Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. (Matthew 26:6-7)
This woman acted in gratitude.
What she did went beyond casual hospitality.
She made Jesus the star attraction and put herself in a humble and vulnerable position.
She must have been prepared for all the possible ridicule.
In fact she was mocked at for what she did for Jesus.
Before Jesus responded, someone had made his fist comment “what a waste!”
Who said that?
How would you feel about it if you were Jesus hearing that coming from your disciple?
This woman did something considerate and thoughtful.
She remembered all the years of ministry journey Jesus went through preaching the kingdom of God.
She remembers the poor and oppressed who find hope in Jesus.
She did what she could to honor Jesus the Son of God.
She though good food and drink is not enough to honor Jesus.
Jesus is the champion of her life.
Jesus deserves more honor and recognition.
She brought forth her most precious treasure.
This woman cherishes her time and moment with Jesus.
She could have taken noted and remembered what Jesus said about His betrayal and death on the cross.
When will she see Jesus again?
She could anticipate Jesus leaving, but when?
She took no chance.
This woman thinks Jesus is more important than her personal goal.
That flask of ointment was expensive and it’s a measure of her sacrifice.
It was estimated to cost more than an annual wage of a working man, presumably of the skilled labor blue-collar category.
So what would you think a woman might keep such an expensive ointment for?
There were various reasons and speculations for it.
That flask of ointment might be some kind of marriage dowry, or some forms of physical evident of financial status in her times and customs.
Either way, it was a huge personal sacrifice.
It could have been worth her life-time saving.
This woman values a person over money.
Judas Iscariot somehow knew the monetary value straightaway.
Thanks to that information and announcement, we know her sacrifices.
Friendship and relationship had been tested through wealth and material possessions since the day man begin to use money.
The wise will use money to build friendship.
Her sacrifice shows that she values Jesus more than money.
Her sacrifice means friendship is more important than money.
Her sacrifice means relationship is more important than money.
This woman gave instead of demand.
Perhaps the disciples were even more puzzled when Jesus defended her –
In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. (Matthew 26:12).
Chances are His disciples still did not get it into their head that Jesus is actually heading for the cross.
Perhaps the disciples are still preoccupied about who should be the greatest after Jesus.
Perhaps they expected Jesus will never suffer the cross nor be taken by the Romans.
Somehow human expectations and demands can make us forget important things Jesus said.
Jesus said He was going to the cross.
This woman does not take things for granted.
It is true what she did could have been a life-time sacrifice.
She might not have another chance to gain another ‘alabaster flask of very expensive ointment’.
But for that moment, that is the most important thing she wanted to do for Jesus.
She cherishes and values that present moment with Jesus.
In pouring the ointment on Jesus, in full public witness, she expressed her respect, honor and gratitude for the Messiah.
Her act sealed her sincerity more than any spoken words.
Jesus’ final response –
Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her. (Matthew 26:13)
I believed Jesus actually commissioned her act as part of the Great Commission.
Because of what she did, there are people who were convicted and turned to the Lord for salvation.
Because of what she did, people will search their hearts.
Because of what she did, many more had carried the words of Christ to the ends of the world.
Christianity is about relationship with Jesus.
What she did was a beautiful expression of her relationship with Jesus.
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