Blog Renato Cardoso | 4 de October de 2013 - 19:30

John 12: Fire, firewood and money

John 12: Fire, firewood and money

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In the very beginning of this chapter, Jesus once again returns to Bethany, the city of the last chapter’s occurrences. At the end of chapter eleven, after resurrecting Lazarus and causing commotion in the city, He leaves for Ephraim, the central and mountainous region of Israel, which is hard to access. It’s approximately 40 kilometers to the north of Jerusalem. He stayed there a while with His disciples, because by that point the religious leaders were looking for Him as they planned His death.

In reading John, I observed Jesus continually did one thing. He would cause some kind of stir (without even trying sometimes); and when things would heat up, and the Jews tried to kill Him again, He would retire to somewhere far away and let things cool off for a bit. Of course, during that time, He would continue His work. Then, He would return. We see Him do this even in this chapter (v. 36.)

It’s good for us to “retire” sometimes from the commotion in order to regain our strength, adjust our focus, and plan our next move. We could call this principle “cutting firewood, burning firewood.” There’s also a time to sharpen the ax and cut the wood… Yet, both cutting the wood and burning it will heat us up in the end right? It’s like exercising intelligence and faith, then prudence and action.

In your life right now, is it time to cut firewood or light the fire?

Another comment-worthy event was Judas’ reaction to Mary’s attitude in “wasting” the expensive perfume at Jesus’ feet. Three hundred silver coins, the equivalent of three hundred days of work for the common worker.  According to Brasil’s minimum wage, this would be R$9,245 – or $4,195 dollars.

Note that later Judas sold Jesus for merely ten percent of that value, thirty golden coins. That was the price of Jesus to him. It’s no wonder he caused a scandal at Mary’s offering.

The subject of money and offerings will always be a dividing factor between people. That’s because few things in life mess with people’s heads more than money.

To some, tithes and offerings are absurd, an exploitation, theft, or wasteful. To others, they are worthy expressions of faith, gratitude and love for the unpayable blessings of God.

In the same way that Money was Judas’ soft spot, which later brought about his demise, it has done the same thing for many.

On the other hand, for others, letting go of materialistic things has been the beginning of a new life.


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