Holy Tuesday, April 12, 2022

It was two days before the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a cunning way to arrest Jesus and kill Him. “Not during the festival,” they said, “so that there won’t be a riot among the people.”

While He was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He was reclining at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured it on His head. But some were expressing indignation to one another: “Why has this perfume been wasted? For this perfume might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor. And they began to scold her.

Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. Why are you bothering her? She has done a noble thing for me. You always have the poor with you, and you can do what is good for them whenever you want, but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body in advance for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

Mark 14:1-9 (CSB)

It is Tuesday. Jesus is two days from His arrest, three days from His body being beaten and nailed to a cross, and five days from returning the borrowed tomb. And where do we find Jesus? He is reclining at the dinner table with friends, having His body prepared for burial, while His enemies dream up a CIA-style plan to take His life. Did you catch the irony? Jesus’ enemies are dreaming up a plan to take His life, but His body is already being prepared for burial!

Let us take a look at these two seemingly-contradictory scenes. Mark begins by laying out how secretive the chief priests and scribes were being in concocting a plan to arrest and kill Jesus (vv. 1-2). Picture your favorite spy movie: plans being drawn up, people training and being put in place, equipment being ordered, and every detail planned to a “T”. The perfect plan is put in place and…BOOM! The trap is laid, and the person gets caught. Of course, several things go wrong in the mean-time with the main character nearly being killed three or four times.

The difference here is that the main character is the One being sought and is completely innocent of any wrongdoing. The chief priests and the scribes know this because they do not want to put their plan in action during the festival “so that there won’t be a riot among the people” (v. 2). Very cunning indeed….

Now that we know what is going on behind the scenes, let us see what was happening in the foreground. Jesus is at Simon the leper’s house and is enjoying a meal among friends. Mary, Martha, Lazarus, Simon, and His disciples are there (John 12:1-3). They are reclining at the table when, all of a sudden, Mary pulls out a vial of pure nard, breaks it open, and pours it on Jesus’ head and feet (v. 3). She begins to wipe His feet with her hair (John 12:3).

The perfume she anoints Jesus with would have cost her a year’s worth of wages. It was expensive, pure, and left a wonderful fragrance all throughout the house. Everything about this scene exclaims Mary’s humility, devotion, and worship in the presence of the King of kings. Each time we encounter Mary in the Scriptures, we find her at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:38–42; John 11:31–32; 12:1–8). What a great example Mary leaves for believers! Unfortunately, her example did not rub off on everybody.

In verse 4, we find some of the people “indignant” with Mary’s “wasted” charity. John tells us the main instigator is Judas (John 12:4), and John 12:6 tells us that Judas “didn’t say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of the money-bag and would steal part of what was put in it.” Much like us, Judas’s temptation did not start with betraying the Son of God but with little compromises and sins. For him, it started with taking a little money off the top here and there. His love of money began to grow to the point he was upset when he lost a chance to steal more (vv. 4-5). Eventually, his love of money would lead him to betray the Son of God (Mark 14:10).

We know that “the love of money is A root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:10). I add emphasis to the word “a” because there are several roots of evil. Galatians 5:19-21 give us a glimpse of these, saying that “the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar.” Each of us are affected by one or more of them.

Yes, we are all affected by one or more of the works of the flesh, but look at how Jesus brings these seemingly, contradictory scenes together. He says, “Leave her alone! Why are you bothering her…? …[y]ou always have the poor with you…you do not always have Me” (vv. 6-7). In a few simple words, Jesus rebukes the evil, praises Mary’s worship of Him, and puts the entire situation into the correct perspective! He explains that Mary has her priorities straight – the poor will always be here to be ministered to, but Jesus is about to fulfill His mission and ascend back to the Father.

You see, Jesus had but one mission when coming to earth, and that was to save us from our sins. In verse 8, Jesus says, “she has done what she could; she has anointed my body in advance for burial.” Although the chief priests and scribes are plotting ways to kill Him, and others arguing over a lost opportunity to steal, Jesus is singularly focused on His upcoming death, burial, and resurrection.

The completion of Jesus’s mission on earth is but a couple of days away, but YOU need to understand that YOU – saving your soul – is His mission!

