Participants: Lonnie Melashenko
Series Code: VOPS
Program Code: VOPS000011
00:31 Some people come into our lives
00:34 and they leave footprints on our hearts.
00:37 And we are never ever the same.
00:39 I'm forever indebted to Dr. Joe Barnes
00:42 for some of the insights
00:43 that I'm about to share with you this morning
00:44 from Luke 7 and Luke Chapter 8.
00:47 If you have your Bibles,
00:48 I hope you open them to that passage.
00:51 You know, there's something intriguing,
00:55 mysterious, but exciting about art.
01:00 Not just looking at it,
01:01 but getting into the act yourself,
01:03 in some sort of way by drawing
01:05 or painting, creating, designing.
01:08 There's a thrill, a sense of accomplishment
01:10 of creating something of your own.
01:14 Well, during the last century
01:16 a relatively new form of art was introduced
01:18 and it's captured the attention of many, many people
01:21 and it's called the collage.
01:23 I haven't really decided whether I like it or not yet
01:26 but many of you know it as the little bits
01:28 and pieces of paper, other things put together
01:31 either by glue or even by welding
01:33 to make some type of a picture or some kind of a statue.
01:36 Many of the times they are very wild
01:38 and weird contrivances and creations.
01:41 Way back at the turn of the century,
01:44 art was still very much idealistic and visionary.
01:48 Artists tend to deal with things with the way
01:51 they wish they were rather than as they really are.
01:55 Well, a gentleman came along by the name of Kurt Schwitters
01:57 and he suddenly turned away
01:59 from all this kind of idealistic art,
02:01 you know, painting things so prosy
02:03 and so perfect and so pretty.
02:05 And Schwitters began
02:06 what we call the humanization of art,
02:09 making it much more human, realistic.
02:13 And he turned to the scrap heaps
02:15 and the junk piles.
02:18 He picked up scraps of old iron and broken watch works
02:21 and bizarre and absurd materials
02:23 which even the junk man would have discarded
02:25 and he used them in the fabrication
02:27 of his masterpieces of art.
02:30 This then is what we call the collage.
02:33 From these scraps, these bits and pieces
02:35 rejected by everyone else,
02:37 Schwitters would fashion a collage.
02:39 And believe it or not, many of these sold for $10,000
02:43 or more even while the artist was still alive.
02:48 But, you know, the most skillful
02:49 and the most successful collage artist of all was Jesus.
02:55 The one we call the Christ.
02:58 Because it was Jesus who took mankind
03:00 from the visionary and the idealistic
03:02 and He got down to the little real bits of life.
03:06 He didn't just take the best in man.
03:08 He took the worst in mankind, the refuse of society.
03:12 Individuals people had thrown away
03:14 and they'd cast off, they said,
03:15 they're no good, useless, valueless,
03:19 worse than that, they were evil.
03:22 But how many times Jesus reached out
03:25 and reclaimed from the scrap heaps of human life,
03:28 torn and twisted bits of flesh and spirit,
03:31 and He creatively put them together
03:33 into some of the most amazing designs.
03:36 And magnificent masterpieces of life were the result.
03:41 Jesus, the Artist.
03:43 He gave us the great art of living.
03:47 In just a moment I would like to unveil for you
03:50 one of Christ's amazing collage of masterpieces
03:54 composed of the sordid parts of a human life.
03:59 From the mutilated fragments,
04:01 we'll begin to see the delicate features
04:04 of a woman's face begin to appear.
04:07 And we'll watch the expression change on that face
04:11 as it's tenderly and skillfully fashioned
04:14 until at last it reflects the loving character
04:16 of the Master Artist Himself.
04:21 Now the name of this woman
04:23 was found in scriptures strangely enough,
04:25 is the same as Jesus' own mother, Mary.
04:30 But the fragments don't fit, you see,
04:32 because this is not the Mary of Nazareth
04:34 that we've heard so much about,
04:36 but this is Mary from the town of Magdala.
04:39 We often speak of her as Mary Magdalene.
04:43 The first scene we see,
04:46 the first little bit and piece of her life
04:51 is a haunted face at the feet of Jesus.
04:56 She is a woman of a very bad reputation.
04:59 To put it bluntly as the Bible says,
05:00 she was a mentally sick prostitute.
05:04 But she was so bad the Bible says
05:05 she was possessed of seven devils.
05:08 And you can't get much better than that
05:10 in the scriptures or worse as the case
05:12 may be because seven was the perfect number.
05:14 So she was perfectly bad,
05:17 engulfed in complete darkness of rejection and despair.
05:21 And we see her there with the hopelessness
05:23 and the emptiness in her face.
05:27 How did she get this way?
05:30 Whose breath blew out the light in this sensitive brain?
05:35 Well, from the scriptures and the Bible commentators,
05:38 the little bits and pieces of her life
05:40 can be glued together
05:41 with what we know of the culture
05:42 and the time in which she lived.
05:45 And we begin to see this woman start to take form
05:48 and how Jesus related to her.
05:52 You see, Mary Magdalene actually wasn't
05:54 from the town of Magdala at all.
05:57 Obviously, she lived there for a time
05:58 but this wasn't her real home.
06:00 Her real home was in Bethany.
06:04 She was a suburbanite.
