Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"She did what she could"

It's been a while since I've posted anything. I haven't felt like writing. I've still been Seeking Him Desperately...but just not publicly. Today, though, I felt the nudge to do it. I've been reading Mark. There's so much I want to share with you about Mark 14-but I'm gonna resist the urge to give you all the peripheral stuff-I'm gonna dive right into what hit me today.

In Mark 14, (you could go read it real quick if you want, I can wait. You've waited long enough for me;), Jesus is eating at the house of "Simon the Leper", and a woman comes in and takes this super expensive jar of perfume and breaks the jar and pours it on His head. The study notes assure me that this is a "common custom at feasts", and that "the woman's action expressed her deep devotion to Jesus".

So, I get that it's not as crazy as it sounds, but I'm thinking it would still take great courage to perform this act of devotion without being given permission, or being asked to do so. Which she obviously wasn't, by the response she gets after she does it. She probably already felt self-conscious, and then scripture tells us she was harshly rebuked, and everybody started saying how that was such a waste of perfume, and how it could have been sold for more than a years wages and the money given to the poor.

She must have felt so embarrassed. She probably started to doubt her own actions, and the burning desire she'd had to honor Jesus. After all,
Who did she think she was?
And did Jesus think she was a fool too?
Maybe she was just a stupid stupid girl.

And then! In comes her knight in shining armour! What every woman longs for in a man. A protector. Someone who totally understands her. Someone who actually knew the motives of everyone in the room! (a guy who actually can read minds) He openly honors her while subtly putting everyone else in their place. He called her actions beautiful.

This seemingly impulsive act that she had just been second guessing, was defined by Jesus as not only beautiful, but of lasting significance. (she was known, she was valued, she was loved)

Think about it: She had felt lead to do something for God.
She had risked embarrassment and scorn.
She endured (momentary) embarrassment and scorn.
And, as a result: She was given a place in the story of Jesus that continues on centuries after her death.

Something to remember the next time you feel lead to do something for God.

But here's my favorite part. Listen to what Jesus says in verse 8:

"She did what she could."
Jesus said this on the heels of telling her accusers, "You can help (the poor) anytime you want".
See, people like to talk. They like to say what should be done...what they could do...what they will do-or-what they can't do, about this messy broken world.
But Jesus commends this woman because,
she did what she could.
So, what could you do? Wait-don't talk about it-actually do it.
"For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power"
(1 Cor. 4:20)