Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But, you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Mark 14:6-8
Mary was overwhelmed by Christ’s extraordinary love. He brought her brother Lazarus back to life so she couldn’t wait to express her love to Jesus. Her flesh and blood was dead but now alive again. Mary thought she had lost her brother until they would be reunited in eternity, but now, because of the compassion of Christ, he was back with her to enjoy more days together on earth. Yes, God’s extraordinary love generously gives His children life and significance for living.
Thus, Mary did what she could to lavish love back on Jesus. She took her most valuable asset and gave it to her Lord. Unknowingly, she participated in God’s will through the symbolic preparation of Christ’s body for His death and burial. Simultaneously, she celebrated Lazarus’ life and anointed Jesus for His forthcoming crucifixion for the sins of the world. Whose life can you celebrate that has passed from death to life in salvation? What remaining assets of yours can you dedicate to the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Extraordinary love gives generously!
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. John 3:16, The Message
Furthermore, we feel like Mary, overwhelmed with gratitude by the extraordinary love of Jesus. Perhaps Jesus has forgiven a sibling who was dead in their sins and given them new life in Christ. Or a parent in the twilight of their life came to the end of themselves saying yes to Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Yes, we celebrate friends and family who were lost in their iniquities but have been made righteous by faith in Jesus Christ to forgive them and make them whole.
We can never pay back Jesus for His generous love, even over eternity, but we can express extraordinary love in His name to those who need life in Christ. By God’s grace we dedicate our time, talent and treasure for His Kingdom. Yes, we anoint our assets with the precious oil of the Lord’s lavish love in dedication to Him and His will. We prayerfully use our stuff to point people to Christ’s sin-stained cross and empty tomb. Critics within and without are silenced and made irrelevant by extraordinary love that gives generously for God’s glory. Love beautifully for Him!
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns! Isaiah 52:7, NKJV
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Your extraordinary love is beautiful to behold. Make my love extraordinary and beautiful to You.
Related Readings: Numbers 14:19; Nehemiah 1:5; Psalm 5:7; John 5:20, 19:40; 1 John 3:1
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© 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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