February 14th 2013
“A woman came to Jesus with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. ‘Why this waste?’ they asked. 'This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.' Aware of this, Jesus said to them, ‘Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.’” Matthew 26:6-10
In one of the Gospels’ most dramatic scenes, a woman anoints Jesus’ feet with a jar of very expensive perfume. The disciples’ response is predictable. They’re indignant and angry with her “waste." Under the guise of stewardship and responsibility, the disciples put down this unnamed woman.
But Jesus sees the situation very differently. He defends her. Lifting her up as a model of Christian discipleship, he announces, “I tell you the truth, wherever this Gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” (The Promise Effect, p. 26)
Reflect & Discuss
Jesus cautions his disciples not to miss the heart behind the act. The woman loved “wastefully” and Jesus affirms this expression of faith. Are you more like this woman, showing the Lord extravagant love, or like the disciples who criticized her “wasteful” display? Do you ever hold back on actions of worship or discipleship because they’re “a bit too much”? Share your thoughts on our blog.
Lord, I want to love and serve you fully. So if that means crossing some lines, offending decorum, being imprudent, or going over the top, so be it. Give me the courage to love you with all I’ve got.