Remember when the ark was being bought back into Jerusalem, and, as an act of worship, David danced before the Lord? Remember how his wife Michal rebuked him? She was somehow threatened by his passionate devotion to his Lord and for showing it in such a visible way. Sadly, she rebuked David in an attempt to bring him down to the level of what she deemed “acceptable.”
This Sunday, Erik Thoennes will help us worship alongside the unnamed woman of Bethany, who, in the face of criticism and rebuke, refused to be intimidated. The text states:
While Jesus was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. MARK 14:3
Have you ever wondered what you would do in the presence of Jesus? Today, we’re more likely to ask for a selfie. But this woman thought of a way to bless Jesus, and the cost was of no consideration. Was she commended for her act? Hardly!
Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. MARK 14:4-5
The following verses give us a sense of what it’s like to have Jesus, the Lord of heaven and the Judge of all the earth come to our defense:
“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her. MARK 14:6-9
After 2000 years and counting, we will once again honor the woman who honored our Lord. May this stir in us a spirit of humility and generosity toward the One who gave so much for us, and may our acts of love toward others be viewed as being done unto Him.
The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” MATT. 25:40