Mark – The Facts.
What if in our world, led by God, at just the right time and place, out of sheer love for God, not thinking about what it might look like to others, we do something so out of the ordinary that it causes others looking on to gasp at the action taking their breath away? What would that look like today to bring God’s glory and ways of working to the surface for notice and consideration? Do we have the boldness to do it? What is it?
In the background of the story of the woman who took guests’ breath away at her profound actions of love for her Lord, is a man who is so angry at Jesus’ response that it becomes the “tipping” point for him. Jesus is not the revolutionary that he thought he was. Jesus allows expensive perfume to be wasted instead of put into him treasury. Judas is the treasurer for the group. Judas, indignant, who loves money and power, betrays Jesus after this “last straw”. Judas is paid well by those who think they have power over Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Mark 14, The Message
Anointing His Head
14 1-2 In only two days the eight-day Festival of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread would begin. The high priests and religion scholars were looking for a way they could seize Jesus by stealth and kill him. They agreed that it should not be done during Passover Week. “We don’t want the crowds up in arms,” they said.
3-5 Jesus was at Bethany, a guest of Simon the Leper. While he was eating dinner, a woman came up carrying a bottle of very expensive perfume. Opening the bottle, she poured it on his head. Some of the guests became furious among themselves. “That’s criminal! A sheer waste! This perfume could have been sold for well over a year’s wages and handed out to the poor.” They swelled up in anger, nearly bursting with indignation over her.
6-9 But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why are you giving her a hard time? She has just done something wonderfully significant for me. You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives. Whenever you feel like it, you can do something for them. Not so with me. She did what she could when she could—she pre-anointed my body for burial. And you can be sure that wherever in the whole world the Message is preached, what she just did is going to be talked about admiringly.”
10-11 Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the cabal of high priests, determined to betray him. They couldn’t believe their ears, and promised to pay him well. He started looking for just the right moment to hand him over.
What do we learn?
–The woman will be remembered for doing what God led her to do. “Leave her alone.” God guides, provides and protects us.
–The woman “pre-annointed” Jesus for burial. She didn’t know what would happen to Jesus soon, but God did.
–Judas couldn’t understand the “cost” of true discipleship.
–Judas will be remembered for doing what he did as well. His name will forever be known and used to describe a betrayer.
How do we want to be remembered?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Forgive us. Teach us. Transform us to be all you intended for us to be. Give us the boldness to do your will and follow your plan even when it will make others gasp in disbelief or disgust. May we be remembered as one who loved you with all our heart, mind and soul.
In Jesus Name, Amen