ESOCS Devotional 27 April 2023
MEMORY VERSE: “But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for me.” Mark 14:6
TEXT: MARK 14:1-11
It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the chief priests and the scribes were all the while seeking to arrest [Jesus] by secrecy and deceit and put [Him] to death,
2 For they kept saying, It must not be during the Feast, for fear that there might be a riot of the people.
3 And while He was in Bethany, [a guest] in the house of Simon the leper, as He was reclining [at table], a woman came with an alabaster jar of ointment ([a]perfume) of pure nard, very costly andprecious; and she broke the jar and poured [the perfume] over His head.
4 But there were some who were moved with indignation and said to themselves, To what purpose was the ointment ([b]perfume) thus wasted?
5 For it was possible to have sold this [perfume] for more than 300 denarii [a laboring man’s wages for a year] and to have given [the money] to the poor. And they censured and reproved her.
6 But Jesus said, Let her alone; why are you troubling her? She has done a good and beautiful thing to Me [praiseworthy and noble].
7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you will not always have Me.
8 She has done what she could; she came beforehand to anoint My body for the burial.
9 And surely I tell you, wherever the good news (the Gospel) is proclaimed in the entire world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.
10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the Twelve [apostles], went off to the chief priests in order to betray and hand Him over to them.
Jesus spent the last days of His life on earth with His disciples and friends in Bethany. There we see an example of true love and appreciation for Jesus demonstrated by people. As He was reclining at the table in the house of a man known as Simon the leper, a woman came with an alabaster of very expensive perfume made of pure nard, broke the jar and poured the perfume on Him. This perfume was of such value that its cost equaled to years wages and she used all of it on Jesus.
Life is not very easy and people work hard to earn a living. Workers depend on their wages to meet their daily needs and most of the time the wage a man earns in a month is hardly sufficient in meeting the needs in the period. It is therefore not easy to part with one’s wages. When a man does not receive his wage in a month, he enters into trying times and when the wages are withheld for a whole year, life becomes impossible. Imagine how life will be if you don’t earn anything for a whole year and also imagine how you will feel and what will be able to do if you have at your disposal a year’s salary at once. How many people do you know that can give to the Lord their salary for one year, or give up anything with a value equal to their salary for one year which would have taken them more than a year to save enough money to acquire? When you consider this, you will begin to appreciate the sacrifice of this woman and the heart of giving that she has. You will begin to understand how different she is from the other people around who rebuked her.
It is this kind of people that God blesses: people who give sacrificially; people who will not look at cost in appreciating God. When you give sacrificially, you receive great blessings from God. When you give to God how no one has given, He will bless you how no one has been blessed. Abraham stands out in this class giving his only son and hope for the future to God, for which God rewarded him superabundantly. In the early church, they had this mind: giving sacrificially; and they grew strong in love, in the spirit, and in numbers. David is another man in this class. He refused to offer a free gift to God and said he will not offer to God what cost him nothing. For this woman, Jesus gave her a place in the gospel, saying wherever the gospel is preached, what she has done will be told in her memory. She remains a shining example to all of how to give to God.
- What can you give willingly to God?
- What can’t you give to God?
- Blessed Father, thou who showed us how to give by giving your only begotten Son for us, help us to love you more and teach our hearts how to appreciate you that we may be able to give as you have given us. Amen.
FURTHER READING: Job 14:1-14; Zechariah 8:1-8; Matthew 28:1-10; 1 Peter 3:1-12
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ESOCS Devotional 27 April 2023