image courtesy of The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
Over this Thanksgiving weekend, I am looking at a few posts on giving thanks. Yesterday we looked at ways we can give thanks and today we look at its importance. So, why is giving thanks important? To answer this question I will look at the account of Mary anointing Jesus feet in Bethany from Mark 14:3-9.
Why is Giving Thanks Important?
The first reason is Jesus thinks our gratitude is important. Mary, out of love for Jesus, bathes Him with perfume. Some of those there criticize her for the waste, but Jesus not only accepts the offering, He praises what she has done.
Jesus says that Mary had done a good work for Him. Another translation says that Mary had done a beautiful thing. Jesus also made an astounding statement that wherever the gospel is preached, what Mary had done will also be told. Jesus saw this display of gratitude as very important.
The second reason giving thanks is important is our gratitude leads us to do things for Jesus. Jesus says that Mary has done what she could. Out of love and appreciation for our Lord Jesus Christ, we follow Him and obey Him. We spend time with Him in prayer and reading the Bible. We come to church and are connected to the body of Christ. We give our entire lives to Christ because we are grateful for everything He has done to bring us to God.
The third reason giving thanks is important is the greater our gratitude the more we will experience of God. Mary emptied an extremely expensive flask of perfume on Jesus. The flask cost three hundred denarii, a year’s wage. That is why there were some who were greatly opposed to Mary’s display.
John’s account of this story tells of how Mary also poured the fragrance on Jesus’ feet and wiped it in with her hair. In the middle of a social event Mary comes in and breaks the flask (not going to save any) and bathes Jesus from head to toe with a flask full of expensive perfume, then wiping it on his feet with her hair, and the aroma filled the entire room. Mary’s heart overflowed with love and appreciation for Jesus that she was willing to give everything and anything for Him.
“Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” – Luke 7:47
The first post in this series I showed how Ephesians 5:18-20 shows that giving thanks is a natural overflow of being filled with the Spirit. I will go farther here and say that giving thanks is pre-requisite to being filled with the Spirit. As you give thanks you are acting out by faith that you are filled with the Spirit.
The next post will look at the difficult part of giving thanks when you do not want to.