She Has Done What She Could

She has done what she could. — Mark 14:8

Most of you grew up knowing of the story of the woman with the alabaster jar (Mark 1-9) full of the costly ointment called nard and how the disciples were appalled that she broke the jar and poured it over Jesus’s head. What a waste they cried, the jar could have been sold and fed the poor, but Jesus silences them by telling them she is doing a beautiful thing, she is preparing his body for its funeral.

I read recently that the cost of the jar and nard would be worth a year’s wages. To put her actions in perspective, imagine attending a Christmas party and one guest uncorks a $10,000 bottle of wine and gives it to the host who drinks the bottle all herself. Wouldn’t you be right to suggest that the bottle should have been sold and the money go to feed the poor during the holidays? But what if the host knows in a matter of hours she will be betrayed by one of her closest friends and drug off to be tortured and suffer a cruel death?

We know little about the woman, is she rich, is she the wife of follower? All we know is she does what she can. She pours the sweet-smelling nard over his head, rubs it into his scalp, and gives her Lord a moment of pleasure before he is called to his death. The disciples see her generosity only in their terms — the money would be better used to feed the poor. The woman on the other hand sees a chance to do something beautiful for the man who is about to sacrifice his life for everyone in the room. Generosity is measured by what it means to the recipient, not by what others would do with the gift.

She did what she could?


About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of the United States, is an author and lecturer. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, and A Game Of Inches, are published by Beaufort Books and are available online, in your local bookstore, or you can order autographed copies at When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps Won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

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