Gospel of Mark Reading Plan
Day 14 Reading: Mark 14
Pastor Lisa’s Journal
“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.”
– Mark 14:6 (NIV)
Mark 14:1-9 The unnamed woman who blesses and anoints Jesus a few days before his death, teaches us three important things about worshipping fully.
1. Intimate Reverence
Worship is a response to who Jesus is and what he has done for us. They know each other but we don’t know how. Had Jesus healed her? Did she hear his teaching a decide to follow? What we do know is that she dares to touch him. She comes close. She is totally focused on Jesus. Her goal is to bless him. She is looking for nothing in return. She is intimate, yet her actions are reverent, full of respect. She models the right balance. Intimacy needs reverence or its just gushy emotion. Reverence needs intimacy or worship becomes cold, mechanical and detached.
2. Unashamed Abandon
Worship is about outpouring, overflow. It’s Miriam and the women celebrating the liberation of the slaves with tambourines and singing. It’s David dancing in the street with abandon as the Ark of the Covenant is finally safe and in the midst of the city so all may come and worship. It’s the woman breaking into the party and breaking into the circle where Jesus was seated. Crack. Shatter. She boldly breaks open the alabaster jar, pouring out the perfume, her heart, her adoration, her passion, her gratitude. Those gathered are going to see it, hear it, and smell it. She holds nothing back. She makes no excuses. She is focused on blessing Jesus, not what others might say.
3. Extravagant Sacrifice
Worship is more than just what we can get from God. Yes we received when we worship, but to worship fully we must focus on giving to God, blessing God, adoring God. In the ancient world you didn’t show up to worship without a sacrifice- an animal, a drink offering, or a grain offering. Your motivation for the offering was also critical to acceptable worship. Worship isn’t consumer driven. From a consumer perspective, true worship is an impractical, extravagant “waste” of time, energy and resources. The alabaster jar was full of very expensive, rare perfume. The woman does all that she can. She gives her best; her most prized possession. The onlookers say it’s a waste- throwing away her time and money. Jesus says no- it is a beautiful thing and it will be remembered.
What am I bringing to worship as an offering and blessing to Christ?
Our love for God is tested by the question of whether we seek Him or His gifts.
-Ralph W. Sockman
Some people want to see God with their eyes as they see a cow, and to love Him as they love their cow- for the milk and cheese and profit it brings them. This is how it is with people who love God for the sake of outward wealth or inward comfort. They do not rightly love God when they love Him for their own advantage. – Meister Eckhart
Imagine how awful it would feel to have your child say to you, ‘I don’t really love you or want your love, but I would like m allowance, please.’ Do you love this God who is everything, or do you just love everything He gives you? Do you see and know God as Abba, Father?”- Francis Chan, Crazy Love
Glorious One, heal our stingy, greedy ways.
Teach us to worship you with abandon.
Draw us into intimacy and extravagance,
Unashamed and alive with praise.
Free us for joyful obedience,
through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
For an original poem based on this text, click here
For Froyle Neideck’s description of his powerful worship painting Freedom, click here
For more information on the Gospel of Mark Reading Plan, click here
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