Daily Devotional - "Through the Eyes of a Cop"
In the Presence of Greatness
Briefing: Have you had the opportunity to be around celebrities, sports figures or politicians? Working at the eighth largest airport in the world, I have seen many high profile people.
Dispatch (Assignment): What does your department do when high profile people make appearances in your jurisdiction? Read Matthew 26:6-13.
On the Street: Have you ever been in the presence of greatness? What do you consider greatness? Sports stars, politicians, actors, musicians or business moguls? What makes someone great? When you compare the greatest of the great humans, they don't even come close to being in the presence of Jesus.
Mary of Bethany, not to be confused with Mary Magdalene, was in the presence of true greatness. It is obvious from her actions she knew this although the rest of those present may not have been fully aware. How do we know she was aware of His Greatness? She sat at His feet, taking a humble position or a servant's position. She sprinkled oil on His head and washed His feet.
The oil is significant, first because of the cost. The disciples say it was worth over three hundred denarii. That is the equivalent of six thousand dollars. This is a huge amount of money! Why would Mary have had a bottle of oil that cost three hundred denarii? It would appear that this was her life savings, maybe even a family heirloom passed down. At any rate, it was a gift fit for a king.
Secondly, it symbolized preparing Jesus for burial. How did she know? Jesus told them three times He was going to be killed. First in Matthew 16:21-28, secondly in Mark 9:30-32 and the last time in Matthew 20:17-19. Mary displayed the kind of faith and understanding you would expect from someone who believed what Jesus was saying.
Highlights from this Read: This passage is similar to Matthew 9:9-17 where Jesus was having dinner with Matthew and the tax collectors. Jesus explains that His time here is short and they should celebrate. Mary and the tax collectors are celebrating with Him. Another similarity between the two is that Jesus knows the thoughts of those around Him. These were not the only two instances of Jesus doing this. See Matthew 17:24-27 for the story of Jesus paying the temple tax.
This was the week leading up to Passover.
Investigational Resources: This story can also be found in John 12:1-8, Mark 14:39 and Luke 7:37-38.
Officer Safety Principle: What are you willing to sacrifice for Jesus?
from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©2012 by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.