Bible Society of South Africa

The Question is: Why are you bothering her? – 13 July 2022

By Louise Gevers

Bible text(s)

6But Jesus said, “Leave her alone! Why are you bothering her? She has done a fine and beautiful thing for me.

Giving a gift entails devoting time, energy and money to find that special something that will be of worth to the person receiving it; and making yourself vulnerable as you offer what is typically your own perception of what would bring them joy. But, what about a gift for Jesus; can any gift be good enough?

Mary, who had witnessed Jesus bring back her brother from death, and had repented of scolding Him for not having come sooner, now understood, and overflowed with adoration for her Lord. There was nothing too precious to sacrifice for Him!

Mary gave Him a gift, impulsively, from the heart, with no heed to budget – a splendidly beautiful gesture of love and adoration – which Jesus recognised immediately. She may well have bought a very costly perfume, but her love and devotion for Him that overflowed as she poured it over Him, far exceeded her extravagant gift.

Jesus recognised the depth of Mary’s devotion, “She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial” (Mark 14:8) and praised her noble deed, poignantly elevating its significance above mere kindness or generosity. Mary’s inspired act came at a time when nobody was cognisant of what soon awaited Jesus during Passover.

Why did Judas and the other disciples bother her – “rebuke[d] her harshly” (Mark 14:5) – and not see further than the expense of the perfume, and the perception that, even on Jesus, it was a waste? They were all followers of Jesus, but not all their hearts were yet soft.

Unlike Mary’s selfless generosity, Judas’ hypocritical rebuke was rooted in selfishness and greed – not concern for the poor – (John 12:4-5) and his betrayal of Jesus was imminent. A disconnect was evident between the disciples’ understanding of their master and His teachings; hearts receptive to Jesus’ words are gentle in judging others.

Our relationship with Jesus is the most significant relationship we can have; how closely we walk with Him is in our hands and affects our attitude towards Him, and others. We shouldn’t want to pull others down or be cut off from His ways; He holds the key to eternal life for all.

“Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew… yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know me intimately, love me sacrificially, and provide for my unique needs in Your wisdom and grace. You have proved Your love for me and You’re my true Champion along life’s difficult path. Open my eyes to Your Word, and transform me, like Mary, from the inside out that my heart may overflow with love for You. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.10
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