March 1/Mark 14

Verses 1-2 > These guys remind me of the old saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” They were so intent on obeying the laws of the Old Testament and keeping the 613 rules that they had set up to follow that they missed the person that the Old Testament pointed to > Jesus! They were watching each other to make sure the law was followed. In fact they so closely scrutinized each other that they nabbed a women who was having an adulterous relationship and dragged her out in front of a crowd of people! They had gotten so law conscious that they couldn’t rejoice when someone was healed on the Sabbath. They were quick to judge when Jesus’ disciples picked some heads of grain to eat on the Sabbath because they were hungry. In fact they called it ‘harvesting’! They had gotten so law minded they had no room for Grace and Mercy. Their view of God was totally skewed. They had no relationship with God. So when their Messiah, Jesus God’s son,  came along who was full of Grace and Truth they missed him. They had developed a great awareness to detail but the one thing they had not developed was godly character. They always seemed like their shorts were bunched up!

I must be careful that I don’t view Christianity as a duty. For instance > I must read my bible everyday. I must attend Sunday worship services. I must spend time in prayer. I must tithe. I must always smile. I must not let on that I am having a bad day. I must serve in the church. I must do something good for somebody. I will have missed the forest for the trees. I must not lose sight of Jesus and what he has done for me. In the next verses we will see someone who didn’t miss the forest for the trees.

Verses 3-9 > For Mary it was all about Jesus. Her actions flowed out of relationship with the one she loved. This Mary was the sister of Martha and Lazarus. Look at where we find her at different times before this event.

Luke 10:39 (NLT) — 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.

John 11:32 (NLT) — 32 When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

John 12:3 (NLT) — 3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.

It seemed like she spent a lot of time at the feet of Jesus. She spent time listening and getting to know him. She was so focused on Jesus that she didn’t have time to watch others to see if they were really acting like Christians! She didn’t have time to judge or criticize or point fingers. From her listening and spending time with him she came to love him and others. Because she listened to him instead of trying to impress him like I think his disciples did at times; she understood that he was about to die for her. The others missed it. She was anointing his head with perfume, costly perfume by the way, it was her way of honoring him before he died. She got it! I have often said we should honor people before they die instead of waiting for the funeral. Her listening to Jesus led to worshipping Jesus.

We can learn from Mary. We can sit at the feet of Jesus as we open our bibles and listen to the words as we read them. Lets read not so much for information but to know the heart of Jesus. Lets understand that he came for us. He lived for us and He died for us. His love for us ran so deep that he was willing to be whipped, beaten, spit on, beard pulled out, and crucified all so that He could spend an eternity with us! He asked that our obedience flow out of love for Him. He knew that could be difficult so He sent his Holy Spirit who brought Jesus love and put it in our hearts so we could have a great start loving Him!

Romans 5:5–11 (NLT) — 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. 6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Go back and listen to these words again as you read them. Wow friends of God! What do friends do for each other? Now when I practice Christian disciplines I am doing them for my friend Jesus and at the same time I am slowly becoming like Him. It makes a difference doesn’t it? I read the bible because it came to me from my friend Jesus! I meet on Sundays with the rest of the family of God to worship my friend, my Lord, my Savior, my brother, Jesus!  Tithing is no big deal when I think of what is cost my friend Jesus to save my soul.

Just like Mary I don’ t worry what it might cost me to worship Jesus(time, money, effort, ridicule) and I don’t have time to closely watch what others are doing. I just wan to please my friend! Hey Bethany might not even be talked about much in the scriptures if it wouldn’t have been for Mary. Jesus said we would be talking about this and he was right.

Why don’t we give heaven some conversation about Fergus Falls because of our sincere, enthusiastic worship of Jesus!

Be Inspired Hilltop!


  1. Mark Gundersen says

    This chapter is very similar to the version in Matthew. We have Jesus anointed, celebrating the Passover, including initiating communion, and going to the garden to pray and be betrayed. Once again we see human nature at its worst with jelousy, pride, betrayal, lying / denying, and violence. We also get to see Mary as a true friend while Peter and the other disciples were still Fairweather friends. One does wonder where Joseph and Nicodemus were when the Sanhederon met.