She Has Done a Beautiful Thing

Mary stood in her bedroom, facing her bed that had a beaded-lace cover. A window was over her bed, a glass panel open letting in the warm sunshine. She had a single white rose in a tall vase. She breathed in some fresh air and was grateful that she felt some relief. She had heard about Jesus of Nazareth for so long now and how He would forgive the sins of the people. Her hands grabbed the alabaster jar she treasured. She was careful not to let it slip from her hands. She was nervous and she kept imaging she had a fever. The tall alabaster jar contained perfume that was precious, as it was so valuable. Now to find Jesus and anoint Him with this, it was the least that she could do.

At Bethany:

She didn’t knock but let herself in. It was the home of Simon, Jesus was sitting there. She knew who He was, she walked straight to Him. Jesus’ eyes met hers with compassion. She had no words and there was no big warning to the actions that followed. She broke the jar that was so precious to her and poured it over His head. She started weeping and wiped Jesus feet with her hair and the perfume.

“Woman!” Jesus spoke with authority. Mary waited for what He would say. “Your sins are….forgiven.”

“What a waste!” Fumed men witnessing the scene.
“She could have helped the poor with the money made from the perfume!” Another man criticized. The ointment flowed down Jesus face and his neck. He was bathed in this special perfume!
“Let her be!” Jesus said to the men who were so furious they could strangle the woman.

Jesus looked through the special ‘bath’ Mary was giving Him, into her eyes. “She has done a beautiful thing to me!” Mary smiled, she was not feeling as nervous as she had before, she felt joyful and she felt His love.

Jesus then explained that He wouldn’t always be with them, but the poor would be. Also, that what Mary had done was like preparing Him for burial.

“I tell you, she will be remembered where ever the Gospel is preached. What she has done will be told in memory of her.”

Note: Read the story in Matthew 26:7-13, Luke 7:37-39, and Mark 14:3-9, this is a dramatized interpretation of the story.

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The Long Wait for Healing

The woman who was blind bumped a crippled man. “Will you watch where you’re going, woman!” She had struggled to get through the crowd and now she was caught in a position that was uncomfortable. Even if I just fall into the Pool of Bethesda, that might heal me. She thought. She physically couldn’t see. She was surrounded by people just like her, who needed some type of cure in their bodies.

“The angel hasn’t come yet!”announced the crippled man. “When the angel comes to stir the waters….” He stopped to clear his throat..”When the angel..whoever gets in first, gets healed.They get healed. That’s what they get,..” The woman who had bumped him started to whimper.

“I….” some more tears came, “I can’t see the water.” The man looked at the woman and then at the pool’s water. He was also hopeful to get in the water.

“Such beautiful water.”

On the other side of the crowd on the fourth portico lay another man who had been sick for 38 years. He was in doubt that he could be healed, since it had been a long time to wait for this. There had been some days when he had asked someone to move him to the pool. No one did. No one cared to help. It was a miserable type of ‘hospital’, everyone around him was too weak to help. The man just lay on his cheek, his mind filled with nothingness.

The Pools of Bethesda were quiet at this time, the waters in the pool would move every so often and the sick gathered around would groan. They cried out sometimes in agony. It was a quiet moment, there was stillness in the atmosphere when Jesus entered the scene.

Jesus scanned the crowd with much compassion. Jesus had been in Jerusalem for a feast. Now he was here assessing the pool area. He noticed the man lying down on his cheek. He could tell that this man had had a long journey with his sickness.

‘It’s been a long time!’ Jesus whispered about the man. The man could tell that someone was peering over him. “Do you want to get well?” Were the words Jesus spoke. “Huh?” The man was stunned.

Jesus touched his cheek and started his question again, “Do you want…”
“I heard you…” The man spoke.”No one’s going to help me! They don’t want to help me into that water…and if I try to get into that pool, someone takes my place!”

Jesus smiled at the man. “Take up your mat and walk!” The appearance and health of the man changed instantly. He was well. He was healed. Excitedly he jumped to his feet, rolled up his mat and started walking away.

He was stopped by men who had strong Jewish beliefs and traditions of the Sabbath. There was not much activity occurring in Jerusalem because of the Sabbath day.

The men insisted that he move no further. “Who allowed you to walk with your mat?”

“The man who made me well! He did!” “Who was that?”
“I don’t know!”

The source of the man’s healing seemed a mystery to him. Who had healed him? He really wasn’t sure who had done it. But at least he hadn’t needed to step into the Pools of Bethesda. He was healed. He was elated. As to why the Jewish men were asking him these questions, perplexed him.

Jesus found the man later in the temple.

“You are now well! Don’t go astray anymore.”

“It was you. You healed me?” The man recognized Jesus.”Who are you?”

“Jesus.”

“Jesus, Jesus has healed me!” He turned away. “The one who healed me is Jesus,” he proclaimed as he went a way. “Jesus, the miraculous one. He healed me!”

Note: Find and read this story in John 5:1-17, this is a dramatized and partly fictional interpretation of the story.

Jesus Gives Life Abundantly

Have you ever been tempted? Tempted to break the rules when they were so hard to follow? Have you ever believed something that was contrary to God’s Word, only because you were talked into thinking that way?

Jesus is the Good Shepherd, and He said anyone who enters through ‘His door’ will be saved. He has laid down His life for ‘His sheep’, His plan is to give us life and He wants us to have that ABUNDANTLY (John 10).

“The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life, whom shall I dread?” Psalm 27:1

Jesus talked about the ‘thief’, in John 10:10, Jesus says, ‘the thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy, I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.’ After a time when Jesus had fasted for forty days and nights, he was walking in the desert, where he was tempted by the devil. The devil tried there tactics;

  1. He tempted Jesus to create and eat food.
  2. He tempted Jesus to jump from a high place, so He could miraculously save Himself.
  3. He tempted Jesus to get a position, that was not in God’s plan, in exchange for worship of thedevil.

Even though the devil used scripture to tempt Jesus, he used it for his own purpose and deceptively. Jesus rebuked the devil with scripture that had God’s truth in it. Jesus was furious with the devil’s last attempt to tempt Him. “Don’t you think you could worship me?” You can almost sense the trickery that the devil had in mind.

“Be gone Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only'”(Matthew 4:10).

The devil used the same deceptiveness with Eve in the Garden of Eden. “Did God really say you shouldn’t eat from any tree of the garden?” The devil acted like He was giving insight into what God really thought and how reality really was (Genesis 3). Unlike Jesus who was tempted in the desert, Eve fell for the temptation. My point is that, Eve fell into temptation and the result was sin, but Jesus overcame temptation.

“For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” Hebrews 2:18

“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:16

Jesus was tempted but He never sinned, yet this verse gives us hope and comfort that Jesus knows how hard it is when the devil comes and attacks us with his lies. We must remember that Jesus wants to give us life and He laid His life down for us.