded us. That’s the truth of our lives. That’s the truth I want you to claim for yourself. That’s the truth spoken by the voice that says, ‘You are my Beloved’” (36).

When I first read this, it struck me as a bit odd. Are the enemies of God and those who are indifferent to Him really “beloved” by Him? As I was considering this question, I recalled the story that Jesus told in Luke 15 about the Prodigal Son, a story that is likely very familiar to you.

In this story, while the younger son was still living in the pigpen, in a foreign land, far away from the Father, did the Father still love him? Of course he did! The son was off doing his own thing, living in disobedience, but the Father still loved his disobedient son. He still stood watch every day, watching and waiting for the boy to repent and come home.

The Father didn’t suddenly start loving his son once the boy could be seen walking on the road toward home, or once he was cleaned up and clothed in a new robe. The boy was his son, and he loved him from the moment of his birth. The Father never stopped loving the boy, even when the boy demanded his inheritance early and wished the Father dead. Even when the boy was living for himself in a distant land. Even when he was covered in mud, and muck, and pig slop, and whatever other disgusting substance was in that pigpen.

If the Father had an opportunity to speak to the boy while he was still in the pigpen, he might have said, “I will save you. I have traded in nations to win you back, Egypt, Cush, and Seba, in exchange for your freedom. Because you are special to Me and I love you, I gladly give up other peoples in exchange for you...So don’t be afraid. I am here” (Isa. 43:3-5a VOI).

It is unfathomable just how much God loves us … how much He has always loved us. Even when we were far away from Him. The apostle Paul tells us, “think about this: while we were wasting our lives in sin, God revealed His powerful love to us in a tangible display—the Anointed One died for us“” (Rom. 5:8 NIV)

How different would our witness to the world be if we truly believed we were speaking to the Father's dearly beloved sons and daughters who were far from Him, unable to find their way home? What if we made it our mission to show them how much God loves them, just as they are, even if it is in a muddy pigsty, rather than pointing out how relatively clean we are and how much God hates them? Who would have the strength or willingness to drag themselves up out of a pigpen or a faraway land to go home to a Father who hates them? They need to know now, while they’re still far off, how much the Father loves them and the warm, loving welcome they can expect to receive when they return home to Him.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Stirred, Not Shaken

Ian Fleming’s fictional British Secret Service agent, James Bond 007, is well-known for many things, one of which is his martini order. Since 1964, Bond has ordered his martini to “shaken, not stirred.” According to the Official James Bond website, this particular phrase was selected in 2005 as one of the 100 most famous lines in films. I honestly have no idea what the difference is between a shaken and a stirred martini, and I’m pretty sure I don’t want either one. However, I have come across both of these adjectives in Scripture, and thought I might look at the difference between a shaken and a stirred relationship with Jesus. I believe, unlike James Bond, that I much prefer to be “Stirred, not shaken.”

King David affirmed, “I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure” (Ps 16:8-9 NIV). This is the prayer of a man who knows where he stands, and he knows he is solely dependent on the Lord. He knows that as long as his eyes are fastened on God, he will not be shaken from his foundation. David states this confidence he has in God again when he says, “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (Ps 62:1-2 NIV). David also advises us to give our cares and burdens to the Lord because he will sustain us. “He will never let the righteous be shaken” (Ps 55:22 NIV).

What does it mean to be shaken? This word gives me a mental picture of an earthquake and buildings being shaken from their foundations, crumbling and falling to the ground in a heap of rubble. The Hebrew words translated in the NIV is “shaken” means “an instance of instability with sudden motion and loss of balance, which the resulting falling motion is then dangerous to the body” (DBL Hebrew 4573). Yes, sounds pretty much like a building collapsing into a pile of rubble in the middle of an earthquake. I do not want to be shaken down to my foundation in that manner. The good news is that as long as I keep my eyes and my focus on the Lord, I won’t be shaken, according to the psalms quoted above.

We don’t want to be shaken, so what does it mean to be stirred, and why would that be better than being shaken? Many things can be stirred up, most of which are not good. We can stir up trouble (Neh. 4:8), conflict (Prov 6:19), war (Ps 140:2), anger, (Prov. 15:1), and jealousy (1 Kings 14:22). But there are good things that are stirred up as well. The writer of Psalm 45 said his heart was stirred to speak poetic words of praise as he addressed the king. The Lord stirred up the hearts of the people who “came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God” (Haggai 1:14 NIV).

