Yesterday, I asked how we can show our love for Jesus. As I got to the very end of the post, I the answer popped in my head. I understood Mary’s motivation. I started to change the whole post, then realized that I should just leave it alone, and write another one.
So how did Mary of Bethany show her love for Jesus in Mark 14:3?
And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.
I’ve read this a hundred times or more in my life. You might have, too. But I think we have a tendency to read the overall story, and miss the important details.
What Mary did was not just talk about her love for Christ, but to show it. And how do we show our love for Christ? Through FAITH!
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
Jesus told His disciples He was going to be killed. They didn’t seem to want to think about it. Maybe they didn’t understand it. Maybe they didn’t want to believe it. Peter even tried to talk Jesus out of it.
But Mary took Him at His word. She had been paying close attention to everything Jesus said. She didn’t question Him as the others did. She had complete faith in Him, and she acted on that faith. How refreshing that must have been for Jesus! Mary’s act not only said, “I love You, I believe You, and I believe in You.” Her act of love and devotion also said, “If You must do this, then I’m here for You.” And He knew it. He knew her heart. He knew her faith.
Mark 14:8 “She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.”
It seems most people who encountered Jesus in the Bible wanted something from Him. But Mary gave to Him what she could. And this must have been rare, for Jesus not only affirmed her actions, He gave her a very great honor.
Mark 14:9 “Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”
To me, that is pretty amazing. Could you imagine doing some good work, and people are still talking about it for over two thousand years? Not that Mary did this expecting any honor for herself. It must have taken her by surprise, and even embarrassed her somewhat to be given anything at all back for her deed. And what did she do? Build a city? End poverty? Cure cancer? No, she did a very simple thing. She did what she could. And that is all that God asks of any of us.
All we need do to show Jesus we love Him is to have complete faith in Him, and do what we can for Him.