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The One Person Who Served Jesus

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by Ed Cyzewski

Editor's Note: This continues Ed Cyzewski's series of Lenten meditations on the gospel of Mark. This week, Ed focuses on Mark 14. It is a day late because Marcus Goodyear got behind and missed his deadline. Sorry, Ed.

While meditating on Mark 14 one morning, I almost fell out of my chair. Something so profound grabbed me that I needed to skip ahead in my meditations on Mark to seize on this lesson for us during this week of Lent. Throughout the Gospel of Mark, Jesus taught that the greatest should become servants. Jesus himself came to serve: teaching, healing, and comforting others. The disciples demanded higher positions in the Kingdom, shooed away children, and rebuked anyone outside their inside group who healed in the name of Jesus. The crowds sought Jesus for healing and teaching wherever they could find him with little regard for his hunger, time, or general needs. The religious authorities maligned his reputation, challenged his teachings, and took issue with his miracles and works. They demanded signs in the heavens and doubted him.

One person in Mark’s Gospel grasped what Jesus was all about and actually put his teachings into effective practice. When this person took the kind of action Jesus craved, the disciples rebuked her, ever-mindful of their turf. Jesus would not tolerate their self-righteous bickering. The woman with the jar of perfume in Mark 14 understood that loving Jesus and serving him mattered more than anything else. She poured her expensive perfume on him, and risked the criticism of his disciples and possibly her family. Jesus defended her because someone finally didn’t come to him with a request. She came to Jesus and, prompted by pure love and not the desire for position, served him. Her only request was that he permit her to serve him. Rather than hedging her bets and hanging on to the perfume for financial security, she gave her perfume to Jesus who was so near to his death. She was all-in with Jesus—her financial, spiritual, and emotional investment in him was complete.

While Jesus journeyed to the cross, a time when his disciples were trying to secure their positions in the Kingdom, she realized it was time to serve him. It was time to offer herself to him completely and to let him know that nothing mattered more than him. Jesus could go to the cross knowing that at least one person grasped the kind of service and love he was modeling.

Post written by Ed Cyzewski. Photo by Kirsten Michelle. Used with permission.

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