What She Could | Lent Devotion

What She Could | Lent Devotion

What She Could

Daily Devotion for Lent | Monday, March 18

What She Could. Lent Devotion. People Of The Passion. Immanuel Lutheran Church. Joplin, Missouri.

“She has done what she could …”

Mark 14:8

Six days before Passover, Mary and Martha gave a dinner party in honor of Jesus at the home of Simon the leper. This wasn’t long after Jesus raised their brother Lazarus from the dead, and no doubt their hearts were full of thankfulness and joy. Mary was so moved that she took the opportunity to pour extremely expensive perfumed ointment over Jesus’ head and feet.

This was a customary way of honoring an important guest, but she carried it to an extreme! And several of the guests there criticized her. But Jesus defended her. He said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to Me. … She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for burial” (Mark 14:6, 8).

That was a strange and jarring thing to say! I doubt Mary was consciously thinking of Jesus’ burial at the moment when she poured the ointment on Him. And yet Jesus took her action that way. He knew, if nobody else did, that within the week He would be dead—and His burial would be a hasty one, with no time for much preparation. “She has done what she could”— and Christians around the world still honor her for doing what we could not, and showing that love to Jesus.

But it didn’t end there. After Mary did what she could, Jesus did what HE could—which was to willingly be arrested, suffer, and die, all to save us from everlasting death and damnation. He did what He could for the same reason as Mary—overwhelming love. And what He did was effective! For now that He has risen from the dead, He gives everyone who believes in Him everlasting life and joy. He did what He could—and that is enough for us forever.


Thank You, Lord, for doing what You alone could do to save us and make us Your own. Amen.


  • What particular gifts, skills, or advantages do you have that you use to serve the Lord?
  • Think of someone you know who did what they could for the love of Jesus. What is that person’s story?
  • What one small thing will you do today for love of God?

Brought to you in partnership with Lutheran Hour Ministrieslhm.org/lent

Learn More

About These Devos

PEOPLE OF THE PASSION Lenten Devotions 2019

Lent Devotions 2019 Immanuel-Joplin

Centuries before Christ, God was preparing the way for His Son’s arrival. From mankind’s original sin through the children of Israel’s on-again, off-again obedience, God was faithful, honoring His promise to Eve (Genesis 3:15), which first pointed to Jesus. In People of the Passion, we see God working through the lives of ordinary people to achieve His ultimate aim: our salvation. There are prophets, priests, and kings, servants, soldiers, and civilians—each with a role in the high drama of Christ’s passion. Readers may see themselves in some of these people—ordinary individuals who, like us, need a Savior.

Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) is a Christian outreach ministry supporting churches worldwide in its mission of Bringing Christ to the Nations—and the Nations to the Church.