And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. Matthew 26: 6-7
I love the picture of this scene. Jesus is sitting at a table surrounded by His friends when a woman comes up to Him holding a beautiful alabaster bottle of an expensive perfume. Before anyone knows what is happening, she breaks the bottle and pours it onto Jesus’ head. You can imagine a stunned silence and then Jesus’ friends start to criticize her for her wasteful actions. Jesus, however, does not see it this way. Jesus honors her for her gift to Him and even says that she has anointed His body for burial.
FIrst of all, I love the bravery this woman had. She put aside any fears of personal humiliation and embarrassment and acted out of a genuine love for Jesus. She did not care how she looked in other’s eyes; she just knew she had to act.
Next, I notice the sacrifice of this woman’s gift. This gift of perfume was a priceless gift–that’s one reason why Jesus’ friends were so indignant. They thought she should have sold the perfume and given the money to the poor. She, however, realized the true value of Jesus and that her gift really paled in comparison next to Him. But she gave Him the best she had.
Finally, what she did ministered to Jesus. Her literal outpouring of love and devotion encouraged Jesus’ heart, which was probably heavy with the weight of His supreme sacrifice yet to come.
As I look at her example, she causes me to think about my own reaction to and for Jesus. Am I as brave as she was? Would I do something for Jesus if it caused others to look down on me or think I was weird? Do I care more about Him than about my own reputation?
Next, I have to ask myself do I give Jesus the best of what I have, or am I giving Him my leftovers? And I just don’t mean material things here–all of my resources including my time. Do I only serve Jesus when it is convenient for me, or do I follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and give the best of what I have in all areas? He is worth it.
One brave woman whose example is forever captured in the Bible has given me much to think about this Easter week.
Until tomorrow–pray on!