“….a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. The she broke the flask and poured it on His head.” Mark 14:3
“Leave her alone…..She has done a good work for Me…..She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached….what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” Mark 14:6-9
“And His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?” John 9:2
“Jesus answered: ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the work of God should be revealed in him.'” John 9:3
Jesus was right (of course He was and is, would there ever be any doubt?), the story of the woman anointing Jesus with oil is captured in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John. Also, her actions are indeed preached about concerning having the right priorities and being careful about judgement.
However, we know precious little about this woman. For one, we don’t know how she came to receive the idea or command to purchase the oil in the first place. We do know that it was very expensive. We don’t know how much she was questioned concerning why she was spending such money on this oil. Did she know, when she purchased the oil, what its intended use was or did that come in some revelation later? How did she know where to find Jesus? Whether she had come up against opposition at any earlier time, all three gospels tell us that she ran into opposition, stiff opposition when she actually committed the act for which she had purchased and brought the oil in the first place. Those closest to Jesus started to harangue and chastise her for her seemingly wasteful, extravagant act. She seemed to have no defender.
In another instance Jesus and His disciples came across a man who was blind. Now by the way one of the disciples asks his question, there would seem to be some aspect of knowledge about this man. For the disciples specifically points out that the man was born blind. I don’t believe it was just an assumption or guess on the disciples part, because part of the question wanted to explore the possibility that the parents were responsible through sin which again infers knowledge that their son was born blind. Though what’s really crucial is the, very common assumption that, if something bad happens, or at least what the world would call bad, then that person is receiving judgement in punishment for some sin or infraction they had committed. Only bad things happen to bad people or at least happen because of a bad act. In their concept of justice and judgement, they were condemning this man as being guilty of something simply because of the man’s blindness. This man or his parents seemed to be without a defender.
Yet Jesus knew. As the True Son of God, Jesus knew the actions needed to prepare His body for burial and Jesus knew that the Glory and Power of God the Father, through His Son Jesus Christ needed to be shown to first His disciples as well as to the Jewish leadership through the healing of the man’s blindness and giving him his sight. In both of those cases, Jesus corrected the misguided and erroneous judgments that were being levied on the woman and the blind man and, as Jesus was so oft to do, used both situations to teach such necessary and valuable lessons.
Also, both persons, the woman and the blind man would be blessed. The woman and her selfless action would be praised down through the centuries wherever the gospel is preached. For the blind man, he not only received his sight, but when he became persecuted and tossed out of the Synagogue for telling the truth about Jesus healing his blindness, Jesus sought the now sighted man out and personally invited the man to follow Him.
Where does that leave us? Why spend the time looking at these two? Because by wonderful acts of grace and power, in fulfilling Our Heavenly Father’s perfect plan, we may find ourselves in a position to be used by God as well. As in the woman’s case, we may be called to go somewhere, do something, purchase or expend resources toward something, that we may not truly understand the why behind or the how of what we’re doing exactly fits in. Like the blind man, we may find ourselves in a place of seeming hardship where there is not a direct correlation to things we have done that has placed us in that situation.
Yet it is about being faithfully open to those times where God is using us. It is about being humble enough to say I don’t understand but I will obey. It is about connecting with the Holy Spirit to find a place of peace even when the world doesn’t understand and may very well be attacking you for your actions or judging you concerning your circumstances. You have a defender in Jesus Christ. You have One who can take all the negativity coming at you and turn it around to His and, through Him, your glory as well.
Understand or at least I understand that this is not easy. For one this world and the ruler of this world do not want God’s plan to succeed and will do whatever he can to discourage or dissuade us taking part in bringing about God’s plan. Plus the writer of Hebrews is exactly right when he writes: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God”. For God’s ways are not our ways and His plans are far above what we can understand. Yet Our Heavenly Father has promised that he will never leave us nor forsake us. He has also promised that “All things work together for good to those who love God, in those who are called according to His purpose”.
Thus know, Dear Sisters and Brothers, that Our Heavenly Father longs to include us in the working of His plans and will surely keep us, bless us and allow His glory to be shared with us as we faithfully fulfill that which He has called for us to do. Let us be open to the calling. Let us be humble in being in faith versus needing to know the wherefore and the why. The world looks at “being used” as a bad thing. Heaven looks at it as a blessed, glorious, wonderful thing. Let’s choose heaven’s way.
Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we are humbled and mystified that You, in Your perfection would choose to call upon us to help carry out Your Perfect plan. We also humbly admit that we often become fearful at Your calling in that we don’t understand it, or believe it is too great or dangerous for us. Forgive us when we shy away and resist the fulfillment of Your Call. Send Your Holy Spirit to strengthen us and guide us as we accept and then carry out Your call. Bless us and keep us as we attempt to carry out Your Will that in our success glory and praise will come to Your Most Holy Name. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen