And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply. But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” (Mark 14:3-9)
One of the hardest things for a Christian worker to do is to keep his focus on Jesus and off the world and the work. The Lord of glory was right there in the room with His disciples, yet they took issue with a woman who was determined to worship and make a sacrificial offering to Him. In their minds, she could have and should have made better use of her time and resources. They missed the essence of the matter, being snared by their own selfishness. This woman may not have followed protocol, she may not have been an expert on scripture, she probably wasn't highly esteemed, and she wasn’t one of the twelve – but she knew Jesus was the Messiah and her Savior; and she ministered to Him in a way that honored and strengthened Him for the horrific experience that lay before Him -- "She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial."
"Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her." The woman in this passage did what the disciples should have been doing, but they were caught up with everything and everyone but Jesus. We are still talking about her and what she did, because it was done solely and strictly for Jesus, and that is all that matters to God. Thus, we have been given a true picture of acceptable worship and ministry – that which is done, maintained, and fiercely focused on Jesus Christ alone. That is the Bible's definition of ministry, and it must become ours. Are we motivated to glorify the Lord in all we do? That is how the Lord will judge our works -- and He will judge.