Meditations by John Dean

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Memorial of Good Works

(Matthew 26:13 KJV) Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her. 

There are certain stories in the Bible that paint such a vivid picture that they linger in one’s mind long after they have been read. Our text happens to be one of those stories that seem to replay itself over and over again in your mind.

Out of the goodness of her heart the young lady in our text took her very own possession (her costly perfume), and poured it over the head of Jesus as a love offering. The results of her generous offering provoked the religious spirits in the room to start screaming out. The sad thing is…it was the disciples from whom the religious screams came from.

How could the disciples (of all people), begrudge Jesus of receiving such a love offering from someone who was so devoted to Him? Apparently there was still some question in their minds as to whom Jesus really was. There did not seem to be any question at all in the mind of the young lady giving the offering.

The disciples thought a better use of the perfume would be to sell it and give the money to the poor. In other words…in their mind, the poor were a higher priority that the Son of Man.

I love Jesus’ response to the disciples after He rebuked them. He said, “Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her”.

The thought of actually doing something for the Lord worthy of it being a “ng a ‘memorial’the Son of Man. memorial” is quite amazing. I desire to do such a thing.

Recently, while ministering in Hungary, I witnessed something there that also had a lingering effect on me as the story did in our text. The mayor of this particular village was a woman who had been serving this village for about a dozen years. Among her many accomplishments, she did something that will forever replay itself in my mind.

In a world where babies are aborted by the millions, this mayor built a beautiful city park as a memorial to each baby born in her village. This park has lots of walkways, rose gardens, park benches and a large gazebo in the center. Each time a baby is born the mayor has a rose bush planted in the park to celebrate the new birth. The babies name is then printed on the gazebo for everyone to see.

I do not know if the mayor is a Christian…nor am I sure I will ever meet her, but her kindness really moved my heart. Upon learning of her kindness toward babies I stopped on the street next to her house and sat in the car and prayed for her and her family. As the kind act of the lady in our text was a memorial of her good works, so is the building of the park to remember babies a memorial to the mayor’s “good works.”

Perhaps it would be good for all of us to reevaluate our works to see whether they fit into the category of “good works” or just works.

Neither the lady in our text nor the mayor of the Hungarian village did their “good works” to be a memorial to themselves. Lord, help us not to work for personal recognition, but help our works to fit into the category of “good works” unto the Lord.

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