06:05 She lived in this very fashionable Beverly Hills
06:08 community on the outskirts of Jerusalem
06:10 where many of the elders and leaders of the people,
06:13 they lived, and they commuted in every day a mile and a half.
06:16 She was one of three children
06:18 as far as we know and they all lived together.
06:20 She had an older brother named Lazarus
06:23 and an older sister by the name of Martha.
06:26 So evidently she was the youngest child,
06:28 very lovely, intelligent, and highly sensitive.
06:33 Now I don't know what Martha
06:36 or her brother actually did for a living
06:37 but we do know that there were times
06:39 that Martha apparently catered feasts.
06:43 In fact, we find her often cooking in the Bible.
06:46 And apparently, she would use her younger sister Mary
06:48 to help in the catering.
06:50 You know, when those dignitaries in Jerusalem
06:52 often put on a feast and this was quite regularly evident
06:55 that when you read the Bible,
06:56 no doubt Martha was the one who did the catering for it.
07:01 Probably at one of the feasts, a feast put on by Simon,
07:05 Mary became acquainted
07:06 with this sophisticated man of Israel.
07:09 A handsome man, a man who had position,
07:11 he had everything you'd want.
07:13 He was a scholar, he was a great teacher in Israel.
07:15 In fact, the Bible says he was a Pharisee.
07:20 And as this feast at Simon's progressed,
07:23 I can well see Simon kind of looking over there
07:25 and he discovered this beautiful,
07:27 young, sensitive girl.
07:30 He discovers in her one with a keen mind.
07:35 Now I'm sorry to say this but this is the way
07:36 it is outside of the western world
07:38 but back there in those days
07:40 only men were supposed to receive
07:42 an education in Jewish culture.
07:45 Rarely did a woman have the opportunity to learn.
07:48 But history tells us that occasionally
07:51 you'd find someone like Mary
07:53 in whom they would spot great talent
07:55 and they would be given a private education.
07:59 So I can almost see Simon at this feast looking,
08:01 "What a beautiful girl, what an intelligent girl,
08:06 you know, she needs an education."
08:09 Maybe he talked with her brother and her sister,
08:11 maybe even the parents, if they were still alive,
08:13 we don't know at this time.
08:14 But whatever the case,
08:15 I wouldn't be at all surprised
08:17 that Simon arranged to become kind of her private tutor.
08:21 And as time progressed,
08:23 Simon was very attracted to Mary,
08:26 apparently Mary was to him, too.
08:27 In fact, he said he loved her.
08:32 And there came a point where Simon became
08:33 so interested in Mary that the Bible says
08:36 he seduced her and soon it became a full-blown affair,
08:40 only they kept it hushed up between the two of them.
08:44 Now Mary was not this kind of a girl.
08:48 But she was a girl.
08:49 She had normal human responses.
08:51 And when a person of this particular position
08:53 took an interest in her,
08:55 well, it was kind of natural
08:56 for her to respond to an extent.
08:59 So as Simon continued to tutor her
09:01 or whatever else he may have done,
09:03 there came a point where he said, "Look, Mary.
09:08 Why not? Everybody does it.
09:11 They don't say much about it publicly,
09:13 but this is the way it is.
09:14 I love you.
09:16 Mary, how could anything so good be so bad?
09:19 In other words, if I love you
09:21 and nobody else is getting hurt, why not?"
09:25 Apparently, it sounded good to Mary,
09:28 and she became involved.
09:32 Now the scripture doesn't say exactly
09:34 what happened after that,
09:35 but the Bible gives us a little assistance
09:37 to help us read between the lines.
09:39 That in the Jewish culture this kind of activity
09:41 was not looked upon favorably as a rule.
09:44 If a young woman was involved
09:47 to the place where she became pregnant,
09:49 they found out who the man was and they stoned them both.
09:53 For God had told the Hebrew people,
09:55 "If you find two that are involved
09:56 in immorality, stone them."
09:59 So needless to say, this kept down immorality
10:02 to the bare minimum most of the time.
10:05 But in this particular case
10:07 it wasn't a Hebrew culture in the fullest sense.
10:11 Because the Romans were in charge.
10:13 Now the Romans did not look on immorality like the Jews.
10:18 Therefore, the Romans said,
10:19 "Oh, no, it's absolutely illegal to stone anybody
10:22 for something as simple as immorality,
10:25 that's a common practice in Rome."
10:27 So at this time there were more than
10:30 the average number of young ladies
10:32 who found themselves in this delicate position.
10:36 When a girl found herself
10:38 in this situation in their culture,
10:40 about the best thing that she could do to save her family
10:42 from utter disgrace by this terrible thing
10:44 was to just go away.
10:47 And one of my Bible commentaries indicates
10:49 that the fact that Mary of Bethany
10:52 became Mary of Magdala
10:55 was because she had to leave home.
10:58 I'm highly suspicious.
11:00 We have a pregnancy on our hands.
11:03 And as we continue with these bits and pieces,
11:05 you'll see that this fits together.
11:08 I can imagine, the day came
11:10 when she perhaps discovered that this was the case.
11:13 I can see her going over to Simon's house
11:15 and she has kind of mixed feelings there.
11:17 And it isn't good to be in this position,
11:19 not without being married, that's obvious.
11:22 But, you know, in a sense,
11:24 well, they had sort of been talking about marriage,
11:27 maybe this would just hurry things up a little bit.
11:30 Can't you see her going in and saying,
11:33 "Hi, honey, Simon.
11:36 Simon, I've got something to tell you.
11:38 I have some good news." "Oh, what's that?"
11:43 She says, "I'm gonna have a baby."
11:47 And he looks at her coldly, and says,
11:50 "So what else is new?"
11:52 And she says, "But Simon, I'm pregnant, it's your child."
11:58 "Drop dead. I'm a man in Israel.
12:02 Look at how they respect me.
12:04 Why should I be bothered with you?
12:06 You're just a girl. Get lost."
12:09 Let me tell you, Mary came alive and fast.
12:13 She suddenly learned there are people in this world
12:15 that love you for what they can get out of you and that's all.
12:19 "How can you say this?" she says to Simon.
12:21 "I love you with all my heart.
12:23 I've loved you with all my body
12:25 and you say, you don't love me?
12:28 You don't want me?"
12:30 "Well, honey, it's not a matter of not wanting,
12:32 how could I possibly take you?
12:34 I mean, people can still count, you know.
12:36 When they figure out what the problem is,
12:37 I'll lose my position in town.
12:40 Now look, girl, the best thing to do is to just get lost
12:43 so your family won't be embarrassed,
12:44 so you won't be embarrassed and so I won't be either."
12:48 And no doubt he was the one
12:49 who persuaded her that she ought to go away.
12:53 Go up to Magdala, go to a relative somewhere
12:55 till this is all over.
12:57 "What will I do with the baby?" she may have asked.
13:00 "That's not my worry, kid, that's yours."
13:03 And she learns another fact, that there are people
13:06 who will not only take advantage of you
13:09 and use you as a thing to an end
13:10 but there are people who after doing all this
13:12 and leaving you in tragedy,
13:14 they have no sympathy and they don't care.
13:19 She was possessed of seven devils,
13:22 the Bible clearly says.
13:24 That is her mind wasn't altogether there anymore.
13:27 Her thoughts, her attitudes had been destroyed.
13:30 The evil spirits were partly the thoughts
13:33 and the feelings that she now possessed.
13:35 That she had degenerated from that happy,
13:38 youthful, carefree, intelligent, innocent Mary
13:41 to a Mary dashed to pieces in ruin and despair.
13:45 Seven demons.
13:48 When I took a course in clinical psychiatry
13:50 for ministers at the California,
13:53 Lutheran hospital a number of years ago,
13:54 I learned about the stages of guilt
13:56 that lead a person to despair.
13:59 It began back there
14:01 when Simon first approached her.
14:04 The first demon, she rationalized first.
14:08 And that's where it all begins.
14:10 We permit our human minds by reasoning
14:14 to make the unreasonable, reasonable.
14:17 And it seemed so right to Mary.
14:19 It was just so good, it couldn't be bad.
14:23 But then came guilt, guilt.
14:27 That always follows when we rationalize.
14:29 Even though we don't admit it, guilt,
14:31 it rots away at the very core of your personality.
14:34 And any medical doctor will affirm
14:36 that the real problem with young people
14:38 and immorality is not VD or AIDS,
14:41 but the terrific negative impact
14:43 it has especially on the girl's emotional health of mind.
14:47 But, folks, when a person deviates from doing right,
14:51 it does something to them.
14:52 It affects, it warps, it destroys.
14:57 And so after Mary had been engaged
14:59 in these activities with Simon for a while,
15:01 the guilt came.
15:03 It began to eat away
15:04 at the very core of her personality.
15:06 And so the next feeling came,
15:08 worse than the former, fear.
15:12 What if somebody knows? What if this gets out?
15:15 Will he marry me, or won't he?
15:17 All of these terrible fears
15:19 seize an individual like cold, icy fingers.
15:21 And what do you do?
15:23 Well, Mary went to Simon
15:24 but when she heard his cold reproach,
15:27 her next instinct was escape.
15:30 Got to get away. Hide.
15:32 And she apparently ran off to Magdala
15:35 to find some place of privacy.
15:36 And people tend to do that with any type of sin,
15:40 think of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden,
15:41 hiding, they try to hide it at first.
15:45 But then Mary had to go through something else.
15:49 The tragedy.
15:51 What do I do with this child? What do you do?
15:55 Does she keep the child and in her society,
15:57 everybody in the neighborhood says,
15:58 "Oh, oh, oh, look at this young girl,
16:00 she's not married."
16:02 And what kind of an impact
16:04 would this have on the growing mind
16:05 of the child to hear all of the interesting terms
16:08 that the neighbors call him?
16:11 Or does she take that child to a fostered home
16:15 and act like she has no child,
16:17 but she sneaks out on the side
16:18 and she's looking over the fence of the walls
16:21 to see if sometime she might see that child
16:22 and when she does her heart breaks,
16:24 tears her apart because she wants it for her own,
16:26 she can't have it.
16:29 Or does she just give up the child,
16:32 let somebody else adopt it.
16:35 And down in the depths of her mind
16:37 for the rest of her life wonder,
16:39 is that child all right?
16:41 I wonder where it is? What does she do?
16:45 I imagine Mary took the course that many take today.
