Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Doing what we can

Mary & Jesus - Artist unknown
Mary & Jesus - Artist unknown
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Mark 14:1-11

TO CHEW ON: " 'She has done what she could.' " Mark 14:8

His teaching speaks like no other words I've ever heard. He brought my brother back to life. I love Him. How can I show Him how much?… I know!

These may have been some of the thoughts Mary* had before she rummaged around in some storage basket for the sealed jar of precious spikenard. When she found it she  hurried to Simon's house where Jesus was a guest at dinner, entered the room where they were eating, somehow managed to break the seal on the jar and pour that precious, perfumed oil on Jesus' head. How impulsive! How crazy!!

But to Jesus, Mary's love, poured out in her feminine language of perfume was more significant than a mere wild (and God-inspired) act. "She has done what she could" Jesus said. Her action touched Him and He imbued it with lasting and worldwide significance (Mark 14:9).

The Bible speaks of other times when people's acts were more significant than they realized:

  • The widow who gave the two mites—all she had—to the temple offering got Jesus' attention and a place in the Bible as an example to follow - Mark 12:44.

  • Andrew brought Peter to Jesus—the disciple who Jesus called a "rock" and who became one of the early church's founding apostles - John 1:42.

  • Barnabas went after Paul to disciple and work with him—another act the significance of which we see every time we open our New Testament (Acts 11:25-26).

  • Those who have given the hungry food, the thirsty a drink, the stranger a bed, and the sick and prisoners a visit will discover their simple acts were the key to inheriting the kingdom. For by doing these things for others, they were indeed done for Jesus (Matthew 25:34-36,40). Who knew!?

Let's take the hint, from these examples, that it's important to do what we can. We can't stop human trafficking, but we can tuck a check into an envelope to help fund a project that gives women a chance to earn money in honorable ways. We can't end homelessness but we can support local organizations that provide meals and shelter for the homeless and a way out of their addictions. We can't uncomplicate the lives of our family members, friends, and neighbors but we can offer to babysit, bring over a meal, drive them to appointments.

It may not seem like much, but when Jesus touches our acts of doing what we can, we  have no idea of their actual significance.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, please open my eyes to ways I can serve You by doing what I can for those around me. Amen.

*The woman is not named in Mark's account, but is identified in John's account of the same incident - John 12:1-8.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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