Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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She has Done What She Could

But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. (Mark 14:6 NKJV)
She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. 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.  (Mark 14:8-9 NKJV)
The Incident
A woman who obviously loved the Lord and who obviously knew He was going to die (something his disciples couldn’t seem to accept), showed her love by wasting precious ointment.  She used it to anoint the Lord for his burial.  There are a number of takeaways from this incident.
This was an act of worship and it was costly.  Three hundred denarii or pence might very well have represented a year’s wages (since some people worked for a penny a day). She was criticized for this “waste” but the Lord didn’t consider it a waste.  Judas would have seen it as a waste since if it had been sold and given to the poor, he likely would have skimmed some of the money for himself.  (See John 12).  Many acts of worship are considered a “waste” by those who do not love the Lord.  Why should anyone give their money to the poor? Why give money to the Lord’s work at all?  Why do some people with promising careers leave them to serve the Lord in places where they end up in abject poverty?  Why should a person embarrass themselves by being baptized (immersed) in order to openly identify with the Lord in His death, burial and resurrection?  Why spend time each week “remembering the Lord” when that time could be put to more “profitable use?”  In general, sacrifices made out of love for the Lord will often be criticized even by those who claim to love Him,  and to the carnal and unsaved, the sacrifices will be considered a waste.
She did what she could, not what she couldn’t.  Sometimes I feel guilty because I feel so helpless when it comes to furthering the work of the Lord.  But we can only do what the Lord gives us opportunity and the resources to do.  But when He does open a door for service, we need to be wise enough to take it even if others “do not understand.”  I suspect that this woman had saved for some time to have this oil available.  She may have been a woman who was involved in burying the dead in Israel but for her to have secured that much spikenard would have required sacrifice and forethought.  I believe this was Mary who had sat at the feet of the Lord and listened to Him while her sister spent her time serving.  She understood what the Lord was all about.  We will meet this woman in heaven and she will likely have a front-row seat.
Have we done what we could?  We know that works don’t save but works show that we are saved.  Not all works are “productive” in the sense that they accomplish a goal.  But all works should reflect our desire to worship the Lord properly and to serve His people.  I keep asking myself as I come to the twilight years of my service, “Have I done what I could?”  That is the standard that should be applied to every aspect of our lives both personally and corporately.  Do I build up, or do I tear down?  Am I determined to get “my way” or am I a true servant, doing what is best for others?  These are difficult questions, but I would like the Lord to say one day, “He has done what He could.”
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of March 7, 2021

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