Bible Reading: Mark 14:1-11
Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. Mark 14:6, NIV
Brother Sun, Sister Moon is a movie about St. Francis of Assisi. Francis was ready to inherit his father’s business and live in comfort and ease. But after he trusted in Christ, the young man grew uncomfortable with his wealth because of the poverty all around him. Since Christ gave up the treasures of heaven to become the Savior, Francis reasoned, he should do the same. He walked away from his father’s wealth and lived in poverty as he ministered to the poor.
In Mark 14 you catch a glimpse of two individuals. One, like St. Francis, thought no gift was too great to honor Christ. The other had a crazed craving for money that led him to turn in Christ to his enemies for a few pieces of silver.
Two days before the Last Supper, a woman visited Jesus and poured expensive perfume over his head, an act of loving recognition of Jesus as her Lord and King.
“What a waste!” some disciples mumbled. “We could have sold that bottle and helped a lot of poor people with the money.”
Not a bad idea, really. But there’s a time to help the needy, and there’s a time to show respect for Jesus, our Lord and King. Jesus appreciated this woman’s splashy gift.
Then there’s Judas, whose greed greased the way to his downfall. He led the grumbling about the bottle of perfume. John tells the truth about Judas: “Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief who was in charge of the disciples’ funds, and he often took some for his own use” (John 12:6). The chief priests recognized Judas’s love of money and paid him to turn Jesus over to them (see Mark 14:11).
So how can you show honor to Christ the King like that generous woman did? After all, Jesus isn’t here in the flesh. Yet here’s one great way: Pay tribute to Christ by blessing someone who is here in the flesh. Try these suggestions:
• Buy your pastor or youth leader a gift—a book, CD, jewelry, gift certificate.
• Donate to charity in thanks for Christ being your King.
• Make a sacrificial contribution to your church’s building fund.
• Find out what your best friend has always wanted and give a surprise gift.
“Tribute gifts” mean even more if you give them anonymously. It’s a way to keep your focus on the real purpose of giving—honoring Christ. He will know what you have done, and it’s a way to declare Jesus is Lord of everything you own.
TALK: How can you give generously in a way that honors Jesus?
PRAY: Lord, build in us hearts that are grateful for everything you have given us—and hearts that recognize your greatness.
ACT: Make a plan as a family to give a tribute gift.