I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas. Another housekeeping note, sorry we missed a few days last week, with Christmas and a few unexpected things popping up, I was unable to get these out. But we are back on!
Let me give you a schedule for these rest of this week. We’ll be walking together through Mark through Thursday. And then, we will be taking a break for about 10 days. From January 3-13 I am going to be in the Holy Land. But while I’m there, I’m going to attempt to send out a daily update of what we have seen and done, and if the internet is agreeable, send out some daily video blogs as well. So, you’ll get to get to walk with us through our trip to Israel, if all goes according to plan!
Today, we look at Mark 14:1-9:
It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him; 2 for they said, “Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.”
The Anointing at Bethany
3 While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. 4 But some were there who said to one another in anger, “Why was the ointment wasted in this way? 5 For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they scolded her. 6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. 7 For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”
Today we see in verses 1-2, the setting of the stage for what is to happen through the rest of 14-15, the Passion, where Jesus is betrayed, suffered, and died. In Chapter 16, we see the Resurrection.
We see that the religious leaders were looking for a way to arrest, charge, and kill Jesus. From their perspective, Jesus was upsetting the apple cart, He was disrupting their power, showing people the truth, and freeing the to truly keep the law the way God desires (Loving God and Loving Neighbor) and not carrying the heavy burden that the religious leaders had placed upon them.
They didn’t like this at all; they were now actively seeking a way to destroy Him.
But, we know that there is a bigger plan in place. We know that God is at work in all this, because Christ’s death upon the cross would atone for the sins of humanity, and the resurrection would forever crush the power of sin, death, and the grave.
Remember, there is always something bigger happening that what our eyes can see. God is always, always, always doing more than we can imagine, even if we can’t see or can’t understand. God is always at work.
In the next passage, we see one of those passages that always sets a little uneasy, and doesn’t really make sense, at least to me a first. In this, we see a woman anoint Jesus with expensive ointment, and then she gets fussed at by the disciples. What all is happening here?
As an act of devotion to Jesus, as an act of thanksgiving, she takes this ointment, and pours it upon Jesus? Why? Well, this ointment was probably a part of her dowry, to given upon her wedding, and in this act, she is saying that Jesus is worth more to her than anything else in her life, anything else she could possibly ever possess. He is the most valuable thing she could behold.
And she is willing to lay everything down for Jesus. Willing to give everything up for Jesus. Willing take what was her most valuable possession and devote it all to Jesus.
Wow! What faith. What worship. What devotion. What devotion.
But she gets fussed at because she it told that she could sell it and give it to the poor, to which Jesus replies that we will always have poor with us.
What does that mean? Does that mean that we shouldn’t work to help the poor? That we should quit trying? That they shouldn’t matter?
No, what Jesus is saying is this. We live in a fallen world. We live in a world sin and brokenness. Until He returns, there will be death and sadness and brokenness and pain. Now, because of the resurrection, these things no longer have a hold on us, but they are still there.
So, here this, you can’t do everything. You can’t fix everything. You make everything perfect. I can’t. You can’t. No one can.
Don’t put the weight of the world to fix everything on your shoulders. That’s not your job. Your job is the same as mine. To be faithful. And if you are faithful, and I am faithful, together, all of us can make a huge difference for Jesus.
Together. Today, we all be faithful. May we give our best for Jesus. And may we give Him praise for what He will do!
Tomorrow we’ll look at Mark 14:10-25.
If you’d like to receive these thoughts by email, be sure to click here and join my email devotional group!