16:50 You know, I'm only 15, 16, whatever age she was,
16:55 I can't be a fit mother and the child needs a father.
16:59 Best thing to do is just give up the child.
17:03 Maybe she gives it up.
17:04 And all of a sudden there now
17:05 comes tremendous tensions inside her.
17:08 A terrible guilt now, worse than the adultery,
17:11 worse than the fornication.
17:13 The guilt of giving up the child she had produced.
17:18 Now a new feeling takes over.
17:21 As she thinks back on the way that Simon handled this,
17:25 there burns a hatred in her that she'd never known before.
17:28 Not just for Simon, but a hatred for men, period.
17:33 She's half insane and the fear and the shame and the tension
17:37 and the hatred intensifies her guilt
17:39 as this chain reaction mushrooms.
17:40 And at last she says, "I'm terrible, I admit it.
17:45 I'm bad. I'm the worst.
17:49 You know, if I'm this bad, nothing can help me.
17:52 I might as well keep right on going,
17:53 I might as well make a business of it.
17:55 At least I can eat."
17:58 So she became a prostitute.
18:01 Every last time she looked into the eyes of a man,
18:03 all of that horrible tragedy would come back to her mind
18:06 until she finally couldn't take it anymore.
18:08 The guilt had reached unbearable proportions
18:11 and she was possessed by seven devils,
18:13 perfectly hopeless despair.
18:16 There's no way out.
18:18 That spark of life grew so tense,
18:20 the stress so great, the worry and hatred and fear
18:23 so intense that her mind snaps
18:26 and the flickering flame at last goes out
18:29 in that sensitive mind.
18:32 Darkness settles in,
18:36 and the life merges into that halfway
18:39 haunted nightmare world of the mentally sick
18:42 where she's now more dead than she is alive.
18:47 And this is where we find her
18:48 in that first piece of the collage
18:51 with the emptiness in her face.
18:55 There she is.
18:57 When suddenly out of the darkness
19:00 of her mental disease, a voice, "Mary."
19:07 And she looks up...
19:09 and she can see the form of a man.
19:11 All of the nightmare starts all over again.
19:13 The Bible says six times Jesus tried to get through
19:16 and heal Mary but He couldn't.
19:18 He couldn't break through to her.
19:20 She would just see the face of another man
19:22 and back she would go.
19:24 Well, He could have said, "Just forget it."
19:26 But He never did. Oh, how He loved her.
19:31 Finally, the seventh time she heard it again, "Mary."
19:36 And she looks up
19:38 and now she focuses into the eyes of Jesus.
19:44 There's no sensuality there. She can't believe it.
19:47 She hates men, but not this one.
19:52 And for the first time in her adult life
19:54 she looks into the face of a man
19:55 that loved her for herself,
19:57 not for what He could get out of her.
20:00 Who loved her as a person, not as a thing to play with.
20:04 And she found her sanity.
20:06 She found herself when she found her God.
20:10 And out of the depths of despair came a gratitude
20:13 so deep that there's never been another person
20:15 in scripture as far as we know that
20:17 ever loved like this woman loved.
20:20 She who had been the rejected one,
20:22 through Christ had the breakthrough.
20:24 I mean, He could have extinguished
20:26 every spark of hope in her soul, but He did not.
20:29 His fathomless love lifted her from despair and ruin
20:34 and this woman became Mary, the beloved.
20:41 Scene 2.
20:43 The next piece in this collage
20:48 is now the face of interest.
20:52 The Bible tells us there in Luke 8:1- 3
20:56 that Mary and the other women
20:59 of similar reputation followed Jesus
21:02 wherever He went, administered to His personal needs
21:05 and to those of the disciples'.
21:07 Do you ever wonder who did His washing?
21:11 Who did His ironing?
21:13 So help me, folks, it wasn't Peter.
21:17 Who cooked His meals? It surely wasn't John.
21:20 He was always arguing with his brother,
21:21 who's going to be on the right hand
21:22 of Jesus' side in the kingdom.
21:24 Folks, the women did.
21:27 They administered to Jesus' personal needs.
21:30 You know, as Jesus came along,
21:32 we usually picture it this way, well, it would be first Jesus,
21:34 then Peter, James and John and the other disciples.
21:37 But no, no, no, that's not the way it was.
21:39 It was Jesus, the three disciples,
21:42 then the women, and the rest of the disciples.
21:46 And it says in your Bible
21:47 that the elders of the town would come out
21:50 when they heard that Jesus was coming by
21:52 and they would stand in the town gates
21:53 and they would cluck, "Tsk, tsk, tsk,
21:56 look at the Messiah.
21:58 Look at the kinds of people,
22:00 you know, birds of a feather flock together.
22:03 Prostitutes, mentally sick.
22:05 What kind of a Messiah is this?"
22:07 And they taunted Him at the gates with this.
22:10 Oh, but Jesus loved too much to care.
22:14 He would not separate Himself from those
22:16 which He had helped like this.
22:18 He knew that Mary could not have stood the separation.
22:22 But one day Jesus evidently said to her, "Mary."
22:25 "Yes, Lord." "Mary, it's time to go home."
22:31 "Bethany?" asked Mary. "Yes, back to Bethany.
22:35 It's time for you to meet your family again."
