This week Pastor Matt shows us how the Gospel of John encourages us to follow the Biblical example and Pour it all out for Jesus because:

  1. Jesus is the Lamb
  2. Jesus is the Anointed One
  3. Jesus is the gentle King

Citylight Manayunk | May 15, 2022 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.


Pillar New Testament Commentary, The Gospel According to John, by D.A. Carson
Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, The Gospel According to John, by Andreas Kostenberger
The Tony Evans Study Bible by Tony Evans
Expository Thoughts on John by J.C. Ryle
The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung

Sermon Transcript

The Bible teaches that the local church is the primary means by which God chooses to establish his kingdom on earth. And that’s why Citylight Church is devoted to church planting; establishing new churches that can reach more people with the good news of Jesus Christ. Citylight Church was a church plant only ten years ago, and since then we have directly planted two more churches. We have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to help other churches get planted over the last ten years. Additionally, whether you know it or not, you’ve also freed some of my pastoral time to serve church planters by leading the Philadelphia Area of Acts 29 and teaching future and current church planters as a professor at Grimke Seminary. You are a church planting church, Citylight! And today we want to celebrate church planting and the glorious calling we have to be a church planting church.

The cause of church planting is not one that we can accomplish alone. And that’s one of the reasons why we are overjoyed to be an Acts 29 church. Acts 29 is a diverse, global community of healthy, multiplying churches characterized by theological clarity, cultural engagement, and missional innovation, with over 700 churches around the world. Through Acts 29 we are helping to establish churches in some of the hardest to reach places in the U.S. and around the world. We also have the privilege of directly supporting Acts 29 churches being planted in___________. If you would like to receive stories about disciples being made and communities being impacted through the church planting work of Acts 29 so that you can support them in prayer, please write “Acts 29” on your connect card.

With that said, this morning I am excited to announce that this summer we are planting a new Acts 29 church, a Citylight Church in Amarillo, TX. Turn your attention to the screen one more time…

JR & Megan Video Plays

Pastoral prayer for Citylight Amarillo, church planting through A29, and our building as well.



Life is a tale of contrasts. Life often leads to two diverging, contrasting paths, and we have to choose. Which one will we take? True to life, our passage this morning is a tale of contrasts as well, and we all have to choose. At the heart of our passage is the scene in Bethany, when the Lord Jesus and his disciples come to stay with his dear friends, the siblings Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. It’s a somewhat famous passage. Many of you have no doubt heard the story of Mary anointing Jesus’ feet with costly perfume, and then drying his feet with her hair. It’s one of the most beautiful acts of devotion in the Bible. What you may not remember is that Mary’s lavish devotion is placed in stark contrast to Judas and his looming betrayal of Jesus. The scene is a tale of contrasts. In fact, John only devotes one verse to describe Mary’s lavish devotion, but he devotes several to Judas’ looming betrayal. And this is no accident. It’s a tale of contrasts. Mary pours it all out for Jesus. Judas rejects and betrays Jesus. It is a true tale of contrasts and we all have to choose.

As difficult as it is for us to accept, there is no third way when it comes to Jesus. We tend to believe that there are three ways when it comes to Jesus: pour it all out for Jesus (Mary), betray (Judas), and be a fan (like him just fine – welcome him as a helpful part of their lives, but certainly aren’t about to pour it all out for Jesus). But that third option, “fan,” is a myth. The crowds in our passage prove that conclusive. They are fans. They hail Jesus as king because they think he’s going to defeat the Romans and make their lives better. But no one remains a fan for long. As soon as he disappoints them, their shouts of “Hosanna” turn to shouts of “crucify him” in just a week’s time. John provides us with a tale of contrasts because no one can remain a mere fan, no one can remain neutral when it comes to Jesus. We will either pour it all out like Mary or betray him like Judas, but there will be no third way. And we have to choose. And that brings us to the big idea of our passage this morning: Pour it all out for Jesus.

I am keenly aware that there are a lot of competing options when it comes to pouring it all out. There are so many voices vying for your devotion. “Pour it all out for your family.” “Pour it all out for your fitness.” “Pour it all out for your career.” “Pour it all out to be as comfortable as possible.” “Pour it all out for sex or money.” “Pour it all out to secure your future.” “Pour it all out for you.” Every person in this room is and will pour it all out for something. Why should we pour it all out for Jesus? In the tale of contrasts, why walk the path of devotion instead of rejection? Our passage provides us with three unique reasons and each one has to do with who Jesus is: 1. Jesus is the Lamb 2. Jesus is the Anointed One 3. Jesus is the gentle King.


