Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 7, 2019

“For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.”

Today’s devotion comes from John 12:1-8.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://reformeddoctrine.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=16978&action=edit

“Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair;  and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.  But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, *said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?”  Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.  Therefore Jesus said, “Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial.  For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.”  John 12:3-8.

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Jesus was on a mission “to die for the nation” and others.  See John 11:51-52.

Mary’s extravagant act of pouring very costly perfume on Jesus encouraged Jesus to continue going forward with this mission.  Mary’s act honored Jesus, Jesus’ mission, and prepared Jesus’ body for burial, all with the effect of filling the room with the exclamation that there would be glory and overpowering sweet fragrance of life even in Jesus’ death.

In contrast, we remember Peter’s words which discouraged Jesus to continue going forward with this mission.  “Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord!  This shall never happen to You.”  Matthew 16:22.

But, notice the sharpness of Jesus’ response to Peter.  But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan!  You are a stumbling block to Me;  for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”  Matthew 16:23.

Are we going to be a stepping stone like Mary or a stumbling block like Peter?

Does our action fill the room with the fragrance of encouragement or does our action take the wind out of the sails? 

There are all kinds of different good things that we can do.  But, there is only one best thing for each of us to do.  If we get distracted and spend too much of our time and energy on all kinds of different good things that we can do, then the best thing that only we can and should do may not get done. 

It is so easy to drift away from our mission.  It is so important to stay focused, devoted, and stay on track to what is best.  We must set our mind on God’s interests, not man’s interests.

“For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.”

But, there is hope!

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6.


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