Gospel Investment, It’s a Beautiful Thing
“But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.” Mark 14:6
“And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Mark 14:9
One thing we understand as Americans is investment. In every aspect of our lives we are looking for something (or someone) to invest our time, money and resources to hopefully get a return on our investment. Things like real estate, stocks and precious metals such as gold and silver are commodities most people have had some dealings with. But at the end of the day, we hope our investments have grown and increased in value. The scriptures are not silent about this matter. Through the Old and New Testament we see people investing. Some examples of these are the parables of the talents (Matt 25), and the pearl of great value (Matt 3).
If I were to give a theme to Mark chapter 14 (v 3-9), it would be “Gospel Investment”. The woman here, identified as Mary (sister of Lazarus and Martha) in the 12th chapter of John’s gospel is seeing Jesus as someone to invest in. An investment worth nearly a years worth of wages to her! The other disciples thought this expensive ointment of pure nard, was being “wasted” and should have been sold and invested in feeding the poor. Jesus rebukes them and said “you will always have the poor, but will not always have me.” He said, “she has anointed my body beforehand for burial.” Obviously, the preparation for burial would normally take place after the person dies, so Mary unknowingly prepares Jesus’ body for burial.
A lot of speculation can be made on why Mary was using such expensive ointment to anoint Jesus. Obviously she put a high value on Jesus and was investing in him. But Jesus recognizes her investment and said she will be remembered as the gospel is proclaimed! What a return on her investment. Now the question turns to us. What does the gospel mean to us and how should we invest in it? Before we answer this, let’s see what we have gained from the gospel. Forgiveness of sin, a transformed life, Christ’s perfect life and death credited to us, life more abundant and eternal life, the Holy Spirit and to spend eternity with Christ. Gospel investment, it’s a beautiful thing!