Think about another picture of stirring something up. If you have a fireplace (with real logs and kindling, not gas like we have) or a campfire and the fire is dying, you might use a fire poker to stir it up and bring the fire back to life. You might need to move things around or maybe add some kindling to the embers that are still glowing to get them to reignite before they are completely cold and extinguished.

Paul wrote to Timothy about his strong foundation in the faith, which was first cultivated in Timothy’s life by his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. Paul then told him, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Tim 1:6 NIV). The Voice translation renders this verse as, “This is why I write to remind you to stir up the gift of God that was conveyed to you” (2 Tim 1:6 VOI).

Anazopyreo, the Greek word translated as “stir up” or “fan into flame,” means to “reactivate, formally fan a flame, inflame, rekindle” (DBL GK #351), or “to re-enkindle: --stir up” (Strong’s Greek #329). Paul told Timothy, "Do not let that fire die. It must not go out. Don’t ignore your foundation of faith or the gift of God has given to you. Keep it fresh, keep it alive. Keep stirring up and re-kindling that fire."

When Paul gave these instructions to Timothy, I wonder if he had in mind the instructions given to the priests in the book of Leviticus. God instructed Moses, “The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out” (Lev. 6:12-13 NIV).

Sometimes we may feel as if we are being shaken. We may feel like the very foundation of our life is crumbling beneath us, and we are about to end up as a heap of rubble on the ground, good for nothing but being swept out of the way. At times like these, it is vital that our faith and our hope in God is stirred up and rekindled, that our eyes are redirected onto Him rather than the earthquake going on around us. The fire of our faith and the gift God has given us must not be allowed to burn out. Stir it up. Rekindle the flame. Keep it burning. Keep your eyes on the Lord so the fire will not go out and you will not be shaken.

May we continually stir up the flames of faith, keep our eyes on the Lord, and never be shaken. Let James Bond go with “Shaken, not stirred.” We will be “Stirred, not shaken.” 

Monday, February 5, 2018

"What do you want me to do for you?"

A good friend of mine recently prompted me to reconsider a question that Jesus asked a blind man, as recorded in Mark 10:51. It was a familiar question and context for me, at least to some extent. Just hearing the question, without looking up the passage, I could recall to whom Jesus was speaking, and exactly how the man answered the question. However, surface familiarity with the narrative participants and the words that were spoken is much different than considering how I would answer this question myself.

As a reminder, in this narrative Jesus walked by a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, who was calling out to Jesus for help. The crowd alerted Jesus, telling Him, 'Hey, this man over here is calling for you,' so Jesus stopped, called the man over, and engaged him in a conversation. Jesus asked this blind man, who was in obvious need, "What do you want me to do for you?"

At first glance, this seems to me like an overly obvious question. "Really, Jesus? What do you think the man wants you to do for him? He's blind, for heaven's sake!" And in response to this obvious question, Bartimaeus offered a an equally simple, straightforward answer. He said, "I want to see." I'm thinking, 'Of course you do. That was easy.'

But actually considering what my answer to this simple question might be, were it posed directly to me sparked a great deal of thought and reflection. "What do you want me to do for you?" It's a very simple question, but at the same time, it's a huge, loaded question when asked by Jesus, isn't it? I reflected for several days on what my answer to this question might be. Almost anything I came up with seemed almost trivial, and frankly, not big enough when considered in light of this specific question.

"What do you want me to do for you?" 

Here are a few of my reflections on this question:

1. My first thought was: "Nothing, thank you. Jesus, You've done enough for me already." And this is true. He has. But if He really asked me this question, as He did Bartimaeus, I should give Him some other answer besides "Nothing." But on the other hand, shouldn't I be happy and fulfilled just resting in His presence? Shouldn't that be enough? It should be, but we all still have a need, as did Bartimaeus, or even a list of needs and wants we could ask Jesus for.

2.  Related to the answer above: Why would Jesus ask me what I want Him to do for me? He has already given me His life, His love, His blood, His forgiveness, His grace, and His Spirit. I should be the one asking the question. I should be asking Him what I can do to express my love and gratitude for what He has already done for me.

3. My next thought was that maybe my answer should be the same as Bartimaeus' response: "I want to see." I'm not really in need of physical sight. As long as I have my contact lenses in, my eyes can see just fine. I'm referring to a different kind of vision. I want to be able to see His plan, to see what He has for me to do, and who He has for me to reach. I want to see His face. I want to be able to see the world and other people as He does, through His eyes. I want to see.