22:37 "Oh, I can't. I've disgraced them.
22:41 Well, surely the word has gotten out."
22:43 "Mary, it's time to go home."
22:47 "But, Lord, I can't.
22:49 Simon still lives there in that town."
22:51 "Mary, it's time to go home."
22:55 And home they went.
22:57 When they got there,
22:58 Martha fixed a nice meal, where is Mary?
23:03 Again at the feet of Jesus. Amen.
23:06 The face of interest, now. Amen.
23:09 In fact, Martha finally comes out and barks at Jesus,
23:12 "Lord, why don't You tell my sister
23:13 to come into the kitchen and help me fix the meal?"
23:15 And Jesus made something very clear to her.
23:17 Now let's stop right there, Martha.
23:19 Martha, you're a wonderful woman,
23:20 you're a terrific cook,
23:22 I love to eat pizza at your house.
23:24 But Martha, your sister Mary
23:26 has chosen something far more important
23:28 than all the food in the world.
23:31 She is hanging onto every word
23:33 that I give her, My words of love to her.
23:37 It's the heart that comes first, Martha.
23:39 All of the activity, even in the church
23:41 isn't going to save you.
23:43 It's the love of the Father in heaven and this alone.
23:46 And Martha, that's what Mary has chosen.
23:50 Let her alone.
23:53 The next picture, the next little bits and pieces,
23:58 the feast at Simon's house.
24:02 No doubt Martha is catering the feast.
24:05 Now as you know, having studied the Bible,
24:07 I'm sure you realize
24:08 they did not have tables and chairs
24:11 like we have in the western society.
24:12 They ate laying down at a very low little table,
24:14 reclining usually on their left elbow,
24:16 leaning up against the next person.
24:18 Mary apparently came over to help Martha
24:21 and she sees Jesus reclining there,
24:23 Simon on one side and Lazarus on the other.
24:26 Jesus, eating at the feast
24:28 with His feet sticking out towards her.
24:31 Now Mary had heard Jesus tell
24:34 that He was going to die very soon.
24:37 Not one single Apostle, not one of the disciples caught on,
24:42 but she had.
24:43 And she went down to prepare for the funeral
24:45 and had spent an entire year's salary
24:48 to buy the most expensive
24:49 embalming perfume that there was,
24:51 an alabaster box of spikenard
24:54 from the mountains of the Himalayas.
24:55 What's an average year's salary here in this area of the world?
24:59 $35, $40,000? $50,000?
25:02 She spent the whole thing
25:05 for what was for princes and kings.
25:08 She thought, as she saw those feet,
25:13 soon they won't be walking,
25:14 they won't be walking the highways of Palestine.
25:17 "Why should I wait to give that to Him at the funeral?
25:19 I'm gonna go and get it and give it to Him now."
25:22 And she ran back home, she got the alabaster box,
25:24 she came running back and she broke it open
25:26 and she slipped in and she began to pour it
25:28 right there on the feet of Jesus.
25:31 Now evidently because of the way they were reclining,
25:34 she avoided being noticed, she wasn't even seen.
25:37 But Simon, wealthy Pharisee that he was,
25:40 he had a very good sense of smell.
25:44 He began to sniff this expensive embalming fragrance
25:47 and he wondered, who has died?
25:50 And he looked around and sure enough
25:52 here is this lady at the feet of Jesus.
25:54 Simon immediately recognized her.
25:56 Oh, there she was, Mary!
25:59 He was repulsed, he was shocked.
26:02 He had often wondered whatever that happened to her
26:04 since the time he had humiliated her
26:06 and over the years, well, they sort of kept track,
26:08 hearing little bits and pieces of stories.
26:10 But he had not heard about what Jesus had done for her.
26:14 He only knew her to be an immoral outcast.
26:17 And he was horrified to have her
26:19 at his house at his feast.
26:22 And the Bible says in Luke 7:39 that he said to himself,
26:26 in other words in his thoughts.
26:28 "Oh, this man, if he were a prophet,
26:32 would have known who and what manner of woman
26:34 this is that toucheth Him, for she is a sinner."
26:39 And in verse 40, I love it here,
26:41 it says Jesus understood his thoughts
26:44 and He turned over and He sat up.
26:48 "Simon, I have something to say to you."
26:51 By this time the poor woman is caught right in the act.
26:54 And she is weeping, half tears of joy
26:56 for what Jesus had done for her.
26:57 But now she's frightened because
26:59 well, she's weeping because she's been discovered.
27:01 And the tears are coming down to--
27:03 On His feet, and what do you do?
27:04 She hadn't even brought a towel.
27:06 So half consciously she lets down her long hair
27:09 and begins to wipe His feet with it.
27:11 Well, this horrified Simon even more because
27:14 in their culture that was an utter disgrace
27:17 for a woman to let down her hair in public.
27:19 And Jesus says, "Simon, now let me ask you this.
27:25 If there were two men
27:27 and one had a bigger debt cancelled than the other,
27:30 which one would love the most?"
27:32 Oh, Simon said, "Lord,
27:34 the one that had the biggest debt cancelled."
27:37 And Jesus says in verses 44-46, "That's right, Simon.
27:42 You know what?
27:43 I came into this house
27:45 and according to the laws of our people,
27:47 you were to wash my feet or have a servant do it.
