Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her. ~Matthew 26:13
Have you ever thought about what kind of legacy you will leave behind? What do you suppose will be the greatest achievement of your life that will continue to be an inspiration and a blessing to people long after you leave this life? This morning, we are considering the legacy of a lovely woman. This woman is Mary of Bethany, and how her public demonstration has been a testimonial of the gospel since she first performed it.
We see a sacrificial anointing.
“Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.” Jesus was invited to a dinner event that included Mary and her two siblings, Lazarus and Martha. While everyone present was enjoying the meal and the fellowship of Jesus being present, Mary was moved to do something that captured everyone’s attention. Mary brought forth an alabaster box containing very precious ointment. She broke the stem off this box and proceeded to pour all of the ointment on the head of Jesus. This action brought everything else going to a standstill. The very aroma of the ointment filled the entire house. The sight of Mary pouring this precious ointment was an expression of her care for the most important guest present at that dinner. Her action was telling everyone that she was thankful for what Jesus had done for her family and the incredible devotion she had for Him. On this Lord’s Day, have you premeditated on how you can publicly let people around you know how much you love Jesus?
We see a scornful antagonism.
“But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.” Led by the murmuring of Judas, the apostles were angry, disgusted, and upset of Mary’s action. The ointment and the box represented an entire year’s wages. They did not see what she did as an act of worship but an act of waste. Sometimes we can let the business side of managing ministry overshadow the blessing and sacrifice that is to be an integral part of loving Jesus. Do we rejoice when people get saved? Do we thank the Lord for the effort and expenses we make for missions and outreach? Notice the question they asked: “To what purpose is this waste?” Even though Mary was pouring this ointment on Jesus, their focus was not on Jesus but on the cost factor. Stop for a minute and ask yourself: “Have I morphed into a believer that is critical instead of being complimentary?”
We see a special acknowledgement.
“When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. Jesus stopped this murmuring and criticism before it got out of hand.” First, Jesus acknowledged Mary’s love and worship of Him. Second, Jesus acknowledged Mary’s sacrifice. Third, Jesus defended Mary’s action and rebuked her critics. Mary’s faith was bolstered when Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave. She held tightly to every word that Jesus spoke. In her heart of hearts, she was convinced that she wanted to make the most of her service to Jesus while He was with them. Never forget that the Lord does not forget our labor of love that we do for Him. Don’t let the scornful critics keep you from being an exemplary servant.
We see a sacred announcement.
“Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.” This woman’s deed is memorialized with the gospel. Her action speaks of her faith in Jesus death on the cross for her sins and His resurrection from the dead. It speaks of her faith acceptance of Jesus as her Savior. Her action is a lasting legacy of faith, devotion, and sacrifice.
Have a sacrificial God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: John 16-18