Giving All to the One Who Gave All

We leave tomorrow, so we are beginning to get ready for our trip to Atlanta. We don’t leave until tomorrow night and the weather is calling for snow. It could be an interesting day.

We had some work done at our house today. “Mud jacking” some concrete on our patio and front sidewalk. It certainly is nice to get some problem areas addressed more easily than tearing our and replacing.

I had a good work out at the fitness center. I actually got in 10 minutes on the treadmill and 40 minutes on the exercise bike. After that workout and lifting some weights, the massage this afternoon was even more appreciated.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… Jesus said, “Leave her alone! Why are you bothering her? She has done a fine and beautiful thing for me.  You will always have poor people with you, and any time you want to, you can help them. But you will not always have me.  She did what she could; she poured perfume on my body to prepare it ahead of time for burial.  Now, I assure you that wherever the gospel is preached all over the world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”  Mark 14:6-9

During this Holy Week, Jesus stayed in Bethany and would travel to Jerusalem during the day. During one of the meals at the home where He stayed a woman (John identifies her as Mary), came and broke a jar of nard (spikenard) and began to pour it on Jesus head.

This was an aromatic and expensive perfume. Some believe it represented as much as 300 days of pay for a common worker. It would have been part of a woman’s dowry and been considered something very personal as well as costly.

We don’t know the specific motivation of Mary. But Jesus said,  “she poured perfume on my body to prepare it ahead of time for burial.We know that in the rush to bury Jesus before the Sabbath, His body was not properly prepared. That is what the women came to the tomb to do on Sunday. Mary’s act was a demonstration of her love for Jesus. It made the statement that, “no expense is too great to show our devotion to Christ.”

Judas and some others responded not in admiration of the devotion, but in jealousy and a pious attitude of, “this is a waste…it could have been sold and given to the poor.” This sounded noble, but John indicates it revealed guilt  in Judas who had been embezzling funds from the common purse of Jesus and the Disciples. Selfishness is always revealed in the presence of generosity and devotion.

Jesus then makes a pretty bold statement, “…wherever the gospel is preached all over the world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”  This act of devotion would challenge others, even to our day, about love for Jesus and sacrifice in our worship and service. How long would this fragrance remain on Jesus? We can be assured that, for some time following this event, the fragrance on Jesus would remind people of this act of worship. Devotion to Jesus, is readily seen by others.

Last Wednesday, when Pastor Brent Cunningham, was reviewing this event in Jesus’ life, he observed that “the most precious gift in life are those who stay with you, when life becomes difficult.” I thought he shared that just for me. That is something that I have learned over the last almost two years. It is always encouraging to hear people say that they are still praying for me and monitoring my progress. I’m sure if the disciples realized all that would happen this fateful week, that they may have approached things different. But that is the lesson we all learn, from “hind sight.”

As we value life and relationships; let’s make sure that Jesus remains at the center of our worship, devotion and sacrifice. When life comes to an end, no one will regret having done too much for Jesus and the gospel.