What You Could
I love having my parents back from Africa. They live just 4 miles away, and so I often find myself driving there to hang out with them. I call them, text them, and I just love it. Another perk for having them back, is in how they both challenge me, and encourage me. It’s so wonderful to be able to ask them questions about the ministry, and get their guidance and encouragement, but also because they are my parents, they feel free to ask me the hard questions.
The other day, while doing his devotions, my dad was reading in the Gospel of Mark. I’m sure he’s read this chapter thousands of times, and I’m sure many of you have too, but while reading this time, his eyes were struck by 5 words Jesus spoke.
Let’s turn our Bibles to Mark 14:1-9
14 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. 2 “But not during the festival,” they said, “or the people may riot.”
3 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.
4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.
6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
My dad is in his 60’s, so he’s supposed to be easing up on the gas. My mom is, according to her, in her late 30’s, but she too should be easing up. However, when they look at these Scriptures, they are inspired to do more. Instead of winding down, they are ramping it up a notch. Why?
“She Did What She Could”
As those around the situation watched this woman break open this expensive bottle of perfume, and anoint Jesus, washing his feet, they were incensed. But in verse 8, Jesus’ five words just rock us to our core:
“She did what she could”
This woman did all that she could!
My dad sat with Megan and me, and at 62, proclaimed, “I haven’t done all I can do.” This is the same guy who pastored for many years in the states. This is the same guy who has planted many churches in a country where no Assembly of God church ever existed, yet he refuses to sit on his laurels. He refuses to wind down. He refuses to prop up his feet in his really comfortable recliner and watch hours and hours of Fox News on his ridiculously amazing LG Super Amazing Picture TV that is probably the number 1 reason I go over there to visit! Why? Because he has not done all he could.
I have not done all I could do! When I was a youth pastor I wasn’t in the schools enough. I didn’t go enough to their games. I didn’t go enough to their plays. I didn’t spent enough time in prayer for the students. I didn’t disciple them enough. I did not do all that I could.
Have You Done All You Can?
So let me ask you tonight, have you done all that you could?
Have you worshipped all that you could?
This woman poured out her most prized possession in worship of Christ. And I’m not saying we need to come in here with our bottle of Acqua di Gio, Chanel no. 5, or even our Brut aftershave, but what about our pride? Are you holding on to your pride, refusing to let go of it, and because of that, not worshipping with all that you could? She poured out her all for Christ in worship, have you?
Have you given all that you could?
I haven’t. I love to golf. I love to do triathlons. I love to do cycling events. I love to get 42oz sodas from Hy-Vee, but it’s hard for me to give. So can I do more? Yes. Can you? Probably.
You may be reading this, and you want to give more, but you give yourself an out all the time. I hear this one at school sometimes, and I even heard myself say it once: “I’ll give to the church and to mission when I get out of school and am pastoring or working full time.” Guess what? No I won’t. You may have made a similar deal. Perhaps, you have said you’ll give when your kids are out of college, or give when you’ve bought your daughters prom dress, or give when your kids are out of the house. But you probably won’t. There will always be an excuse not to give. Trust me, I’ve used them all! Yet, this woman gave all that she could! She did not make an excuse.
She could have saved that nice perfume for her wedding day. But she didn’t.
She could have saved that perfume to pass down to another generation. But she didn’t.
She gave all that she could! Have you?
Have You Shared Christ, With All That You Could?
Finally, have you shared Christ with all those that you could?
Have you shared him with those in your family that do not know him?
Have you shared him with those that you work with that do not know him?
Have you shared him with those who live next to you, down your block, in your apartment complex, and play sports with your kids?
Have you told all that you could?