June 25, 2009

A Study in Contrasts

Mark 14:1-11

“She has done a beautiful thing to me.”
Mark 14:6


Judas and the woman in this story had much in common. Both had been blessed by Jesus and were counted as his followers. But one day when both were listening to Jesus, a deep contrast between them became very clear.

While Jesus and his disciples were reclining at the table, the woman came forward and anointed Jesus’ head with costly perfume. Astonished, the disciples asked, “Why this waste? This perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor.” But Jesus said, “Leave her alone, for she has done a beautiful thing to me. She has prepared me for burial. Wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

This drove Judas over the edge. He left the others and betrayed Jesus to his enemies for a promise of money. Those enemies had been plotting to kill Jesus (see Mark 3:6), and eventually they got him sentenced to death.

So Jesus had been right. The woman had indeed prepared him for burial.

Judas and the woman who anointed Jesus had begun their day in much the same way, but before it ended they were worlds apart. The woman was sold out for Jesus; she gave her all to him. But Judas sold Jesus out for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15).

Lord Jesus, keep us from going the way of Judas and selling you out. Instead may we live a life that shows we are sold out for you. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — R. Scott Greenway

R. Scott Greenway was born in Mexico City in 1964, the fourth child of missionary parents. He graduated from Calvin College in 1986, Calvin Theological Seminary in 1991, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 2002. He and his wife, Kelly, have four children. He pastored the Irving Park Christian Reformed Church in Midland Park, New Jersey, and currently serves as pastor of Caledonia Christian Reformed Church in Michigan. He enjoys a variety of outdoor sports, including hunting and fishing.

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