A Beautiful Thing

I want to be like her when I grow up. Independent of thought . . . quietly courageous . . . unencumbered by what others might think. I want to model her resolve . . . I want to emulate her self-sacrificialness (is that a word?). At the end of the day, just as she heard, how I would love to hear Him say of me, “He has done a beautiful thing!”

I so enjoy encountering Mark 14 for the first time all over again (as I do Matt. 26, John 12, and Luke 7). I start reading the passage and the words “extravagant worship” come to mind almost immediately. As I read, I try and settle in and imagine the scene . . . and try and take in what must have been an overwhelming aroma as the broken flask of fine perfume was poured out on the Master’s head and it’s fragrance filled the house.

And while other’s thought she acted foolishly or wastefully or impetuously, Jesus said, “She has done a beautiful thing.”

And though the aroma of her sacrifice would pass . . . though the place of her offering would become dust . . . though her detractors would fall silent in the grave . . . the memory of her extravagant worship would be preserved in the annals of heaven forever. Not that it was necessarily recorded amongst the “top 10” acts of worship. . . not that it stands out in terms of who she was . . . not that it was even the most expensive or extravagant of offerings ever made. Instead it was to be associated with the gospel . . . and it was to be marked by the fact that she offered what she could.

But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to Me. . . . She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”   (Mark 14:6-8 ESV)

Where the good news of God’s abundant grace is considered . . . so is the response of a woman touched by that grace. Where the story of the Son of God, sent as a Lamb to redeem to Himself a people, is told . . . so is the story told of a sheep who, knowing her Shepherd’s voice, desires only to exalt Him.

And, it’s less about the fact that her offering was costly, I think . . . but more about her doing what she could. Offering what she had . . . not holding back. It could just as easily been the giving of two small copper coins (Mark 14:41-44) . . . the issue being less about the offering than about the offerer and the One to whom the offering is made. The quality of worship measured not by the cost, but about the heart.

I want to be like her.

It is a beautiful thing . . . worthy of a Beautiful Savior.


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