Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.
Trisha, my blogger friend at Joy of Reading, and I decided on calling this post “His Encouragement” because our real source of peace, strength, and security can only come from Jesus Christ. He and He alone is our constant! We pray and hope that these Thursday posts become a real encouragement to you and help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. God bless!
Today’s Thursday Encouragement comes from:
Mark 14:3-9 (ESV)
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
3 And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. 4 There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? 5 For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. 6 But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. 9 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.”
I absolutely love this story. Let me explain why.
- This is a story about the heart of a follower of Christ. If we follow Christ with our whole hearts our focus will be on honoring Him not on honoring the things we do in His Name. This woman took everything she had — a YEAR’S worth of income — and purchased a gift to HONOR God. In her heart, Jesus was worth a year’s worth of income. Is Jesus worth a year’s worth of your income?
- Jesus makes a clear distinction between a “common” heart and an “uncommon” heart. Is there anything wrong with feeding the homeless? No, of course not. BUT there is something gravely wrong with putting Jesus in 2nd place. In the Old Testament, God makes distinctions between common and uncommon. He is UNCOMMON. He is HOLY. He is PURE. If we want to draw near to Him, we need to put away our commonness (our sins and worldliness) and become like Him. Yes, it’s a tough task. Thank God for Jesus! I think that in this story Jesus is referencing this distinction that God makes in the Old Testament. Jesus is uncommon. He is special. This woman recognized that and wanted to draw near to Him to honor Him as God. Her heart saw the specialness of Jesus. But some people in the room could only see the MONEY. They didn’t see Jesus as special. They saw a wasted worldly commodity. What about you, dear reader? Do you see Jesus’s specialness? Or are you stuck in the common?
- I absolutely LOVE the picture we see of Jesus’s heart. What is the ONE thing God wants more than anything? To have a relationship with us. What is the hallmark of a strong relationship? Things like encouragement, support, recognition, open lines of communication, forgiveness, sacrifice, and love (to name a few). In this brief scene, we see a woman honoring God. Her actions show Jesus her support, sacrifice, and love for Him. She communicates to Jesus, “You are God. You are my God. I love You and I honor You. And, I want to honor what You are about to do. You are my Lord.” And what does Jesus do? He reciprocates. He loves her back. He supports her when others won’t. He loves her. And, He honors her. Jesus is FANTASTIC!!! When you consider your relationship with Jesus, is it reciprocal like what is illustrated here in Mark 14?
- There is purpose when a writer won’t tell the reader someone’s name! In my AP Lit and Comp class, I teach my students that a no-name protagonist is important. These protagonists are called “Every-Man” characters. Why do authors write nameless characters like the woman in Mark 14? So the reader can stand in the shoes of that character. An “Every-Man” character is you and me and our neighbors and friends and loved ones. Yes, I know that John identifies this woman as Mary. I know that some argue it’s not Mary at all. And some scholars have called this woman a fallen woman. I think it doesn’t matter. One day we will meet her in Heaven and the mystery will be solved. But until then, I believe this story is really more about Jesus talking to us. He wants us to question our hearts. Are we the angry, worldly person upset at the loss of 300 denarii OR are we the uncommon person who sees the specialness of Jesus, our Lord and Savior?
I know this is a lot to chew on. My hope today is not to bog you down, dear reader, but that these thoughts and musings help you draw closer to God. He is a good, good God and He really wants nothing more than a solid, personal relationship with you!
NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN!
WHAT BIBLICAL VERSE IS ENCOURAGING YOU TODAY?
Check out more Thursday Encouragement from my fellow blogger friends:
Trisha @ Joy of Reading
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective
Becca @ The Becca Files
Gina @ Stories by Gina
Rebecca @ Rev. Rebecca Writes
Andi @ Radiant Light
Leslie @ Words of Hope