GRACE FOR TODAY Radio Message #545
Pastor Don Fortner
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road
Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Our Lord Jesus says, of Mary’s humble anointing of him, “She hath wrought a good work on me.” This good work which was performed by Mary might be most reasonably expected from any believer.
Like you and me, Mary had experienced the grace of God in Christ. This work which she performed was only the spontaneous response of gratitude and love for the grace of God she had experienced. It was but her reasonable service (Rom. 12:1-2). She had been given faith in Christ. The Lord Jesus revealed himself to her and gave her the gift of faith. He chose her and graciously caused her to choose him. The demons who tormented her and held her captive were driven from her; and the Son of God established his throne in her heart. Her sins, which were many, were all forgiven her. The Lord graciously revealed to her the mysteries of the gospel. Mary alone seems to have known and understood how the Lord Jesus would accomplish redemption by his death as our Substitute. With all these things in her heart, Mary came to Simon’s house to anoint her Lord in anticipation of his death and resurrection.
Yet, Mary’s loving devotion and sacrificial zeal drew an very unexpected response from from hose who witnessed it (vv. 3-5). She must have been shocked by the comments she heard. She only wanted, in some modest, but public way to honor her Lord. The fact is, those who serve the Lord Jesus with the most ardent, self-sacrificing devotion are often ridiculed and criticized by those who ought to imitate their examples.
For her good work Mary was severely censored by Judas, the church treasurer (John 12:4-6). All the disciples followed Judas’ wicked lead and became indignant at what they considered was Mary’s waste. They said, “To what purpose is this waste?” (Matt. 26:8).
If you are committed to Christ, if you are inclined to do some unusual for him, just for his honor and his glory, for the interests of his kingdom, for the furtherance of his gospel, simply because you love him, simply out of a deep sense of overwhelming gratitude, do not expect the approval of either the world, religious hypocrites, or even true believers. Whole-hearted devotion exposes and condemns half-hearted religion. It stirs up the wrath of those whose hearts are cold and indifferent. Real consecration to Christ is sure to be criticized and mocked by those who know nothing about it.
Though her actions were criticized and condemned by others, even by her friends, the Lord Jesus approved of, highly esteemed, and commended both Mary and her work (vv. 6-9). Nothing else mattered to her. No opinion was important to her but his. Because the Lord Jesus was pleased with Mary, she seems oblivious to what anyone else had to say abut the matter. She did it just for him. They really did not matter. Her faith in, love for, and devotion to the Son of God gave her courage and strength. May God be pleased to give me grace to follow the example of this blessed woman.