April 4


"Jesus. . . said. . . 'why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me' " (Matthew 26:10, RSV).

Jesus never dished out compliments lavishly. His commendations were given sparingly, but with sincerity and appropriateness. They always enhanced the recipient's sense of self worth.

Several compliments of Jesus stand out in the Gospels. Only two days before His death, a party was thrown for Him in the home of Simon, the leper. While at the party, a woman appeared with a box of the most costly perfumed ointment available on the market. Breaking the box, she poured its entire contents on Jesus' head. Considering this act an unnecessary waste, some of the guests began to scold her. But sensing her noble motivation for this act, Jesus warmly complimented her. "Why do you make this woman uncomfortable?" He asked. "She has done a beautiful thing to me." Then He added, "Wherever this gospel is preached... what she has done will be told in memory of her" (Matthew 26:13, RSV). What a touching compliment to a humble woman engaged in an extravagant act of uncalculating love!

Jesus' commendations were always redemptive. The story of Nathanael is a case in point. The moment Jesus saw him, He greeted him with the compliment, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" (John 1:47, RSV). This compliment was the turning point in Nathanael's life. He became a faithful disciple of Jesus.

The commending Christ has promised that one day at the end of the age, He will also commend His faithful people. If our responsibility be fully and heartily accepted and faithfully discharged, it will secure for us the joyful commendation by the Majesty of Heaven. "Well done,... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

My Prayer Today: Lord, the portrait of the commending Christ has captured me. May I at last hear You say, "Well done." Amen.