A Heart for the Lord

February 13, 2022

But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor." But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her" (Matthew 26:8-13).

It strange that two people can realize the same event and interpret it so differently. The certainty of the Lord’s death estranged Judas from Jesus, yet the same certainty made Mary’s devotion to the Lord more intense. They saw the same Lord. They heard His same words. They understood the same critical hour that the Lord faced. But it was the heart that turned Judas away from the Lord while it was Mary’s heart that drew her closer to the Lord.

Helen Keller, who was blind and deaf from an illness she suffered when she was 19 months old, was able to communicate with others because of the persistent love and devotion of Anne Sullivan. Because of Anne, Helen went on to graduate from Harvard University (Radcliffe College) with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Helen wrote, “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” King Solomon wrote, Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).

Mary’s heart was loyal to the Lord despite all that He suffered and would suffer. She possessed a faith that enabled her to see the truth of the Kingdom that the disciples refused to see. She knew that Jesus was the true King of Israel, though He was destined to die. And hers was no sentimental loyalty or devotion to Jesus. It was a love borne of faith. It was a devotion grounded in truth. She gave to the Lord a gift that symbolized all that she had - her very heart and soul as a devoted disciple.

Judas Iscariot was the polar opposite. We do not read of any such devotion from him in the 3 years he was with the Lord. He was a recognized disciple, but Mary was a true disciple. He spent 3 years with Jesus. Mary would spend eternity with Jesus.

It is heartbreaking that the disciples were so influenced by Judas Iscariot that they would join him in criticizing Mary rather than to be so influenced by Mary that they would join her in honoring Jesus. Even up to the very moment of His death on the cross, Mary and the other women stood by Jesus in faith while the disciples (except for John) hid in fear. Mary and the other women were the first to visit the Lord’s tomb to properly prepare His body for burial, but His disciples stayed at home.

“Give us, O Lord, the same love and devotion to You that Mary had so that we would honor You with our very lives in service and ministry. Amen.”


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