Daily Devotions


Day 317

Many Lessons to Learn and Master

Text: Matthew 26 : 1 - 30

Great faith was something Jesus desired to see in His disciples! Where there was a lack of faith in His disciples, He would address that problem firmly. In order to help them grow their faith better, Jesus taught them many deep lessons from the Scriptures. The Word of God feeds faith and enables the believer to comprehend things at a deeper level.

As much as faith was important, love was another important lesson to be learned. The disciples could see just how much Jesus loved His Father. They could also see how He loved His work of reaching people with the Gospel of the Kingdom. They could certainly see how He loved their band of disciples! In their hearts, they must have loved Him in return.

The disciples had many theological lessons to master, from soteriology (doctrine of salvation) to eschatology (doctrine of the last things). There were other lessons that they had to learn as well. These were as difficult to learn and to master. Compassion for the lost, perseverance in prayer, and of course a deep sense of love for Jesus! Sometimes these lessons were learned the hard way – from other people’s examples! The faith of the Gentile centurion was held up as an example of what it meant to have great faith to the disciples! Now Mary was “teaching” them what it meant to have a great heart of love for Jesus!


Through faith in Jesus, all the disciples had come to believe and accept that His suffering and death were inevitable, for they were part of God’s plan for redemption. It took faith to comprehend things! But it took love to appreciate significance! Jesus commended both the faith and love that Mary demonstrated.

“For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body,
she did it for My burial. Assuredly, I say to you,
wherever this Gospel is preached in the whole world,
what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”
MATTHEW 26:12-13

1. A Memorial of Mary’s faith in Jesus

Mary had somehow understood that Jesus was indeed going to die shortly. She expressed her faith in Jesus, never doubting that He must walk along the path of suffering, the road of tears, Via Dolorosa.

She did not try to resist God’s will, but instead she expressed her understanding and acceptance of His death by anointing Jesus. This was what was being acknowledged in these words spoken by Jesus.

“For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body,
she did it for My burial.”
Matthew 26:12

2. A Memorial of Mary’s love for Jesus

Mary was not afraid to express her love for Jesus, even in public! She bore with the criticisms from the disciples of Jesus. All of them were known personally. They may be described as friends. And sometimes words from close friends hurt even more deeply.

Mary had understood that she would no longer be able to express to Jesus just how much she loved Him. The relationship, the friendship, and the fellowship that they had together – those things would change dramatically and permanently after the suffering and death of Jesus! This dinner event was the last chance for Mary to go to Jesus, and express her faith in Him, as well as her love for Him. This gift of the spikenard was a farewell present to her beloved Teacher.

She had seen Jesus raised her brother Lazarus from the dead! Somehow she must have believed that death had no power over Jesus! But still, the thought of Jesus suffering and dying must touched her heart deeply. She loved her Master, and she must let Him know it while He was still alive and with them! Tears of regret later would serve no purpose!


Jesus of course anticipated the fact that the Gospel would be preached all over the world. What would be the contents of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God? The Gospel may be expressed in a nutshell.

1. The Gospel of the Kingdom

a) God’s love

Surely, all who proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom will proclaim a God of immense love for sinners.

b) Jesus’ suffering

No Gospel could be said to be preached in full, if it does not emphasise the crucial role Jesus played. Without Him, without His sufferings, we would not have been redeemed at all. Through His blood, our sins are all forgiven!

c) The work of the Holy Spirit

The Presence and the Power of the Holy Spirit must always be expounded carefully. His role must be well comprehended and appreciated. Through His work, we are born again. Through His power, we will be able to live most meaningfully for Jesus!

2. Our responses to the preaching of the Gospel

a) Faith

Of course there must be faith in Jesus after hearing about His life and teachings. This faith is to be carefully cultivated.

b) Love

Mary well exemplified both faith and love. The latter complements the former wonderfully! Her faith and love would be mentioned as an inspiration to all!