She Did What She Could

woman prayingShe did what she could.

Some, like Judas, criticized Mary of Bethany for what they called an extravagant waste. However, Jesus, the One whose opinion matters the most, praised her. Jesus told Mary’s critics what she did was a beautiful thing. He told them it was something which would be remembered wherever the Good News is told.

The account of a woman in Bethany anointing Christ with oil the week before his crucifixion is told in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John. The John account identifies the woman as Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus.

While it seemed the apostles and others did not understand what Jesus meant when he said he would suffer and die at the hands of men, Mary understood. In that understanding, she took something of great value and offered it as a sacrifice to her Lord. In breaking her alabaster jar of precious perfume, Mary did what she could ahead of time to anoint Christ for his coming burial.

The cost of her gift mattered little to Mary. What did matter to her was that she show her deep love for the man she called Savior and Lord ahead of his death. Compared to what Jesus would do for Mary, she realized her gift was lacking.

Something I find interesting is the fact that in breaking her approximately twelve ounce jar of perfume, pouring it on Jesus’ feet, and wiping his feet with her hair, the fragrance Mary anointed Christ with would have lingered on her long after he left. It would remain as a reminder of the sacrifice Christ was willing to pay for her.

If you’ve ever spilled a bottle of perfume or cologne, even just a little, perhaps you have a small sense of the intensity of the nard oil Mary used to anoint Christ.

Mary willingly offered something of great value in love and gratitude to Jesus. She understood what his sacrifice on her behalf would cost him, and she did what she could, without counting the cost.

Are we willing to do the same?

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Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.

But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.

Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial.” John 12:1-8 (NLT)

You can find my April Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.


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Are you looking for something special for that precious little one this holiday season? Take a look at some of the creations Sissy has crocheted. If you are interested in commissioning her to whip something up for you, here is Sissy’s contact info.


There is a children’s book titled Zoom, written by Istvan Banyai, which I used in my fourth grade classroom. There are no words, just pictures. What makes this book so fascinating is its perspective. That’s all I’m gonna’ say about it. Don’t want to spoil the story for you.

Perspective is defined as a particular attitude toward, or way of regarding something; a point of view. It is the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance.

Because Pilot is an artist, his first definition for perspective would probably be the technique or process of representing on a plane or curved surface the spatial relation of objects as they might appear to the eye; specifically : representation in a drawing or painting of parallel lines as converging in order to give the illusion of depth and distance.


My definition? Point of View. Who’s telling the story? 

Have you ever misplaced something? Oh, yeah. All the time. Something I’m learning to do when things go missing, is to change my altitude. (That’s not a typo.) Look at things from a different angle. Get my eye level with the floor. Change my point of view. Of course, there are times when no matter what I do, I cannot find the missing object. That’s when my belief in The Borrowers is renewed.

Among the many stories in the Bible about perspective that I love, is the story of Mary of Bethany anointing Jesus. She broke her jar of expensive perfume, about a year’s wages worth, and poured it on Jesus’ head. Some of those present said it was a waste of good money that could be used in better ways. Jesus, however, set them straight. He showed them the correct point of view.

Altering my perspective needs to go beyond looking for things I’ve misplaced. It needs to translate to the way I view the people and situations around me. Like me, have you ever come at something, or someone, with a set point of view? What happens when you receive more information? Does your perspective change? More times than not, mine does. We should be willing for God to alter our perspective, and make decisions based on his truth.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why are you giving her a hard time? She has just done something wonderfully significant for me. You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives. Whenever you feel like it, you can do something for them. Not so with me. She did what she could when she could—she pre-anointed my body for burial. And you can be sure that wherever in the whole world the Message is preached, what she just did is going to be talked about admiringly.” Mark 14:6-9 (MSG)

I wish you well.



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