Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Have you ever felt ridiculous?  I do all the time.  I get embarrassed about my appearance or things I say or if I’m good enough.  Then, this is usually followed by a layer of shame for how insecure and self-focused I can be.

Last week, I got to speak on a challenging text—Jesus being anointed at Bethany by an unnamed woman in Mark 14.  A woman walks into Simon the Leper’s house while Jesus is eating with the disciples..  She dumps a jar full of ointment on Jesus that was worth a year’s wages.  Talk about ridiculous.

The disciples thought so too and let Jesus know about it.  They chided her for not thinking of the poor when she made such a “waste” of wealth, not to mention bringing shame on herself as a woman among a room of men, none to whom she was married.  Jesus quieted the disciples and honored the woman and her act of love.   He explained that the woman was anointing Him for His burial—a common use of oils and ointments.  He even said that she would be mentioned every time the Gospel would be told, but her name isn’t even listed.  After all, she wasn’t there for her name, but to honor Christ’s.

I was convicted and moved by this story.  How often am I that smitten and enamored with Jesus that I am completely unaware others’ perceptions of me, the shame I may encounter, or what it may cost me?  Not often.  I think it’s difficult for most of us to relate to such an impractical expression of love in such a responsible world.  It seems so ridiculous.  And it is.
I’ve experienced people thinking I’m ridiculous for many things—not going to college right away,  serving on a ministry team for a year, going into professional church work, not being a party-er or dating any guy I could find, or putting myself out there for conversation with strangers and those different than me.

I’m not a huge fan of feeling like people are disapproving of my choices, but that’s what this Scripture is all about.

Jesus said we would have struggle here.  People here don’t know or understand Him or us because they don’t know our Father.  We need to get used to this and believe, instead, in the love the Father has for us.

It’s a love big enough to make us totally unaware of ourselves.  We stop thinking about others’ opinions, how we look, and if we’re good enough.  It’s not convincing ourselves to put them aside, it’s being so in love with Jesus that you’re rendered unaware of anything else.  Adam and Eve knew what that was like.  They were naked before the fall, but they were so enamored with the Lord that they didn’t even care to notice.  When we believe we are loved like Jesus loves, we are freed from our addiction of self because we just can’t take our eyes off of how wonderful He is long enough to even glance in the mirror.  This is what is truly beautiful.

A life to the full is one lived without fear, without shame, and totally engrossed in the love of our Lord.  Whether you are like the woman in the story, the disciples, or even Judas who runs out to betray, know and trust His ridiculous love for you regardless of who you are or how you respond.  This coming Friday, Good Friday, we remember how shamed, embarrassed, and ridiculed Jesus was on our behalf.  I challenge you to set apart time this week to love Jesus and be loved by Him.  Read and retell the story.  Respond how it moves you to do so.  You can never outdo the ridiculous love Jesus showed for you on the cross, but you can love Him because of it.

Here’s to a ridiculous Holy Week, meantime, and eternity.

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