We are all sinners (Romans 3:23) and have all earned death because of that sin, but “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). All you have to do is call on His Name today to be saved: “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Whether you are a chief priest, a scribe, or a Judas, you WILL BE SAVED and enjoy Him forever if only you will repent of your sin and believe in Him! “Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13)!

If you are a Mary, remain at the feet of Jesus, rest in Him, and enjoy Him forever!

Holy Week 2022

We are happy to be able to provide Bible readings and devotions for Holy Week in conjunction with Christ Community Church in Grenada, MS!

Click on the link for each day below to access them:


Palm Sunday, April 10, 2022


Holy Monday, April 11, 2022


Holy Tuesday, April 12, 2022


Holy (or Spy) Wednesday, April 13, 2022


Maundy Thursday, April 14, 2022


Good Friday, April 15, 2022


Black Saturday, April 16, 2022


For the KiddosThe Resurrection Story told by a kid for kids!


Refresh & Restore — October 7, 2021

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.[1]

Romans 6:20-23

Refresh & Restore — June 16, 2022 (Jesus Over All 13) Refresh & Restore | A JustKeithHarris.com Podcast

This week, we are looking at Colossians 2:11-15 to see what Jesus has done for His church in the midst of false teachers infiltrating the church at Colossae. You can find the text version, complete with references, Scripture passages, and pictures here: https://justkeithharris.com/2022/06/15/refresh-restore-june-16-2022/
  1. Refresh & Restore — June 16, 2022 (Jesus Over All 13)
  2. Refresh & Restore — June 2, 2022 (Jesus Over All 12)
  3. Refresh & Restore — May 26, 2022 (Jesus Over All 11)
  4. Refresh & Restore — May 19, 2022 (Jesus Over All 10)
  5. Refresh & Restore — May 12, 2022 (Jesus Over All 9)

Greetings, Sojourner!

Check out this week’s devotion from Jamie Harrison. Jamie has been working behind the scenes with all of the writings and projects you see here on the website (editing, proofreading, encouraging, exhorting), and I was finally able to coax him into writing. He also joined in for a conversation in the podcast (link above)!


I’ve been to a lot of funerals in my lifetime. While the principal at Charleston Middle School, I attended funerals for two of my students; I’ve been to several friends’ and mentors’ funerals; and I’ve been to several family members funerals.

Most recently, I attended the funeral of one of my former basketball players. Listening to family members weeping for lost loved ones, preachers doing their best to give comfort, and many, many stories about how “good of a person” they were has driven me to my knees pondering what really is important in this life. Is it being a good person? Is it being financially stable? What about being known by everyone? Or is there something greater? What will have an eternal impact on me, you, and those we come into contact with?

The answers to these questions start in Genesis 2. God tells Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die” (Gen. 2:16-17). In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve do exactly what God warned Adam not to do. Immediately, their eyes were opened to good and evil, and they realized they were naked (Gen. 3:6-7).

In verse 3:8, they hear the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden, and they hide from Him. You read that right: God Himself used to come down for walks in the garden with His creation! We used to have direct access to the King of kings and Lord of lords! What an amazing picture of our Father! BUT we did what we do best by totally screwing it up. Instead of walking with the Father, we chose to walk away and try things on our own. We figured we must know better than God and caused a rift between Him and us. That rift could only be temporarily fixed through blood sacrifices in the Old Testament, with God Himself performing the first one to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness (sin) in Genesis 3:21.

Fast forward to today where each and every one of us is born into sin, and “death spread to all people, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). Everyone has sinned against a holy and perfect God. Our reward for that sin is death. The part we sometimes miss is that, yes, this is an earthly death, but also a spiritual death. And there are no more stories of God walking with Adam and Eve after they are removed from the garden (Gen. 3:23).

This leads us back to our verses for today. Look back at Romans 6:20-21. The spiritual death we are born into causes us to literally become “slaves to sin”. We don’t like to look at it in that context, but we all know how hard it is to walk away from sin. That slavery leads to rotten fruit being produced by the sinner. In other words, a trail of bad choices: constant anger, sexual sin, deceitfulness, envy, gossiping, slander, arrogance, etc. (cf. Rom. 1:29-31, Gal. 5:19-21). Verse 21 tells us “the outcome of those things is death”. To put it plainly, every person on the face of the earth has a rift between them and God due to their sin. That sin earns all of us an eternity separated from God in hell.

