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A View from the Altar / It cost a king’s ransom… just about right
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It cost a king’s ransom… just about right

More than any of the other evangelists, John highlights the deity of Christ. (Jn 1:1-2, Jn 8:58)   His deity is at the nexus between doctrine and devotion.  It’s doctrine because it says what Christianity is and why it has any authority. (Jn 12:48)

The Christian faith is founded on Jesus, centered on him, all about him. Without him, it’s no longer Christianity but a mere ethical system whose glorious moral vision degrades into a system of excuses for wimps who cannot take up for themselves.  But if indeed he is God manifest in the flesh, and he is, then he is life itself, life abundant, and everything eternal that goes with it.

The deity of Christ becomes devotional at just this point. Mary took all her worldly wealth and poured it out on Jesus’ feet, then wiped his feet with her hair.  (Jn 12:3)  If Jesus is not God, she was a fool.  You might as well pitch a penny in the fountain at the mall.

But if Jesus is God, and he is, then what sacrifice is too much for him?

Furthermore, Mary knew Jesus.   Her sacrifice was bestowed on one who was about to sacrifice far more on her behalf.  (Jn 12:7)  Her love for him, however profuse by earthly standards, was nothing compared to his love for her.  Would he reward her passion with indifference?   Not a chance.

John closes the scene with a brief video of Christ’s intercession for his people.  Judas spoke as the accuser of his people (Jn 12:6), and her Advocate put him to silence. (Jn 12:7)

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

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