“She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial” (Mark 1:8).
Special does not begin to describe this incident that takes place in the house of Simon the leper in Bethany. Instead of receiving praise, however, this woman receives criticism for “wasting” this expensive oil.
Fortunately, Jesus comes to her defense and praises her for doing a good work for Him—she anoints His head with the fragrant oil. But, further, He honors her as being a person who “has done what she could.”
As twentieth century Christians, we do not have the opportunity to anoint Jesus’ head nor to perform any other work for Him in His presence; but He has given each of us not only an opportunity but also a responsibility to “do what we can” for Him and for His Great Cause.
And the wonderful thing about our service for Jesus is that nothing we do is too small nor insignificant if we do it by his authority and in honor of His name. May we all have the determination to do whatever we have the ability to do for Him.
The Poor Widow
“and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. and He said, ‘Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.’ ” (Luke 21:2-4).
Jesus is prompted to make this statement about the widow as he observes the rich casting their gifts into the treasury. The rich give from their abundance, but this widow gives from her necessities.
Evaluating the abundance with which the Lord has blessed us as well as remembering the priceless spiritual gifts and privileges the Lord has made available to us should give us pause for re-evaluating what we give to Him.
Without the love and blessing of the Lord, we would be physically and spiritually bankrupt. When we give, we are just returning to the Lord a portion of what He has allowed us to use as we go through life.
We might do well to consider these factors as we determine the amount of our giving.
The Preexistence of Jesus
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
These beautiful words begin one of the most wonderful pieces of writing that we have, not only in holy scripture but also in all of literature. The writer is John, an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.
John does not try to prove the existence of God—he must assume all readers at that time would already be convinced of that fact. He just proves the preexistence of the Word—Jesus—before the creation of the world.
John’s purpose in this gospel account is to present a clear picture of the eternal nature of Jesus, of the essence of who Jesus was, and of the position of equality Jesus occupied and continues to occupy with God.
With his premise laid out, the apostle proceeds to lay the foundation for the acceptance of all of the wonderful truths about Jesus and the eternal scheme of redemption God has given mankind. Since Jesus is the Son of God, He surely must be believed—His subjects, then, must accept and obey His commands.
The Triumphal Entry
“And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!‘ ” (Mark 11:8-9).
“Spectacular” best describes this scene as Jesus and some of His followers make their way toward Jerusalem on this special day. And how different this scene from the one that will shortly take place when the multitudes will cry, “Crucify Him! Crucify him!”
The latter part of this passage is actually a quotation from Psalm 118:26 where the psalmist implores trust in the Lord and offers endearing praise to His holy name. This scene is the fulfillment of such prophecies.
Whereas the actions in this scene are unfamiliar to a modern audience, the significance is unmistakable. While we do not spread clothes nor leafy branches on a roadway for celebrities, we understand honoring them.
Jesus deserves to be honored—He is not only the greatest human being ever to live, He is most importantly the King of kings, the One who made forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation available to all mankind, including us. How grateful we should be!
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