4. If Jesus asked me, "What do you want me to do for you," I would want to sort through my prayer list and weed out all the non-essentials. I would want to eliminate all the things that I can (or should) do for myself. If I am offered help from the King of Kings, I should make a request for something big...something that I have no hope of accomplishing on my own...something so big that it can only be accomplished by God...something as big and impossible as a blind man asking for the ability to see. In answer to this question, Bartimaeus could have asked Jesus for a job, a decent meal, a bed, or a friend. All of these things are good and necessary, but they are fairly easy requests to fill when compared to sight for the blind. Bartimaeus, the blind man, asked for the impossible. He asked for the ability to see. Do I ask Jesus for what seems to me to be impossible?

5. Of course, asking for something so big that it seems impossible to me doesn't mean it is something in line with the will of God. There are things that I want, that would be good, but maybe they are more the equivalent of Bartimaeus forgoing to opportunity to ask for sight, in favor of asking for a meal. Do I ask for what is good, or what is best. I know what seems best to me, but it may not always be the best for the Kingdom. I want to know the difference and ask for the best, which goes back to #2: I want to see.

6. Bartimaeus also asked Jesus for something very specific. When I come to Jesus and share what it is I want Him to do for me (or for my friends, family, co-workers, etc.), I should just go ahead and tell Him. Be specific rather than praying phrases like, "Be with them/me, bless them/me, guard them/me." Instead, Jesus I ask you for physical and emotional healing of my friend and her young-adult daughter who fell prey to a drug dealer and sex trafficker; for physical healing of a friend who is battling a very aggressive form of cancer; for successful surgeries; for complete freedom and healing of family and friends struggling with all manner of anxiety, mental and emotional battles; for the restoration and strengthening of struggling marriages; for true, deep-seated, unshakeable joy in spite of the confusion of life's circumstances; for the comfort and mutual encouragement of close friends in community with one another; for clear vision and purpose for those struggling with direction; for specific doors of opportunity to open; for wide-spread, effective influence for the Kingdom; for wisdom and discernment.

After several days of reflecting on possible answers to this question, I pulled up Mark 10 on my Bible app to read the narrative in context one more time, and I was struck by another verse that I had previously highlighted. This verse appears just prior to the narrative about Jesus and Bartimaeus. Do you know what Jesus said in the immediate context before this encounter? The last thing Jesus said before His encounter with Bartimaues, according to Mark, is "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).

Does this context hit you upside the head as it did me? Jesus said that He came to serve, and then he asks Bartimaeus 'how can I serve you?' Jesus said He came to serve, but He didn't come to serve us coffee and biscotti or other niceties of life. He came to serve through giving His very life as a ransom. How can anyone give more that that? Immediately after this statement about coming to serve, the very next words of Jesus that Mark recorded for us are His calling Bartimaeus over for a conversation and asking him, "What do you want me to do for you?" His entire life was one of giving and serving.

A final observation on this question is that when Jesus asked Bartimaeus this question, Bartimaeus had to give Jesus an answer to the question. If he had doubted Jesus' ability to help him and give him his sight, if he had not answered the way he did, would Jesus have healed him and granted him the ability to see?

Why do you think Jesus even asked Bartimaeus what he wanted? Didn't Jesus already know? Did He ask him in order to test Bartimaeus' faith? Did He ask in order to find out if Bartimaeus had the courage and faith to ask Jesus for what he truly needed and wanted? Or to find out if Bartimaeus was aware of his deepest need?

Jesus asked the question, and Bartimaeus answered the question in faith. He had faith that Jesus could deliver the answer and Mark tells us that "Instantly, the man could see" (Mark 10:52 NLT). Jesus said that it was the man's faith that healed him. If Bartimaeus had asked Jesus for money or for a job instead of his sight, I'm sure Jesus would have answered that request. After all, Jesus asked the man what he wanted. Answers like a job or a decent meal required a lower level of faith to request them, and Jesus' response would have been to give him what he asked for, which would have been a lower level of healing. Perhaps Bartimaeus would have enjoyed a good meal or the ability to provide for himself without resorting to begging, but the bottom line is that he would still be blind. His deepest need would have gone unmet.

What do you need that only Jesus can provide, that requires great faith for you to even have the courage to answer this question...

"What do you want me to do for you?"

