Summary: Challenge to believers to accomplish their best for the Lord.
HAVE YOU DONE WHAT YOU COULD?
Mr 14:1 After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.
2 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people.
3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.
4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?
5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.
7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.
9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. (KJV)
INTRODUCTION: The first statement in verse eight packs a big punch. "She hath done what she could." Have you? Can Jesus say this about you?
Have you done what you could? Have you exhausted all areas of duty to God? I dare say that none of us have. Probably none of us ever will do all that we could. There is a principle established here and that is that the Lord expects us to “do” what we can do. Not what we want to do or what we feel we should do, but what we “could do”. Notice also, that the Lord was pleased with what she did.
Jesus had gone to the house of Simon the leper in Bethany. Bethany was the town in which Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha, lived. Jesus visited there quite often. Bethany was very near Jerusalem.
I want to show you several things in these few verses of scripture: then I will go back and make some applications later.
Jesus was in the home of a leper. Jesus’ entire earthly ministry was centered around the needy and the down and out. Matt. 11:1-6. Verse 5 tells us that, "The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, and the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them." So Jesus was right at home in the home of a leper. He never shunned the wealthy and the elite, but He always took time for the poor and the needy. Maybe we need to look at that practice more today. We all would rejoice if a very godly, well mannered, tithing, soul winning banker came and joined our church. We would rejoice; but what about those who will be a liability? Jesus went to them, also.
While He was in the home of the leper a woman came into where Jesus was. Mark doesn’t give us her name, but more than likely this was Mary, Lazarus’ sister. John records a very similar event with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. She came in, and she had in her possession a pound of very precious ointment called spikenard. This comes from a red rose like a flower that is very fragrant and it is, imported in from Northern India, even today. She poured this ointment on Jesus’ head. This was a token of her love and adoration for the Saviour.
This must have been a Baptist meeting. It had to be, because as soon as she began to show her love for Jesus, someone begin to criticize. Vs 4. They said, "What a waste. This could have been sold for 300 pence, and just think what 300 pence would do for our "Others" program.
I want you to know that negativism will breed negativism. You let some person get upset with our program, and he won’t be content with just fading out of the picture. No, he must go and take someone else with him. He will cause others to become unhappy.
Casey Stangle, the manager for the New York Yankees during the 1950’s, told Billy Martin after he had taken over the manager’s position for the Yankees, to sort out the players that were negative and put them together as roommates on the road trips.
Someone will always be negative.