While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him 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. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
The jar was heavy, yet fragile. The fragrant oil it contained was expensive and she had been saving it since she was a little girl to be used for her burial or perhaps the burial of a precious family member. It was the most precious thing she owned and now she carefully carried it to the home where Jesus dined with His disciples.
Jesus~when she thought of Him her heart pounded in her chest. She had followed Him along with His disciples and had seen the many miracles He performed. She saw the great love He poured out on the people He encountered, herself included. She listened to His teaching of a kingdom of God that was coming. She understood deep in Her heart that He was the Messiah sent from heaven.
But lately, He talked about His impending death. How could the Messiah die? The men dismissed His remarks, but she thought of them often, trying to understand. Yet true understanding eluded her. All she really understood was how much she loved this Rabbi who had given her so much. She wanted to pour her love out on Him and something deep within her recognized that her opportunity to do so was running out~time was short.
She hurried into the room where the men reclined at the table. For some reason she could not stop thinking about the way God had the priest Samuel anoint king David’s head with oil. Jesus was more than a king~He was their Messiah. Shouldn’t He be anointed as well? She approached Him quietly, her head bowed, and opened the alabaster jar. The fragrance of the expensive oil filled the room as she poured it over her Savior’s head, anointing Him as her Messiah and King. It ran down His body along with her tears as her heart overflowed with gratitude and love for Jesus.
She heard the intake of the men’s breath as they watched her pour out the entire jar, but she knew there was none more worthy of her sacrifice than Jesus. They thought her sacrifice was a waste. What she offered was too great a price and should have been given to help the poor. How could they not understand? Jesus was everything. He deserved everything she had to give. No sacrifice was too great for Him.
What was Jesus thinking? Had she offended Him? Did He think her sacrifice was a waste? Would He rebuke her and send her away? Then she heard His voice and His words poured into her very soul.
“Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Jesus understood! He thought her sacrifice was beautiful! It was not a waste after all! No matter what the men thought, Jesus recognized the love behind her sacrifice. And His blessing for her! She did not deserve it, yet still, He blessed her! He promised that what she did will be told in her memory throughout the world! If possible, her heart filled even more with love for Him. He never overlooked her or the things she did for Him. He saw and cared about each act of service along with every sacrifice she made for Him. How could she help but respond by giving Him everything!
Ladies~Jesus sees us! He sees everything we do on His behalf even when others don’t recognize our sacrifice. The love we show for Jesus~the sacrifices we make on His behalf~are never wasted. Jesus recognizes them and loves us for them. But more importantly, Jesus gave us His all! He gave us everything! How can we help but respond by giving Him our everything!
Breathe in His love…exhale all your struggles…
Have you ever felt like your sacrifice was unappreciated or your acts of service unnoticed? Jesus sees every act of service~every sacrifice we make~and He loves us for them!
Jesus~I sometimes feel like this woman~like other people don’t understand or appreciate when I pour myself out for them. Sometimes they don’t even see the sacrifices I make. My acts of service are hidden and they will never know, never see. But You see me! You love me. Each sacrifice I make~every act of service I render is really for You and You will never dismiss it or me. I show my love for You by loving others. I want to pour out everything I have for You, Jesus, for You alone are worthy of my all…
Today’s post was written by Michele Barnes.
Michele is married to the love of her life, Jeff. She has 3 grown children and 1 sweet grand-baby on the way! Most days you can find Michele laughing with good friends, working with numbers, writing, or working with women. In the evenings, she enjoys spending time in a few creative outlets like creative lettering, drawing, and pottery. She loves snuggling with her dog, Tebow, and reading, but has always hated coffee. Lately, her sweet barista daughter is teaching her to enjoy a nice cup of cappuccino. You can find her most weekends worshiping at our Real Life Clermont campus.
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