My Lord and God, may my worship and praise be a sweet and pleasing offering to You now.
Read Mark 14:1-11
 Now the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were scheming to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him.  “But not during the festival,” they said, “or the people may riot.”  While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of 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.  Truly I tell you, 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 commend this woman so highly?
I recently heard the story of a child who answered the phone to a telephone salesman. “Can you go and get mommy?” asked the man. The mother whispered, “Tell him I’m not home.” The child did exactly that, “My mom says to tell you that she’s not home!” The mother had probably taught the child not to lie, but now she needed a convenient one. That’s a double standard. This story is about double standards. First, the spiritual leaders of the people were secretly plotting to do away with Jesus. The man who promoted justice, mercy and truth was to be murdered by those who were ordained to uphold justice, mercy and truth (1,2). But the indignation of the guests at the “waste” of money on the perfume is also a double standard. The key here is v. 7. They could help the poor any time. Jesus’ reply does not indicate any lack of compassion for the poor on his part, but rather on theirs. Jesus’ credentials about caring for the poor were well known, and these guests were in no position to take the moral high ground.
Ask God to make you aware when a double standard might flow from you. Resolve to be true and straight today.
Lord Jesus, help me to keep true to Your standards in all things and at all times, no matter the situation.