27:50 You did not, look, the dirt is still on My feet
27:55 except where she has wept her tears."
27:59 "And when I came into your house
28:00 according to the laws and customs of our people,
28:02 you were to take and embrace Me and kiss Me with a holy kiss.
28:05 You never touched Me with your lips,
28:08 yet she has never ceased to kiss My feet."
28:12 "And when I came here,
28:14 Simon, you were to give Me tonic
28:15 for My hair, all dusty and windblown
28:17 that I might be ready for the feast.
28:19 Did you do this? No."
28:22 By this time Mary is standing up and she is pouring
28:24 some of that ointment on His hair.
28:28 "Ah, Simon" says Jesus.
28:31 "Simon, she has been forgiven much
28:35 and she loves much more deeply than you can ever understand."
28:41 And He turns to the woman and He says,
28:42 "Mary, your sins are forgiven,
28:46 your faith has saved you, go in peace."
28:53 The next scene in the collage...
29:02 is the face of sorrow, grief.
29:07 We have Mary again at the feet of Jesus,
29:12 but there's wood between them.
29:14 The cross. He's dead.
29:18 John has taken Mother Mary and gone.
29:20 And the other disciples, well, they were hiding up
29:22 in the last place they saw Jesus in peace, the upper room.
29:25 And the door is locked.
29:26 "Come on fellows, get the bolts on.
29:27 We don't want anyone to find us here.
29:29 They might kill us, too."
29:30 Everybody has left Jesus, uh-uh, not Mary.
29:36 She is weeping at His feet
29:39 and her tears again are running down on His feet
29:41 just like at the feast,
29:43 only this time they're not mingled with perfume
29:45 but with the blood from the nails
29:47 hammered through them.
29:49 But she would never leave Him. She loved Him too much.
29:52 "They can kill me, I don't care,
29:54 I'll never leave Him."
29:55 And the Bible says, then came
29:57 Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.
29:59 And together with her they take the body down
30:02 and she helps them and quickly
30:03 put some embalming materials around it
30:05 and get it into the grave
30:06 because the Sabbath is coming on.
30:08 And then she watches as the stone is rolled across.
30:13 Sunday morning. It's dark out there.
30:18 "Peter, Peter?" "Shh, quiet.
30:23 I'm over here.
30:24 Don't talk too loud, they might find out we're up here.
30:27 Is that bar on the door?" "Yes."
30:29 "Well, keep it there. Mary? Mary?"
30:35 "She's not here."
30:36 "Where is Mary?" "I don't know."
30:38 Here in the early morning dusk all by herself,
30:41 walking down to finish the job is Mary.
30:46 And she is saying to herself,
30:47 "I wonder who will roll away the stone
30:48 because I'm gonna give Him a decent burial."
30:53 They were scared, not Mary.
30:56 You know the story. She arrives at the tomb.
30:58 Oh, the stone, it's gone.
31:02 So is the body, oh, someone stole away His body.
31:05 And she runs back to the disciples.
31:07 They scarcely will let her in.
31:09 She tells them. They don't believe it.
31:10 Finally, Peter and John, they dare it,
31:13 the Bible says and they run to the tomb.
31:15 Sure enough, it's true. And she races up behind them.
31:18 "Peter, Peter, how could they've done a thing like this?
31:21 Robbing His very grave!
31:22 I mean, they gave Him no peace in life
31:24 and they don't even give Him any peace in death."
31:27 John looks this way and then he puts his arm around Mary
31:29 and he says, "Mary, come,
31:30 come back with us to the upper room
31:32 where we last saw Him in peace."
31:35 "No," she says, "I want to be here
31:37 where I last saw Him, right here."
31:40 And they left, they bided.
31:43 And as she lingers there, she thinks
31:46 how horribly they have desecrated Him even in death
31:48 and she bursts into tears again.
31:51 And she is kneeling, weeping
31:55 and she hears the sound of feet on gravel.
31:58 And she looks through her tears
31:59 and sees the feet, it's the gardener.
32:05 "Oh," she says, "Sir, please,
32:08 would you just tell me where they have put him.
32:10 And I will go and I will take Him away."
32:14 That little woman take away
32:16 the great big carpenter of Nazareth?
32:18 How could she do it?
32:20 I don't know, but that's what she wanted to do.
32:24 And then in the darkness of her despair,
32:26 again a voice, "Mary."
32:34 The voice, the voice that had brought life
32:37 to her once before.
32:38 She looks up, it is, it's Jesus.
32:41 Resurrected and real, He's not dead, He's alive.
32:44 "Oh, He's gonna never get away from me now"
32:46 And she grabs Him and holds on to His legs.
32:48 "I'm never gonna let you go."
32:50 And Jesus says, "Mary, you must.
32:53 I've got to go back to My Father.
32:55 So don't detain Me.
32:57 But you, Mary, you go back and tell those
32:59 chicken livered disciples of mine that I'm alive.
33:02 And tell that I'm gonna meet them
33:04 where I promised to meet them in Galilee."
33:06 Beloved, listen, Mary became the first person
33:11 to see the resurrected Jesus.
33:14 She became the first person
33:15 ever to preach the gospel story of a risen Savior.
33:19 Her tears of grief became tears of joy.
