Mark 14:1-11 begins a story of two divergent legacies. This week Pastor Mark introduces us to the legacy left by Mary, the sister of Lazarus. Unlike Judas, there was nothing restrained about her. She cared for no thing or person more than Jesus. Her reckless devotion poured itself out over Jesus, in the face of misunderstanding and disapproval. What energized her freedom of worship? Mary had experienced her own very personal deliverance by Jesus. In the process she had learned that she could trust His timing and purposes even when she could not understand what He was doing. Freed from competing devotions and completely convinced of Christ’s Lordship and love, worship had become her deepest joy. And we are left with her shining legacy of love.
Mark 14:1-11 begins a story of two divergent legacies. Legacies left behind by two very different individuals; one restrained and one reckless. Pastor Mark begins unpacking these legacies by introducing us first to Judas. Nothing made Judas stand-out. He could even have been described as dull, yet within days this quietly restrained, self-absorbed man betrayed the Lord. What happened? Judas had become disappointed in Jesus, and discontentment was eating at his soul. Mary’s extreme act of devotion irritated Judas and his disapproval was palpable. His bitter, self-righteous spirit was an open door for Satan’s destructive designs. What began in Judas as disappointment with God’s ways grew into a darkly dangerous legacy of hate.
The future can look like a scary place, especially when the very things that you have found your sense of identity and purpose in are threatened. In Mark 13:1-35, Jesus is preparing His disciples for just such a future. When the outlook is grim, Jesus asks His followers to be on the look out for Himself. He will be returning to make all things right and focusing on this hope makes a great difference in our response to hardship and in our responses to one another. Watchful living can open our eyes and hearts to value what our Master values and long for His return.