Monday, July 9, 2012

Above and Beyond

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. — Matthew 26:13

As you read the New Testament, you can't help but notice how little it says about the major events of world history. You might think Scripture would mention Rome and all its mighty conquests. But it doesn't.

Instead, God brings out nuances that are entirely different.

Here in Matthew 26, for example, we find a unique story that God wants us never to forget (see verse 13). It was the incredible sacrifice that a woman made for Jesus. What was it that she did that so impressed the Lord? Was it a miracle or some great teaching? No. It was a heartfelt act.

There in the home of a man named Simon, this woman took a jar of expensive perfume and anointed Jesus with it. Why is this so significant? Her actions are memorable because she seemed to recognize that Jesus needed to be anointed for His burial (see verse 12). So with complete abandon, she gave Him everything she had.

Mark's Gospel tells us her perfume cost more than 300 denarii (see Mark 14:5). In these times, 300 denarii was the equivalent of nearly a year's wages.

But it wasn't the gift that mattered. It was her heart behind the gift. It was her motives that touched Jesus, because He knew she sacrificed nearly everything for Him.

Are you doing all that you can for the Lord? Some people, like many of the dutiful Pharisees, will only give what is required. They will try to get by with the bare minimum. In many ways, we can be like that too.

Today, won't you commit to serving the Lord above and beyond what is required—like this woman did? May it be a memorial of the grace of Jesus in your life!