33:23 From the depths of sin she had gone
33:25 to the depths of despair.
33:27 Only the depths of understanding
33:29 love of Jesus could possibly meet that.
33:32 And He did and He turned it into the depths of love.
33:39 You know, Jesus had told His disciples,
33:41 "The least among you, he shall be the greatest.
33:46 He that is last, shall be first."
33:51 Dear friends, Mary had a depth of love
33:53 that you'll find in no other follower
33:55 of Jesus Christ in all of the Bible.
33:58 There is none that can compare with her.
34:01 And the Bible teaches clearly
34:02 that those who love God the most
34:05 will be nearest to Him in the kingdom.
34:08 And I cannot help but wonder
34:10 what her position will be in Heaven.
34:14 Could I suggest the possibility?
34:16 Who will be there on His right hand?
34:19 Peter? Brave man, Peter.
34:23 I doubt it.
34:25 Well, how about loving John? Maybe.
34:32 When I get there, I won't at all be surprised
34:34 to look and see the former mental patient from Magdala
34:38 who made her living by prostitution.
34:42 She will stand by His side forever
34:45 as a symbol of Christ's church and how He redeemed it
34:49 from the depths of despair
34:50 into the highest holy places of eternity.
34:52 Amen. Praise the Lord.
34:54 This then is the collage.
34:59 In Mary we see the glorious collage masterpiece of Jesus,
35:03 the Master Artist.
35:06 But, you know, Jesus knows
35:07 the circumstances of every soul.
35:11 You may be there watching today or listening.
35:14 You may be saying to yourself, "I'm sinful."
35:20 I just passed April 15
35:22 and I got to admit, I'm really dishonest.
35:25 I'm a thief, I hate somebody,
35:28 so I'm a murderer, I'm a liar.
35:31 Or maybe you're sitting down there and you're saying,
35:33 "You know, if people just knew,
35:34 I'm pregnant, too, at 15, just like Mary."
35:39 You may be, but friend, the greater your mistake,
35:43 the more you need Jesus.
35:46 He won't turn you away,
35:48 He won't tell on you, He won't disappoint you.
35:52 He'll forgive. Amen.
35:55 Jesus, the master collage artist is here right now.
36:03 Amen. Praise the Lord.
36:06 He's walking this building today.
36:10 The Master artist at this moment
36:12 is ready to make a masterpiece out of you.
36:15 Walking in this discussion from the Book of John,
36:18 the highways and byways of your minds and your heart,
36:22 searching for those odd bits and scraps
36:24 that maybe you've been hiding under the rug
36:26 and keeping in the closet for years.
36:29 Friend, He wants to take these,
36:31 He wants those things, He wants to put them together
36:33 until He has fashioned out of you
36:35 a beautiful masterpiece of Himself,
36:38 just like He did with Mary.
36:41 I want you to be honest for a moment
36:43 about the big issues we've been looking
36:44 at from night to night here in the meetings
36:46 and if you folks haven't been here, ask yourself, why?
36:50 But I want you to come face to face with yourself right now
36:53 and with God and I want you to ask the question,
36:58 "What am I hiding?"
37:01 Come on, what have you been doing
37:04 that you don't tell other people?
37:05 But you know it's hidden down there,
37:07 way down in the unconscious recesses
37:10 of the closet of your mind.
37:11 Come on, what's down there?
37:14 Be honest.
37:16 Oh, but you say that,
37:18 "I don't like to see it, it depresses me."
37:20 Uh-huh, me too.
37:25 But I would like you today to open the closet,
37:28 pick up the rug, let's get it out.
37:31 The master collage artist is gonna take those little bits
37:34 and scraps of nothingness
37:35 and He's going to put them together into a great life.
37:40 Take the scraps, let Him take them.
37:44 Decide to let Him make something great out of you.
37:49 Listen to the words of this song.
37:54 There is a Savior
38:00 What joys expressed
38:06 His eyes are mercy
38:11 His word is rest
38:16 For each tomorrow
38:22 For yesterday
38:28 There is a Savior
38:33 Who lights our way
38:40 Are there burdens in your heart?
38:44 Is your past a memory that binds you?
38:52 Is there some pain
38:55 That you've carried far too long?
39:02 Then strengthen your heart with His good news
39:12 There is a Savior
39:18 And He's forgiven you
39:24 Would you bow your heads
39:25 and pray with me before Joey continues.
39:27 Master Artist, Jesus, our savior,
39:33 thank you for working in us
39:34 your marvelous miracle of transforming love
39:38 which can change every last one of us from crude,
39:43 bumbling creatures into sense of light, glory.
39:48 Lord, thanks for taking the rap for us
39:50 to save us from embarrassment and exposure
39:55 of every single one of our secret sins.
39:58 And thanks, too, for continuing to search out
40:00 for individuals just like us
40:03 buried in the scrap heap of life.
40:07 Now, Lord, this is a solemn moment
40:08 from many here today who are listening.
40:11 Life and death, rest in the balances right now.
40:18 Can I ask the row captains to pass
40:20 those response cards down the aisle
40:22 so you can have one in your hand.
40:23 Please, take one, everyone today, every person.
40:27 But with every head bowed I wonder who is willing
40:30 as they've heard the words of God.