Now, this first point is subtle, but that’s often the way that John likes to write. John 11:55-12:1 – Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. 56 They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast at all?” …Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany…Do you notice the repetition? John is going out of his way to ensure that his readers understand that everything that we’re about to read took place during the time of the Passover.

Now, why does this matter? Why does John take such pains to set this time in Jesus’ life in the context of the Passover? Well, though we still have about ten chapters to go, our passage this morning brings us just one week from Jesus’ death on the cross. From here on out everything moves at breakneck speed toward the cross. The death of Christ casts a long shadow over every verse from here on out in John’s Gospel. Christ’s death becomes the dominant theme. And right here, as everything in the Gospel begins to tilt toward Jesus’ death on the cross, John takes great pains to place Jesus’ last days and Jesus’ death in the context of the Passover.

What is the Passover? The Passover was one of the most significant of the Jewish festivals. The Passover celebrates the Lord rescuing and redeeming his people from slavery in Egypt. The Lord sent ten plagues upon Egypt to show his glory and convince Pharaoh to let God’s people go. The final plague was the death of every first born child in Egypt. However, the Lord commanded his people, Israel, to kill a lamb and put the blood on the door post to their home. When the angel of the Lord saw the blood on the doorpost, he would pass over the home. The blood of the lamb that was slain protected God’s people from judgment. The Lamb died to save God’s people. And John places Jesus’ death in the context of the Passover so that we’ll see that Jesus is the Lamb. John wants us to see that the Passover lamb that was slain to save the firstborn of God’s people, and every Passover lamb that has been offered ever since, pointed forward to a final Passover Lamb who died not just to save the firstborn from death, but to save all who believe in Him from eternal judgment. Jesus is the Lamb of God who is slain to save us from a slavery worse than Egypt. And it’s no accident that John emphasizes that Jesus is the Lamb right before Mary pours it all out for Jesus. We don’t pour it all out for Jesus to pay him back or so that he will love us. We pour it all out, like Mary, because he is the Lamb who took our sins and we love him. Pour it all out for Jesus, first, because He is the Lamb.


The Passover is at hand, so the Lord Jesus takes his disciples to Mary, Marth, and Lazarus’ home in Bethany because, which is very close to Jerusalem. I guess once you raise someone from the dead, you can pretty much invite yourself over. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus throw a dinner party in Jesus’ honor, with Jesus’ disciples in attendance. Lazarus is reclining at the table with Jesus, Martha is serving Jesus as usual, but Mary is the one who pours out upon Jesus unforgettable devotion. John 12:3 – Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. New Testament scholar Andreas Kostenberger points out that there are three striking facts that render Mary’s anointing of Jesus a particularly remarkable act of devotion; the value of the perfume; Mary’s pouring the oil on Jesus’ feet (rather than his head); and her use of her hair to wipe his feet.

The value of the perfume renders Mary’s act a shocking display of devotion to Jesus. A pound of perfume was a ton of perfume then and is a ton of perfume today. But notice what the perfume is made from; pure, unadulterated nard. Nard was derived from the root and spike of the nard plant, which grew only in the mountains of Northern India, thousands of miles from Bethany, during a time when the fastest form of transportation was an animal. We learn from Judas’ objection in verse five, that the perfume had a value equivalent to your annual salary! It was probably an heirloom. Think about what you make in a year, or will make when you’re done with school, poured out in one moment. It’s a lavish act of devotion. Now notice where she pours it out: on Jesus’ feet! Most scholars believe that Mary was a wealthy woman and attending to feet was servant’s work. Mary’s action displays the humblest of lavish devotion to Jesus. And then notice what she uses to wipe his feet: her hair. Using hair, rather than a towel, communicated unusual devotion. The use of hair is all the more stunning when you consider the fact that Jewish women never unbound their hair in public because it was a sign of loose morals. By drying a single man’s feet with her hair, Mary risks being massively misunderstood in order to complete her act of shocking devotion. Mary’s devotion was lavish (the value), humiliating (the feet), and risky (the hair). Keep that in mind.

