Lessons from Mark (murmuring)

In Mark 14:3-5, we have the fairly well-known story of a woman (Mary, we know from John), breaking open a box of expensive perfume, and anointing Jesus with it.

The occasion was a feast, or a banquet — possible to celebrate Lazarus’ resurrection by Jesus. It was not held at the home of Lazarus,  Mary, and Martha, but at the home of Simon, who had been a leper (presumably healed by Jesus, although we don’t know for sure).

We learn that “some” at the feast, including some of the disciples (Matthew 26), complained about the waste, and that Judas Iscariot gave voice to those who were unhappy with her actions.

This was expensive perfume; it was an average man’s yearly wage(!) – it was a very extravagant gesture that Mary made.  We were trying to come up with some modern equivalent, and the best we could do was to take expensive bottled water (many bottles), and wash one’s car with it.

Mark 14:5 says: And they murmured against her.

The lesson here is that whatever action we take, there will be some that murmur against what we do.  But we cannot allow that to deter us.

At the same time, there are two extremes to avoid; one is a stubborn refusal to consider any criticism; people can try to tell us that the bridge is out, but we know better, and stubbornly proceed down the road. There are times to heed the criticism of others.

The other extreme is the fear of doing anything until everyone is in agreement with your plan. We’ll never be able to satisfy everyone.

So, seek God’s will; seek wise counsel; and the act, knowing that there will be murmurings and you’ll be in good company

About Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.
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