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Extravagant Worship

What does extravagant worship look like? What motivates a person to sacrificial, extravagant worship? The apostle John records a beautifully extravagant gift of worship that Mary offered Jesus before He was crucified. The following narrative is recorded immediately following Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, and just prior to Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the moneybag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” (John 12:1-8)[1]
Imagine that you are hosting a dinner in your home, and your guest of honor is none other than Jesus –the King and Creator of the universe, the Son of God, in the flesh. If that weren’t enough, also present at this dinner party is your dearly loved brother who recently died, but who was subsequently brought back to life by Jesus. This brother of yours was not mostly dead; his brain activity didn’t cease for a few minutes before he was resuscitated. No, he was all dead…really dead…dead for four days and beginning to decompose and stink. Dead. Gone. That is … until Jesus arrived.

If you were Mary, how incredibly grateful would you be to Jesus for raising your brother from the dead? How would you even begin to express your thanks to Him for this extraordinary gift? How amazed are you at the power Jesus has over life and death? How do you even begin to honor Him for how great He is? How do you show Him how important He is to you and how worthy He is of all your thanks, honor, and praise? What an overwhelming evening!

In an effort to show Jesus how much He was worth to her, Mary spent what was quite possibly her entire life’s savings on Jesus. She took a pint of expensive nard, her most valuable possession, a treasure that had likely been in her family for years, and she broke it open. She sacrificed its worth in order to anoint Jesus’ feet. John tells us that Judas Iscariot pointed out that this gift was worth a year’s wages. 

I don’t know how much money you make in a year, but this seems like an incredibly large, sacrificial gift. Have you ever considered giving a gift to Jesus that was worth $30,000? $50,000? What about $100,000? Mary poured out her heart and her treasure on Jesus in an act of extravagant, sacrificial worship. One commentator says that “Mary’s lavish gift…expressed her love and thanks to Jesus for Himself and for His restoring Lazarus to life.”[2]

If you want another little glimpse into Mary’s emotional state during this dinner party, look back at John chapter 11. Once Jesus arrived in town, He went to speak with Martha, Mary’s sister. When Mary came out to meet Jesus, she was so distraught that when she saw him, “she fell at his feet and said, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died’” (John 11:32). She blatantly blamed Jesus for the grief in her life, and then a few minutes later, he gave her an unexpected, overwhelming, and rare gift.

I wonder if she experienced shame over blaming Jesus for her loss. I believe she was extremely humbled in His presence. Prior to the dinner party, she probably thought long and hard on how she could best demonstrate her gratitude to Jesus and show Him her estimation of His worth to her.

It may seem to us like Mary didn’t count the cost of her gift. What was she going to live on without that treasure? It was an extremely costly gift, but I believe she did count the cost. I believe she saw so much worth in Jesus, and her heart was so full of gratitude for what He had done for her that the sacrifice she made in anointing Jesus was worth every penny to her. She was so overwhelmed by Jesus that she poured out all that she had on Him in a beautifully extravagant offering of worship.

Have you ever been this overwhelmed by who Jesus is and by all that He has done for you? Is your heart filled with gratitude for how good He is to you, how much He has forgiven you? Are you truly amazed by the fact that He made a way for you to be adopted into God’s family, and that He has called you to follow Him? Can you relate to Mary’s sacrifice or to the words of the following song? 

When all around the storms of life are raging
I need to find a place that’s safe and warm
When the wind and waves come crashing down on me
Oh Lord, You’re my refuge from the storm

I am overwhelmed by Your goodness
I am overwhelmed by Your love for me
As Your grace and mercy wash over my heart
Lord, I am overwhelmed by You

And when my past tries once again to haunt me
And I’m reminded how many times I fall
Though the guilt and shame start weighing down on me
I know You have redeemed me from it all
(Repeat Chorus)

No, I cannot understand why You chose me
And I cannot comprehend the depth of Your love for me
Oh, I live to give You praise
I’m so humbled and amazed
By just how good You are to me
(Repeat Chorus)

© 2013 Sheri Tesar

[1] A similar narrative is recorded in each of the gospels, but each of them differs just a bit. It is unclear whether they are similar events or the same event recorded in slightly different manners. In Matthew 26 and Mark 14, an unnamed woman anoints Jesus’ head at the home of Simon the Leper. In Luke 7, a “sinful woman” anoints His feet at the home of one of the Pharisees.

[2] Walvoord. Bible Knowledge Commentary. “Notes on John 12:3.”