She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Mark 14:8 (NIV)
She did what she could. That phrase stopped me in my tracks. Here is a deed that has been viewed over the centuries as this wonderful, saintly, sacrifice. And it was. An action that Jesus said would never be forgotten. And yet Jesus words here, that sound almost like “Oh, well, she did what she could,” make it seem like no big deal, like anybody could do that.
Like I could do it.
She did (poiemo) what she could (echo). The first word is poiemo and means to create, make, work, do. It is the word used of God when He created the universe. Our English word, poem, comes from poiemo. The second word is echo, which means to have, i.e. to hold, to have or hold in the hand, to own or possess.
She hath done what she could (ὅ ἔσχεν ἐποίησεν). Literally, what she had she did.[i]
Jesus in Mark 14:6 called what she did, or created, “a beautiful (kalos) thing” – beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable. That sounds like a creation, doesn’t it? Like a beautiful poem.
What she had she did.
What this woman had was a very expensive jar of perfume. Most of us do not have that kind of thing. We all have something though. Some may have houses and land, gifts and talents, educational degrees and possessions. And that is good. But we all have a hug, a smile, an encouraging word. We all are empty jars that God can fill with his love, healing touch, prayers.
Whatever you have, do it.
Then the LORD asked him [Moses], “What do you have there in your hand?” “A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied. Exodus. 4:2 (NLT)
(For more about this beautiful deed see The Best Gift)
[i] Vincent’s Word Studies. Marvin R. Vincent.
Image in the Public Domain