Daily D – Mark 14:4
Mark 14:4 Some of those at the table were indignant. “Why waste such expensive perfume?” they asked. (NLT)
“That’s not fair!” Said everyone everywhere at one time or another. A good thought to ponder when indignation arises is this: Is fairness really the issue?
You may have noticed how pliable the fairness scale is. What’s fair in one set of circumstances appears altogether different when the circumstances shift.
A good rule of thumb for life can be stated this way: Don’t waste indignation.
Jesus’ disciples were indignant regarding the extravagance poured out on him in this story. While this woman saw Jesus for who he was and blessed him with the best she had, those who spent the most time in closest fellowship with him somehow missed the mark when measuring his greatness. They wasted their indignation on a beautiful act performed by a lovely soul who realized the true treasures of pure and perfect love for the first time in her life.
Some give gifts because they want something in return. Others give because they have already received more than they could have asked for, more than they could have expected or hoped for.
Mark doesn’t tell us much about this woman. He says, “Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from the essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head,” (verse 3).
Mark tells us much more about the perfume, the jar, and the indignant disciples than he does this woman. He simply says, “a woman.” Since we have a good idea who this woman is from the other Gospel accounts, it is a wonder that Mark did not name her here. I wonder if Mark interviewed her about this event later. I wonder if she insisted the story be about Jesus and the gift and not her. I wonder if her enduring memory and lesson are something we ourselves can apply.
If you gave Jesus your most extravagant gift, what would it be? How would you honor him? How would what you do for him be remembered for centuries even when you yourself are forgotten?
This is an issue, isn’t it? Many (most?) of us would be indignant if we thought we would be forgotten. It is the nameless, faceless souls with alabaster jars of premium perfume poured out on a world overwhelmed by the stench of war and death who will be endlessly celebrated in heaven.
Live and give in such a manner that what is remembered about you is not your name but your private deeds pointing to the majesty of Jesus who loves without limits, forgives completely, and welcomes all who come to him in simple faith.
I will live a life that points to the majesty of Jesus.
Our Father, use my life to point people to the greatness of Jesus. Give me an increasing measure of the attitude of John the Baptist who said in essence, “More of Jesus; less of me.” Amen.
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Romans 2:4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
Acts 18:24-26 Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos, an eloquent speaker who knew the Scriptures well, had arrived in Ephesus from Alexandria in Egypt. He had been taught the way of the Lord, and he taught others about Jesus with an enthusiastic spirit and with accuracy. However, he knew only about John’s baptism. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately.