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Holding Nothing Back

Lent - Wednesday March 13

Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:1-11, John 12:1-11

Holding Nothing Back

In this story, the woman identified by John as Mary loved Jesus more than most. She was all in and not holding anything back. She literally poured a year’s worth of wages on Jesus (Mark 14:5), anointing Him with expensive perfume in anticipation of His death.

The first response to her devotion by those who watched her was criticism. It is still like that today. When you love Jesus more than anyone or anything, you will stand out at times. It won’t always be comfortable, even in church. Your behavior will invite comments. Why? Because those who honestly love and follow Jesus (like the disciples gathered when Mary poured out her perfume) will sometimes criticize a love more extravagant than their own.

Jesus reprimanded His disciples for their critical comments, not because He was angry, but because He wanted them to respond wholeheartedly to His love. That takes courage, the kind we see in Mary. When she poured out that perfume, it was like she was pouring out her whole heart. That’s our example. It’s why Jesus said that what she did will be remembered always.

Questions for Reflection:

Think: What do you think inspired Mary’s actions? What motivated the disciples’ response to her? What holds you back from the kind of love and devotion Mary displayed? Unforgiveness? Hurts and offenses? Bitterness? Greed?

Pray: Today, ask God to reveal who you resemble most in this story, Mary or the disciples. Then, pray for an unbridled, whole-hearted response to Jesus’ love for you.

Respond: What might it look like for you to respond in today’s world to Jesus’ love as Mary did in this story? What costly thing might you “pour out” for Jesus. Ask Him about it prayerfully, and do what He says.

With thanks to B4Church

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