All Your Heart
Sit quietly in the Lord’s presence for a moment and then worship him before you read.
Read MARK 14:1-11
 Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him.  “But not during the Feast,” they said, “or the people may riot.”  While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.  Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume?  It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.  “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.  The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me.  She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.  I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”  Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them.  They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy did Jesus rebuke those who criticized the woman?
Have you ever wondered why, of all the encounters Jesus had, this is the only one to be retold in the future (9)?
In this passage, Jesus’ death, though plotted in hushed tones and secret meetings by the religious elite and Judas (1,2,10,11), looms large and imminent for Jesus (8). He knows that his death is part of God’s plan (see 12:6-8; 10:33,34). Whether the woman sensed this or not, her offering challenges us. Such extravagant, wholehearted devotion is the only right and proper response to the one who died for us. What do we offer him?
It is interesting to note that even among Jesus’ friends at Simon’s home there were people who were uncomfortable with the woman’s actions. Though their concerns appear praiseworthy (4,5), they reveal their inmost thoughts: they did not consider Jesus worth the effort and expense.
What is Jesus worth to you? Today, how will you love him with all your heart and soul and mind and strength? When we love Jesus this way, others may misunderstand or criticize and rebuke us for our devotion, but the Lord delights in our love (6).
Today, find a way to show Jesus how much you love him. Whatever you choose, do it with love for him.
Lord Jesus, I pray that You will deepen my love for You and show me ways to demonstrate it each day.