On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood
Dec. 8, 2013
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, remains a perennial favorite each December. Ebenezer Scrooge has been exactly that — a scrooge. But one night the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, appears to Scrooge seven years after Marley’s death. The ghost is in chains, sentenced to endlessly roam.
Marley had been much like Scrooge — tightfisted and lacking any streak of generosity. In death, he had discovered his error. The ghost’s most classic lines to Scrooge come when he says, “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, benevolence were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business.”
Marley’s ghost effectively warns Scrooge to not suffer a similar fate as he. Scrooge awakens to a life of generosity.
You and I are all going to be remembered for something. Will it be for our generosity, or for what we held on to? (We cannot take any of it with us anyway!)
How much better it is that you and I are remembered for what we gave away than what we kept for ourselves! Our goal must never be a selfish one, asking “How can I be blessed?” Rather, our focus is, “How can I be a blessing? How can I help?” Jesus put it this way, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
Jesus immortalized the woman who poured an expensive jar of perfume on Him, stating that her gift would be remembered “wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world.” We are still remembering her today!
When Jesus said these words, He was within 60 hours of His crucifixion. From a human point of view, it would be over for Him. He would be just another Roman statistic of execution, a despised dead false prophet as regarded by the religious leadership. His life and impact were coming to a close. Every external indication would tell us that, for Him, it’s the end. Jesus would not be remembered except by those who knew Him in their lifetime. Within a generation or two, the memories of Him would cease.
But Jesus saw far beyond the generational and geographical borders of His own ministry. On the verge of His crucifixion, He saw His story going to the world. The Gospel — the good news — would go beyond Jerusalem, Judea and Galilee; beyond the confines of the first and second centuries — all the way into the 21st century! This woman’s act of devotion would be told because His story was not ending and will never end!
Jesus is not a false prophet who forecasts something that never happens. He knows, even at the verge of His death, that His resurrection will be around the corner. And the story of this woman serves as an everlasting example for all Jesus’ followers that when our all is poured out for Him, our story will be told as well.
You can count on the word of Jesus. When He says something will happen, it will. Do you trust Him when He says He has a home prepared for you (John 14:2)? Or when He declares: “I am the resurrection and the life ... whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25,26)?
You can always trust the word of Jesus. What He says will come true!
A prayer of response
On Your Mark