How will you respond?

Bishop Steve Maina


Originally from Kenya, Steve Maina has served as a pastor, church planter, National Director of NZCMS, and now Bishop of the Nelson Anglican Diocese.

How will you respond?

Bishop Steve Maina


Originally from Kenya, Steve Maina has served as a pastor, church planter, National Director of NZCMS, and now Bishop of the Nelson Anglican Diocese.

How will you respond?

a cross stands on a hill

As we journey with Jesus this Holy Week in his suffering, death and resurrection, I wanted to share a message of challenge and encouragement that has struck me from Matthew's Gospel.

I have been deeply challenged by the various ways people responded to Jesus in the days leading up to his death.

As Jesus sets his course toward the cross, we see his relentless commitment to fulfill his Father’s mission – to save the very people sending him there. Matthew shows the painful realities that Jesus willingly embraced as he moved onwards. His posture of sacrificial love stands in stark contrast to the posture of the people he came to rescue and save. The faltering loyalty of his own disciples and the cruelty of those who sought his death highlight humanity’s need for a Saviour.

The chief priests and elders scheme to arrest Jesus in secret and kill him. Jesus asks his disciples to watch with him as he prays, overwhelmed with sorrow, and what do they do? Fall asleep! Judas betrays him, Peter denies him, and the crowds that cried “Hosanna” last week now side with a criminal.

As Jesus enters the darkest moments of his life, his closest friends fail him.

In the midst of this brutal week in the Gospels, we have this beautiful story in Matthew 26 that takes place in Bethany. A woman pours out expensive perfume on Jesus’ head while he  reclined at the table. The entire house must have been filled with the powerful aroma of the fragrant perfume. Through her generous act of unrestrained worship she proved that she valued Jesus more than her most prized possession. She was not inhibited by what others thought as she offered Jesus her greatest treasure. What a response!

I was deeply challenged reading the cynical response of the disciples who, seeing this sacrificial and generous love poured out, were outraged. They suggested the money should have been given to the poor. That would have been politically correct, right? It makes me wonder, how many times do I shy away from doing what Jesus invites me to do because I want to fit in, or not offend anyone, or not be misunderstood.  

Jesus’ response to the criticism of the disciples is reinvigorating.

“Truly I tell you, whenever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will be told, in memory of her” (26:13). An act of outpoured love for Jesus became a story that has been told for over 2,000 years. 

Our community, neighbours, and friends need a Saviour. The Church needs a Saviour. Our weary hearts need a Saviour. We have a Saviour in Jesus – that’s the Good News!

But the world also needs people who will have wholehearted, passionate, courageous and sacrificial love for Jesus.

As we celebrate this Easter, how might we respond to the great love of Jesus?

He honoured one woman’s extravagant act of adoration while his own friends betrayed, denied and criticised him. Yet, he went to the cross for all of them.

What would selfless, sacrificial, outrageous devotion to Jesus look like in your life? It might be letting your neighbours know what Easter means for you, or maybe it looks like spending sometime in worship, soaking in the love of our Saviour. 

Whatever it is, I urge you not to let this moment pass without taking time to reflect on the message of Easter, and to let somebody else know this great news that is the foundation of our faith.

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.

Hebrews 13:20-21

Check out other articles in the

series below.

More articles in the

series are to come.

No items found.

We have invited these writers to share their experiences, ideas and opinions in the hope that these will provoke thought, challenge you to go deeper and inspire you to put your faith into action. These articles should not be taken as the official view of the Nelson Diocese on any particular matter.