Friday, 10 August 2012
Do what you can
One of the most amazing statements Jesus ever made was when he released a woman from the opinion of other people. It happened when he was having a meal with some religious scholars. She came in and broke an alabaster box full of spikenard, a very expensive perfume that was normally a savings account towards a wedding, and poured it over Jesus' feet and dried his feet with her hair. Can you imagine the mess of the broken vessel, the running oil and the oily hair? And not to mention the smell in the air: the food smells and the strong perfume mixed. Judas Iscariot the treasurer of Jesus' party was offended. 'She could have sold the perfume and given it to the poor!' he reprimanded. The religious scholars were alarmed that Jesus did not know what kind of woman that was. She was a street lady, but Jesus did a lot for her when he cast 7 demons out of her and set her free. She wanted to return the favor. Can you see her standing in the entrance, hesitant, not sure if she is doing the right thing: she is giving up her savings for her future marriage to spill it on a man that helped her. How will he react? Will he be upset? Will he accept her offering? It took so many years to gather the spikenard... and now it will all be gone in a few seconds! But then she took the courage of her conviction, burst forward and broke the alabaster box and scooped up the flowing perfume and washed Jesus feet with it. Then she dried it with her hair... for at least she will have the perfume that she washed the Master's feet with in her hair for a while. She will treasure it as long as it lasts. When everyone scolded her and told Jesus he had to stop her, Jesus came up in her defense: 'Leave her alone - she did what she could! Since I came in here you did not offer Me any water to wash My feet, but she washed it for me! And what she did will always be remembered as a memorial to her, because she anointed Me for my burial.' He was speaking prophetically and most of them did not understand that He was referring to His crucifixion. She did what she could - that is really all the Master asks of us. Sometimes we feel that we never do enough, sometimes we overdo it - but as long as we do what we can, the Master is satisfied and He will come to our defense. It takes such a strain off us when we know we can simply do what we can and then it will be sufficient. It breaks the yoke of other people's expectations and cracks the burden of their opinions about us. The Master is happy if we do what we can for Him and for others. It is so simple it is staggering!