Verse: Matthew 26:6-13
6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 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. 8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

I remember when I was younger I decided to fast from music that wasn’t worship music for a month. And I remember a friend of mine saying, “that’s kind of extreme don’t you think?” And yes, on some level, I guess you could say it was extreme. But on the other hand, compared to what Jesus has done for me, you could just as easily (and perhaps more accurately) say, “that’s all you’re doing??”

The question this passage asks us is, “what are we willing to give to Jesus?” Out of her great love and appreciation, this woman decided on what seemed like an extreme measure. The disciples (namely Judas – see John 12) accused her of being wasteful. But Jesus said it was beautiful. I like that. There’s something powerful and poetic about that. What judgmental people might call extreme or wasteful, Jesus calls beautiful. Often we don’t understand when someone else is “over the top” about worshipping Jesus, or being generous with Jesus, or giving their life to Jesus. We might make assumptions about them, or judge them in some way to help ourselves make sense of it. But Jesus sees the loving actions of his son or daughter.

Back to the question, “what are we willing to give to Jesus?” This passage both encourages and challenges me. Is my worship and love of Jesus safe? Am I taking the path of least resistance to him? Do I care more what people think of me, or what seems “normal”? Now I’m not saying I need to go running through town screaming at people. I think we go to that extreme example too easily. But let’s apply this in our lives. How much time do I give to him in prayer? Is that time wasted or beautiful? How often do I worship him while driving in the car instead of listening to a podcast? Is that time wasted or beautiful? How often do I give generously? Is that money wasted or beautiful?

You get the point. I don’t want to hold back with my devotion to Jesus. I pray for you and me both, that God would embolden us to love him fearlessly.

Author: Christian Dunn