“And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, ‘Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.’ And they scolded her. But Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.'” Mark 14:3-9
Mark describes, then Jesus commends, exactly what this unnamed woman does. “She has done a beautiful thing to me…She has done what she could… What she has done will be told wherever the gospel is proclaimed.” It was costly, sacrificial, loving, good, and all about Christ. She is not named. She is remembered not for who she was, what she wore, where she came from or who she came with, but what she did. Her humble action was a prelude to the Passover celebration where Jesus looked forward to the future remembrance of His poured out blood for them. (Mark 14:23-24; Luke 22:19)
When we go about our days, what beautiful things do we do for Jesus? Are we determined to do all we can, to spend ourselves for Him as He has for us? How would my actions be memorialized before the Lord, and how might my mindset change if I knew they could be? It is good always to consider and check motivation. God knows the heart, from which all action stems, and judges our deeds accordingly. (1 Samuel 16:7; Acts 10:4; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Titus 2:13-14)
There is much we daily ponder, consider, compare, and intend. We are pushed and pulled in many directions by impulse, suggestion, desire, and preference. Unless we look to the Word to inform us and the Lord to direct our steps and actions, we easily fall to sloth, self-consumption, or empty living. Will we choose instead the way of sacrifice, honor, and love?
For whom do we live, with fully engaged minds and hands? Whose glory motivates our words, prayers, work, and service? (What do we actually do for Jesus?) How well do we follow through on good intentions? Are we inspired by personal gain, notoriety, and accolades, or the Lord’s sacrifice, remembrance, and high purposes? How might He be working to humble our passions and turn them Godward?
The Lord works in us what is pleasing to Him, that we might do the works He’s prepared for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:13; Hebrews 13:20-21)
Father, may all I do be inspired and directed by You, for eternal significance and the honor of Your name.