Verse 23 drives the point home by telling us that “the wages of sin is death”. How long would we work for a company that, instead of a paycheck, gave us a free vacation for eternity…in hell?! I can imagine a game show host saying, “Tell them what they’ve won Johnny,” and Johnny saying (loud and proud), “you’ve won a vacation that is sure to keep you warm, tormented, and separated from the God of the universe for all eternity!” When put like that, I don’t know many people that would be interested. But that is exactly what is meant by the “wages of sin”. We did it to ourselves, and we make choices each day that drive ourselves further and further from God.

BUT this is when it gets good! This is where God’s BUT comes in. We all know the word “but” cancels out everything that was said before it. Can you imagine how much more powerful GOD’S BUT is?! “The wages of sin is death, BUT the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (v. 23). Yes, we have earned death. Yes, we will receive our due reward of death. Yes, we deserve every bit of that because of our sin, BUT GOD offers life instead!

Who else but a holy, perfect, righteous, unblemished, sinless, matchless, and indescribable God could offer us such a gift? Matthew Henry put it like this:

“There is no proportion between the glory of heaven and our obedience; we must thank God, and not ourselves, if ever we get to heaven. And this gift is through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is Christ that purchased it, prepared it, prepares us for it, preserves us to it; he is the Alpha and Omega, All in all in our salvation.”

What a gift it is! And this gift is free, unmerited, and available to all. I always think back to Christmas morning and all the gifts under the tree. I didn’t do anything to deserve them (honestly, I deserved coal…every year). Those gifts were freely given by my parents because I was their son. Matthew 7:9-11 says,

“Who among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him?”

But God’s gift is eternally better than any wrapped under a tree.

I challenge you to take some time and read Romans 8:31-39. This passage spells out the gift provided by our Father in heaven. Verse 32 says, “He did not even spare his own Son but offered him up for us all”. Verses 38-39 explain (very thoroughly) that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Galatians 4:1-7 illustrates this point even further calling those that have a relationship with Christ “sons” and not “slaves” and verse 5 telling us that we “receive adoption as sons”. THAT’S GOOD NEWS!!

Let’s circle back to where we began. We know, based on scripture, that everyone will die. We also know that we will spend eternity in hell if we do not have a relationship with Christ. This means that you don’t become an angel when you die (saved or unsaved). Only being adopted as a son/daughter of almighty God will bring you into His family forever.

If you are reading this and know that you don’t have a RELATIONSHIP with Christ, it’s not too late. Romans 10:9 says, “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”. Right here, right now, IT IS TIME!

In the introduction, I asked several questions: Is being a good person important? Is being financially stable important? Is being known by everyone important? Or is there something greater? Is there something that will have an eternal impact on me/you and those we come into contact with?

The answer is YES, there is something greater. There is something that will have an eternal impact on myself/yourself and those we come into contact with. Verse 22 tells us that, “but now, since you have been set free from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification-and the outcome is eternal life!” Once we are adopted as sons/daughters, the Spirit of almighty God abides within us and begins to produce fruit.

Galatians 5:22-23 says,

“but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.”

As these fruits become more prevalent in our lives, more and more people will be drawn to the love of Christ. My prayer is that each of us will become broken and poured out to the Spirit and allow Him to lead us.

As I think back on all the funerals I’ve been to, there is one question that keeps playing over and over in my mind: “Did I love them enough to share Christ with them?” Friends, if we truly love our family, friends, and those around us, we would be quick to share the love of Christ with them and a little less quick to share the latest gossip, financial tips, etc. with them. Penn Jillette, of the magician duo Penn & Teller and self-professing athiest, said it this way:

“If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward—and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me alone and keep your religion to yourself—how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?”

Let’s not wait until a funeral to pretend our loved ones are angels in heaven and that “God needed them more than we did”. Let’s share that love with them HERE and NOW. After all, what better story to tell than a story of BUT GOD!


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ro 6:20–23.

Holy Week 2021 – Holy Tuesday, March 30

It was two days before the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a cunning way to arrest Jesus and kill Him. “Not during the festival,” they said, “so that there won’t be a riot among the people.”

While He was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He was reclining at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured it on His head. But some were expressing indignation to one another: “Why has this perfume been wasted? For this perfume might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor. And they began to scold her.

Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. Why are you bothering her? She has done a noble thing for me. You always have the poor with you, and you can do what is good for them whenever you want, but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body in advance for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

Mark 14:1-9 (CSB)

It is Tuesday. Jesus is two days from His arrest, three days from His body being beaten and nailed to a cross, and five days from returning the borrowed tomb. And where do we find Jesus? He is reclining at the dinner table with friends, having His body prepared for burial, while His enemies dream up a CIA-style plan to take His life. Did you catch the irony? Jesus’ enemies are dreaming up a plan to take His life, but His body is already being prepared for burial!

Let us take a look at these two seemingly-contradictory scenes. Mark begins by laying out how secretive the chief priests and scribes were being in concocting a plan to arrest and kill Jesus (vv. 1-2). Picture your favorite spy movie: plans being drawn up, people training and being put in place, equipment being ordered, and every detail planned to a “T”. The perfect plan is put in place and…BOOM! The trap is laid, and the person gets caught. Of course, several things go wrong in the mean-time with the main character nearly being killed three or four times.

The difference here is that the main character is the One being sought and is completely innocent of any wrongdoing. The chief priests and the scribes know this because they do not want to put their plan in action during the festival “so that there won’t be a riot among the people” (v. 2). Very cunning indeed….

Now that we know what is going on behind the scenes, let us see what was happening in the foreground. Jesus is at Simon the leper’s house and is enjoying a meal among friends. Mary, Martha, Lazarus, Simon, and His disciples are there (John 12:1-3). They are reclining at the table when, all of a sudden, Mary pulls out a vial of pure nard, breaks it open, and pours it on Jesus’ head and feet (v. 3). She begins to wipe His feet with her hair (John 12:3).

The perfume she anoints Jesus with would have cost her a year’s worth of wages. It was expensive, pure, and left a wonderful fragrance all throughout the house. Everything about this scene exclaims Mary’s humility, devotion, and worship in the presence of the King of kings. Each time we encounter Mary in the Scriptures, we find her at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:38–42; John 11:31–32; 12:1–8). What a great example Mary leaves for believers! Unfortunately, her example did not rub off on everybody.

In verse 4, we find some of the people “indignant” with Mary’s “wasted” charity. John tells us the main instigator is Judas (John 12:4), and John 12:6 tells us that Judas “didn’t say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of the money-bag and would steal part of what was put in it.” Much like us, Judas’s temptation did not start with betraying the Son of God but with little compromises and sins. For him, it started with taking a little money off the top here and there. His love of money began to grow to the point he was upset when he lost a chance to steal more (vv. 4-5). Eventually, his love of money would lead him to betray the Son of God (Mark 14:10).

We know that “the love of money is A root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:10). I add emphasis to the word “a” because there are several roots of evil. Galatians 5:19-21 give us a glimpse of these, saying that “the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar.” Each of us are affected by one or more of them.

Yes, we are all affected by one or more of the works of the flesh, but look at how Jesus brings these seemingly, contradictory scenes together. He says, “Leave her alone! Why are you bothering her…? …[y]ou always have the poor with you…you do not always have Me” (vv. 6-7). In a few simple words, Jesus rebukes the evil, praises Mary’s worship of Him, and puts the entire situation into the correct perspective! He explains that Mary has her priorities straight – the poor will always be here to be ministered to, but Jesus is about to fulfill His mission and ascend back to the Father.

You see, Jesus had but one mission when coming to earth, and that was to save us from our sins. In verse 8, Jesus says, “she has done what she could; she has anointed my body in advance for burial.” Although the chief priests and scribes are plotting ways to kill Him, and others arguing over a lost opportunity to steal, Jesus is singularly focused on His upcoming death, burial, and resurrection.

The completion of Jesus’s mission on earth is but a couple of days away, but YOU need to understand that YOU – saving your soul – is His mission!

We are all sinners (Romans 3:23) and have all earned death because of that sin, but “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). All you have to do is call on His Name today to be saved: “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Whether you are a chief priest, a scribe, or a Judas, you WILL BE SAVED and enjoy Him forever if only you will repent of your sin and believe in Him! “Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13)!

If you are a Mary, remain at the feet of Jesus, rest in Him, and enjoy Him forever!