Question: What might it look like for you to pour it all out for Jesus? Is there some kind of lavish, humiliating, or risky act of devotion that the Lord Jesus is calling you to? If you’re single, and perhaps you have fewer family responsibilities, maybe pouring it all out for Jesus is going to look like devoting an inordinate amount of your time discipling others in our church so that we grow up as a more mature body or hobbying with intentionality so that you’re able to spend intentional time with non-Christians that you want to reach with the gospel. If you’re married, maybe pouring it all out for Jesus looks like not ignoring areas of desired growth because they’re hard, but pouring it out so that others see the love of Christ and the church in your marriage. If you’re a parent, maybe pouring it all out for Jesus means rejecting laziness toward or complaining about your kids, and really embracing the privilege of being God’s instrument of grace in your child’s life. Maybe you’re an empty nester or retiree. Maybe pouring it all out for Jesus looks like spending these years investing your life in the young marriages and young families at Citylight that desperately need your wisdom, encouragement, and a date night. These years are your time to press in. Maybe you spend most of your waking hours at work, maybe pouring it all out for Jesus looks like simply outing yourself as a Christian in winsome ways so that people will know why you’re different. Perhaps the most direct way to pour it all out for Jesus is simply devoting ourselves to worshiping Him. At a time when there are more competing options for our time on the Lord’s Day than ever before – and the opportunity to watch a church service – one of the most counter cultural acts of devotion we can give to Jesus is coming together every week – saying no to every competing option – so we can do nothing but worship Him!

If the Spirit Leads Me: There are two things that I felt the Lord put on my heart when I was writing this portion of the sermon. I’m just going to say them because when you sense the Lord putting something on your heart, probably good to go with it. First, for some of you, pouring it all out for Jesus means coming clean and seeking to kill the strangle grip that pornography has on your life. There are few things killing our zeal for God and the advance of the gospel quite like porn. Pour it all out for Jesus by taking your next step. We won’t shame you. Your temptation is common. You’re not alone. Take your next step. Second, for some of you I believe that pouring it all out for Jesus means leaving the comforts of this country to intentionally take the gospel where Jesus is far less named and known than here. In either case, your pastors would love to walk alongside you. Pour it all out for Jesus. After all he is the Anointed One, the Christ who was anointed to die for you and for me.

Now, if pouring it all out for Jesus – because he first loved you and gave himself up for you – is a bit too much,you have another option: Judas. John 12:5-6 – “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. I think it’s so important to remember that Judas probably didn’t start “following” Jesus with the intention of betraying Jesus. However, Judas was just a fan. He was an opportunist. A businessman. He came to Jesus to do business and got disappointed when it didn’t work out. Fans always become Judas in the end because if you only come to Jesus for a business transaction, then you’ll betray Jesus when he doesn’t meet your expectations. Honest question: why did you come to Jesus, for a business deal or because of who He is? Come to Jesus, he is the lamb that was slain and the anointed one who was anointed to die for you. Come to him and pour it all out.


There are royal overtones in the scene when Mary anoints Jesus. After all, kings were anointed with oil when taking the throne. But the royal overtones become non-ignorable the very next day. John 12:12-13 – The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” To understand what this Jewish crowd is doing, it’s important to remember that the most important Jewish King was a man named David. He lived about a thousand years before the Lord Jesus. I love how The Biggest Story (children’s Bible overview) describes David, “Many good things happened to God’s people when David was in charge. They were victorious and prosperous and blessed. But the best thing that happened was what God promised would happen. God told David that he would always have a son to sit on the throne. He promised David an everlasting kingdom.” When Jesus was coming into Jerusalem, the massive Jewish crowd believed that the long-promised Son of David had finally come to conquer their Roman enemies. And so they waved palm branches and shouted an acclamation of praise, signaling hope that a messianic, Davidic liberator was arriving on the scene.

The crowds were half right. The Lord Jesus Christ is the long-promised eternal king from the line of David, but what the Lord Jesus does next tamps down all expectations that he has come to liberate through conquering. Instead of striding into Jerusalem on a war horse, coming to conquer the pagan occupiers, the Lord Jesus Christ humbly rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. The quote from Zechariah 9 drives the message home – The Lord Jesus is the humble king. Though John only quotes from Zechariah 9:9, allow me to read Zechariah 9:9-11 so that you can see that the Lord Jesus, the Son of David, is the humble king.

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
and the war horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off,
and he shall speak peace to the nations;
his rule shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.

This is your humble king! He comes humble on a donkey to bring salvation. He came not to conquer the pagan nations with a war horse, but to bring the gospel of peace to the nations so that they can be reconciled to God. But how does he speak peace? Through the blood of his covenant. The Lord Jesus is the humble king who comes to liberate a people for himself from every tribe, tongue, and nation through the blood he will shed for us on the cross. And that’s why we pour it all out for Jesus. He is the Passover Lamb, the Anointed One, and the Humble King who poured out his blood for us!


And so, we’re all faced with a choice; Mary or Judas. Devotion or betrayal. The Lord Jesus gives us no third way. Will you believe in Him and worship, pouring it all out for Jesus, or will you reject him like Judas? Pour it all out for Jesus because he’s poured it all out for you as the Passover Lamb, the Anointed One, and the Gentle King.