40:33 With an invitation today and pointing out your duty
40:36 and you've been studying with us
40:37 about God's wonderful, wonderful plan.
40:41 You've been considering its, its great importance.
40:45 How many feel today that the time has come
40:47 for you to step out and fully and completely
40:49 accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior?
40:54 To give your whole life to Him.
40:57 I'd like to make an invitation
40:59 this morning, it's a little different
41:00 from what we've done from night to night.
41:01 I would like to invite you to bring that card
41:03 and get up to your feet, stand right now,
41:06 come down to the front, we'd love to pray with you,
41:09 I want to pray with you.
41:11 Wherever you are, Jesus never missed an opportunity
41:13 to invite people to take a stand for Him.
41:16 I'm gonna invite our row captains,
41:18 I'm gonna invite our pastors
41:19 and our counselors, our Bible workers
41:21 to come on down to the front here.
41:22 I'm inviting you to take a stand for Jesus.
41:25 And I want to do this, right now, this morning.
41:32 Wherever you are in your downlink location,
41:33 if you're a young person that's sitting with us today,
41:36 maybe you're an individual
41:37 who has already made your decision,
41:39 you've written it on that card,
41:40 I want you to just come down
41:42 'cause we want to pray with you.
41:44 Maybe you're a member of an another church
41:45 but you want to recommit your life to Jesus
41:48 and begin to follow maybe some new light
41:50 that you've understood.
41:51 Is there someone here
41:52 who perhaps has lost their fellowship with Jesus
41:55 who used to be a member of a church,
41:57 perhaps even baptized
41:58 but you'd like to return to Jesus
42:00 or just stand up and be an encouragement
42:02 to someone else by coming down,
42:04 giving your life to Jesus Christ all brand new.
42:07 Come right now while Joey sings.
42:15 There is a Savior
42:21 What joys expressed
42:26 His eyes are mercy
42:32 His word is rest
42:36 For each tomorrow
42:43 For yesterday
42:48 There is a Savior
42:54 Who lights our way
43:00 There is a Savior
43:06 Who lights our way
43:14 Let's continue in that prayer.
43:15 Heavenly Father, here we are, Your church,
43:21 brothers and sisters at the foot of the cross.
43:26 Lord, we know that Your Spirit
43:28 has been sensitively playing on our hearts
43:30 from night to night here.
43:31 But this morning in particular
43:33 as we look at the story of Mary.
43:36 Your marvelous miracle of transforming love.
43:39 Lord that can change every last one of us.
43:44 And so we want to thank You
43:46 and thank You for taking that rap for us
43:48 to save us from our sins.
43:51 I want you to take your response card.
43:55 There are several options for us this morning.
43:58 You'll have a chance to slip back to your seat,
44:01 but right now notice number one,
44:05 if you'd like to check I want to consecrate my heart,
44:08 my mind, my affections to Jesus today.
44:12 I see many young people
44:13 are sitting out in these rows right here.
44:15 That's one I'd like to have you check.
44:18 I want to check and consecrate my heart,
44:21 my mind, my affections to Jesus.
44:24 Number two, there may be individuals
44:25 who like to check the second one.
44:27 We're gonna be talking about that when later in this series.
44:30 I'd like to baptized soon.
44:33 We'd be happy to have you check that.
44:34 Many of you have already.
44:36 Number three, I want to renew my fellowship with Jesus
44:41 and I wish to be re-baptized.
44:43 We will be talking about that, too,
44:45 but someone might like to indicate that this morning.
44:48 And number four, since I've already been baptized,
44:52 I'm a baptized, born again Christian,
44:53 I just want to join the church by profession of faith.
44:58 We can arrange that with you, too,
44:59 you check that if that's your desire this morning.
45:03 Father in heaven, what a privilege to be here.
45:07 And if there's some person yet who's not stood to their feet.
45:10 Maybe it's difficult whether seated
45:12 or in the downlink location
45:14 it's not easy to slip out into the aisle.
45:17 I invite them to stand right where they are just now
45:20 and be included in this prayer
45:21 that their life is being committed
45:23 to Jesus Christ fully and completely.
45:26 Friend, wherever you're located,
45:27 would you stand, if you can move down
45:29 toward the screen wherever you are.
45:31 Please, join us down here,
45:33 some of the counselors will be sure to meet you.
45:36 Thank you for standing.
45:37 And the audience, many around here.
45:40 If there are someone who'd like to say
45:41 as we close this prayer.
45:42 Lord, I've sensed Your still small voice
45:45 and I want to be able to make a decision
45:47 somehow, someway, I got some things,
45:49 some issues in my life,
45:50 but I want to be included in this prayer.
45:53 Would you just raise your hand to heaven
45:54 with your eyes closed and God will see your hand
45:57 and His angels record that response
45:59 and they will be there through the Holy Spirit
46:01 to guide and to direct you and to help you.
46:03 God bless each sincere hand.
46:07 And now as Jesus said to Mary, He says to us today.
46:13 Your sins are forgiven.
46:17 Your faith has saved you, go, go in peace.
46:26 Remember our subject tonight, making a new start.
46:31 Don't miss that.
46:33 Remember as we leave, we end our broadcast every day.
46:37 Friend, God loves you.
46:39 We'll see you tonight. God bless you.