April 02, 2012

A Lavish Gift

Mark 14:1-9

“She has done a beautiful thing to me… What she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
—Mark 14:6, 9


Simon the Leper, who had probably been healed by Jesus, was having a dinner party for Jesus, his disciples, and some friends.

A woman slipped in and stood behind Jesus. No one noticed her until she poured a bottle of perfume on his head.

Nearly everyone was shocked. Unbelievable! Smell it! It’s the real thing! It must have cost a year’s wages!

We are not told whether she was old or young, rich or poor, married or single. It makes no difference. Jesus said, “She has done a beautiful thing to me.”

Why did she do it? If she was looking for the praise of the crowd, she didn’t receive that. Nor does the Bible suggest she was trying to win favors from Jesus. This beautiful thing was an act of pure love and devotion to the Lord. Though she might not have known Jesus would soon die, he said, &lsquoShe poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.”

What if we were totally broken open for Jesus and we poured out our love extravagantly in our community? What must we lay aside so that a new freshness to love others can come into our lives? We may say, “Tomorrow I will go to my neighbor; tomorrow I will be kind to my enemies.”

Will you give lavishly of your love for Jesus in this broken world? It’s a beautiful thing.

Dear Lord, it’s easy to say we love you but hard to pour ourselves out for others. Thank you for this beautiful example. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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