Bible Society of South Africa
Neville Turley

Preserved in Jesus Christ – Day 19

She Did What She Could

Bible text(s)

8She did what she could; she poured perfume on my body to prepare it ahead of time for burial.

In our life’s walk, there are always defining moments when our Christian faith spurs us to action. Such a moment occurred in the life of the woman featured in our verse for today and the words spoken in the verse are the words of Jesus himself.

What a woman she must have been! In an age when leprosy was a dreaded scourge, she did not hesitate to visit the house of Simon the leper. It must have taken much courage. However, she knew that Jesus was there and she wanted to pay him homage.

She goes to the house and finds our Lord Jesus Christ reclining at a table. She took a container of pure nard perfume with her. Oil of nard is derived from the head of a fragrant East Indian plant (spikenard). It is extremely rare and very costly. She breaks the jar and anoints the head of Jesus with the entire jar of precious perfume. It was an extravagant, impulsive gesture.

Some of those present were most shocked and indignant. The amount of nard perfume she had poured out was equal to the annual salary of a worker. They felt that the costly nard should have been sold and the money given to the poor. Her generosity and loving kindness touches Jesus and he springs to her defence. “Leave her alone,” he says, “she has done a beautiful thing to me.”

The name of the woman was not recorded. Nothing more was known of her other than that she did what she could. “Truly I say to you,” Jesus said, “whenever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Mark 14:9

You too can share the story of this woman’s wonderful deed. One way of doing this is by joining the Bible Society’s Bible-a-Month Club and making Bibles available throughout the world.

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