Do What You Can

Toward the close of Jesus’ ministry, He was well aware that His sojourn on earth was rapidly coming to its fruition. The stage was set. The characters were in place. Right before “the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom” (Mark 15:38, ESV), Jesus’ disciples were preparing for what they thought was just another Passover, oblivious to the trauma, confusion and magnitude of the crucifixion of the Son of God.

While He sat in Simon’s house eating, “a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head” (Mark 14:3b). This caused a stir amongst the disciples who, for whatever reason, felt the woman wasted the oil and “criticized her sharply” (v. 5). Jesus told them, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me” (v. 6). Then, the Son of God, who was about to die for the sins of the world, said: “She has done what she could” (v. 8). What she did, according to Jesus, was good enough.

It is easier to criticize, to state the obvious or be a part of the problem instead of offering solutions. In fact, the only way to avoid criticism is to quit altogether – and that is wrong. Understand that Jesus will be pleased if we do only what we can do; no more, no less. This is why “what this woman has done (is) told as a memorial to her” (v. 9), to this very day. Do what you can!

JDS