Tag Archives: John 12

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 231/260: Mary

Read Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-8

Doing What You Can

The time for Jesus’ death was drawing near. Mary, the sister of Lazarus who had been raised from the dead (John 11), anointed the Lord with “costly oil of spikenard” (Mark 14:3). The disciples were upset; Judas in particular noted that the oil could have been “sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor” (John 12:5). Judas, of course, was not really concerned for the poor. John made this clear by identifying the betrayer as a thief. But the cost of the oil was significant. Three hundred denarii would have been about a year’s wages.

The Lord did not concede that Mary’s gift was a waste. In fact, He made it clear that her offering was not only acceptable, but it was “a good work” (Mark 14:6). Those things that are done for Jesus and His church, even if they are costly, they are good. Think about the following things which may take considerable financial resources.

• Supporting sound mission work in a foreign country is good.

• Evangelizing in the local community through the radio, using sound programming like The International Gospel Hour, or direct mailings, such as House to House/Heart to Heart, is good.

• Supporting a man financially so he can devote time to study and then bring the fruits of that study to the congregation and the community is good.

• Making sure the utility bills (water, electricity, heat) are paid so that worship can be conducted orderly and without distraction is good.

• Supplying Bible study materials for adults and children to enhance their knowledge of the Word of God is good.

There are many people who want to do good, but may be limited in how they can serve. And so they contribute to the financial needs of the work of the church. Just as Mary was commended by the Lord for her “good work” near the end of Jesus’ life, so will those who contribute to the work of the church be commended for their “good work.”

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 222/260: Read John 12

You have probably heard the expression, “Hindsight is 20/20.” It is easier to look back on past events and see more clearly things that were not obvious at the time. Twice in the twelfth chapter of John, the apostle makes reference to things that were not initially evident, but made more sense later.

The first is the motivation of Judas Iscariot. John notes Judas’ objection to the anointing of Jesus’ feet. He claimed that the money should have been used for the poor, but in hindsight, John saw that his words did not match his motivation. John said that Judas did not care for the poor, but rather was “a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.”

Later in the chapter, Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” At the time, the disciples did not understand the full import of His words, but when John wrote his account of the gospel, he was able to look back on these words and see their meaning more clearly. “This He said, signifying by what death He would die.”

When things happen in our lives, we may not see how much it impacts us and those around us until years later. We may look back and see God working in ways that we simply couldn’t have grasped in the moment. Remember, James wrote, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” Good things come from bad situations, and we must trust in God to allow that to happen.

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

John 12:48. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.


Pray for patience through the struggles of life.