Daily D – Mark 14:3-5
Mark 14:3-5 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.
A lot of interesting things happened on the way to the cross. A lot of hidden agendas were laid open for all to see. A lot of personal opinions were expressed.
It’s funny, isn’t it, how personal opinions often take on the force of law. Funny may not be the right word. Three little verses here mine the depths of indignation. One person gives an extravagant gift to Jesus, the kind of gift that cannot be recovered or reused. Due to the price and the potency of the gift, no one in the room remained unaware of what had just happened.
The host of the dinner party was no longer in charge of the room. The guest of honor gave his full attention to the one who gave her full attention to him.
Verses 1 and 2 tell us the setting. It includes the season and its holy days (verse 1). It also tells the unholy truth of the murderous intent of the religious leaders (verse 2). How can the holy and unholy reside in the same space at the same time?
Uninvited, a woman steps into the room and commands center stage without a word. Women were not supposed to enter a room full of men. Women should not waste a year’s wages worth of perfume in one moment. Breaking the jar made it held unretrievable. There would be no takebacks. Everyone would bear the beauty of the gift for days to come. Everyone in the room would be identifiable by the strength of the scent. Every memory would remind those gathered there of extravagance or waste.
Hearts were quickly laid bare. “And they rebuked her harshly,” (verse 5). They? All of them, apparently. All but Jesus (verses 6-9).
The Message paraphrase finishes verse 5 this way: “They swelled up in anger, nearly bursting with indignation over her.”
Concern was expressed for the poor. Do you remember any of them ever expressing this concern before?
Judas, of course, was the most concerned. He was the most bothered. As CFO of the organization, he knew what he could do with a year’s wages. It’s funny, then, how he settled for only a month’s wages to betray Jesus. Funny may not be the word. And unlike the perfume which was unretrievable, Judas was able to make a final contribution to the poor.
Focus on the words in red for a moment (verses 6-9). Several truths stand out. Let’s ponder one. “Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her,” (verse 9).
Everyone in the room where it happened was indignant (verse 4). They were harsh in their assessment of the event (verse 5). Jesus responded with extravagant love and unlimited grace. The woman’s gift is part of the gospel, the good news, Jesus not only spoke but lived as the sacrifice of all sacrifices.
Soon rich core blood would stain those clothes. Scents of combined extravagance would mingle and declare gifts too precious to calculate, gifts so necessary nothing was reserved.
This woman saw Jesus for who he was. She knew how this would end. How could she not give all she had in an act of lavish love?
Today is a good day to help the poor.
Every day is a good day to love Jesus extravagantly.
I will love Jesus extravagantly because he extravagantly loved me first.
Our Father, please forgive us for being so quick to rebuke and so slow to praise. Please forgive us for requiring others to live up to our standards rather than yours. Please forgive us for loving money too much and people too little. Amen.
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Daily D – Psalm 143:8-10
Psalm 143:8-10 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Daily D – Psalm 142:5
Psalm 142:5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
Daily D – Ezra 3:11-13
Ezra 3:11-13 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid. But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 35:22-25
2 Chronicles 35:22-25 After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, “Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!”
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 32:31
2 Chronicles 32:31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.